Avena nuda Annual grass. Up to 4'. Most oats have a clinging hull that requires industrial-grade milling to render them suitable for human consumption. Hulless, on the other hand, can be processed at home without any special equipment. Hulless oats are not, in fact, hulless, but as in wheat the hull sheds easily during the normal threshing process; for best results, delay harvest until the crop is fully mature. In a 10-variety oat trial, the University of Minnesota determined Streaker to be exceptionally high in protein and oil content. May be used as a cover crop like other oats, but hulless varieties tend to be somewhat less vigorous than common oats. Streaker has tall plants with medium straw strength; resistant to crown rust. Streaker is so delicious and satisfying, you may want to celebrate with a run through the streets!
Plant in early spring at 100#/acre, 3#/1000 sq ft. PVP①
As food grain: For cooking, soak in water: what little hull remains will float and may be swept away.
As feed grain: The lack of hull lowers the crude fiber levels and improves digestiblity compared to common oats. Higher in protein than other small grains, but not higher in lysine.
Streaker Hulless Oats
Avena spp. Oats are a real workhorse of a cover crop. They are inexpensive to sow, they’re not fussy about their soil, they build generous amounts of carbonaceous biomass, they’re competitive with weeds, they love cool weather but tolerate warm weather, they get along well with legumes like peas and clover in mixes, and they die over the winter (at least in New England—they’re hardy to 15°) so they don’t cause the spring headache that rye does.
As if their prowess as a cover crop weren’t enough, the grain may be used as food or feed, and oat straw makes some of the finest, softest mulch you’ll ever have the pleasure to kneel on. Try planting oats in early August and then planting your garlic into the living oats around mid-October—the oats will die over the winter and your garlic beds will be already mulched come spring. And there’s more! Herbalists favor “milky oats” (oat heads harvested when they are still green and the kernels exude a milky substance when squeezed) as a gentle restorative tonic.