‘Lowly Ol’ Oats’

I once talked with an elevator employee who mentioned “lowly ol’ oats.” He wasn’t being snarky or sarcastic; he was making an honest assessment that the crop doesn’t generate much interest from his elevator’s patrons.

That’s one of the two basic truths about oats: it’s largely lost favor with Upper Midwest farmers. The other basic truth is that oats, by all accounts, is one of the healthiest foods around.

Oats’ healthiness is just one reason to think the crop might regain a bit of its lost popularity with farmers on the Northern Plains. Nobody thinks oats will ever become a major crop again, but better days could be ahead.

Anyway, researching a story on oats encouraged me to buy a box of steel-cut oats.at the grocery story. My judgment: good stuff, a little different from regular oatmeal. If you’ve never had steel-cut oats, give ’em a try.

Read the story on oats in the Jan. 27 issue of Agweek.