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Total national oat production in 2010-11 was 1.1 million tonnes, down 34 thousand tonnes (3%) from the 2009-10 season. Total area of cultivated land for oat grain production slightly decreased from 850 thousand hectares in 2009-10 to 826 thousand hectares in 2010-11.
Early settlers were confronted with difficult soil and weather conditions and adaptable oat varieties were not found until the late 19th and early 20th century. From 1861 until the 1960's cultivated land for oats production was generally larger than production. Since 1967, area for oat grain has gradually decreased while production has steadily increased. Production rates increased after World War II and reached a historical high of 2.3 million tonnes in 1984 before gradually starting to decrease again.