'Belle' spring oat was developed by workers in the Department of Agronomy, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was released in February, 1995. The parentage of Belle is: Don/7/Ascensao/Fayette/4/Clintfield/3/Garry/2/Hawkeye/Victoria/5/Goodfield/Simons 58-241-26/6/Holden/Irr.4/Garland/2/6x amphiploid/2* C.I.6936/3/Garland/5/Froker. The final cross, Don/X3969-2, was made in the 1982 spring greenhouse.
Belle was entered in preliminary yield trials at Madison WI in 1988, was advanced to the main Madison nursery trial in 1989, and advanced to drill plot trials at Arlington and to statewide trials in 1990. It was entered into all of the above trials and the USDA-ARS Uniform Midseason Oat Performance Nursery in 1991 and 1992.
Belle is late in maturity, heading about 3-4 days later than 'Ogle'and the same day as 'Porter' . Plant height of Belle is intermediate, ie., 7-8 cm taller than Ogle, but 5 cm shorter than 'Troy'. Lodging resistance is greater than that of Ogle and Porter. Belle has yellow, nonfluorescent, broad, well filled kernels. Belle has high test weight and groat percentage, low groat protein percentage, and high grain yield. In Wisconsin tests conducted at 8 locations for the 4- year period 1993-1997, grain yield averages for Belle exceeded those of all current varieties tested, except 'Gem'.
Belle is resistant to prevalent races of crown rust in the upper Midwest U.S. Belle is resistant to oat stem rust (Puccinia graminis Pers.:Pers. f. sp. avenae Eriks & E. Henn.) Races NA8 and NA16, but susceptible to races NA 25, NA26, and NA27. It has been intermediate in resistance to to barley yellow dwarf virus in screening tests at Urbana, IL, but has demonstrated good field tolerance in nurseries and commercial fields in Wisconsin.
Designated classes of certified seed of Belle are breeder, foundation, and certified. Breeder seed of Belle is being maintained by the Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Plant Variety Protection Certification No. 9600042, with the Wisconsin Agricultural Research Station as owner, was issued in March, 1996.