AgMemo - Grains news, October 2019

Page last updated: Wednesday, 27 November 2019 - 9:07am

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Two new oat variety options for 2020

two women standing in an oat crop
PIRSA-SARDI principal plant breeder Dr Pamela Zwer (left) and DPIRD oat research officer Georgie Troup stand in a field of Koorabup oats during the variety’s launch at the WA Oat Field Walk on a chilly day at Highbury in September.

Western Australian grain growers will have two new oat variety options to consider for next year’s cropping program.

The hay variety - Koorabup and the milling oat variety - Bilby were officially launched at separate events last month, providing growers with new crop choices with improved disease resistance and quality.

Both varieties were developed under the National Oat Breeding Program, led by Primary Industries and Regions SA through its South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) with support from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

DPIRD played a key role establishing field trials from Rylington Park to Wongan Hills to test the genetic material through the evaluation stages.

Koorabup oaten hay variety

Koorabup, the traditional name for the Denmark River, is a cross of two WA advanced breeding lines.

The variety was initially crossed in 2005 from two lines by SARDI principal plant breeder Pamela Zwer, whose work on Koorabup was funded by AgriFutures Export Fodder Program.

The oaten hay variety’s distinguishing feature is good resistance to the fungal disease septoria (rated as moderately resistant to moderately susceptible), which occurs throughout the cereal growing areas of WA and can cause crop losses of up to 50 per cent.  It also has good rust and bacterial blight resistance.

The mid-tall hay variety with mid-season maturity has a hay yield similar to Carrolup and produces a distinctive blueish-green crop, desired by the oaten hay trade, as well as thin stems.

WA growers had a look at the variety at the recent WA Oat Research Field Walk at Highbury.  Seed is now being bulked up and will be available after harvest via Australian Exporters Company (AEXCO), the National Oat Breeding program’s commercial partner for hay varieties.

Bilby milling oat variety

The new milling oat variety, Bilby, was officially launched at the Royal Adelaide Show in early September.

Bilby is characterised by a high beta-glucan content, the nutritional trait which has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol.

The variety, which has a high groat percentage and milling yield, has been approved for milling in WA by the Grains Industry Association of WA’s Oat Council.

Bilby is suited to most soil types in WA in rainfall areas above 400 millimetres. The dwarf, early-mid season variety also has excellent grain yield, almost as good as Williams and Bannister.

It is moderately susceptible to stem rust, resistant to leaf rust, moderately susceptible to susceptible to barley yellow dwarf, moderately susceptible to bacterial blight, moderately susceptible to susceptible to septoria and susceptible to cereal cyst nematode.

Bilby will be available via local Heritage Broadacre agents or directly via Heritage Seeds.

These two new varieties will complement the existing variety options, supporting growers to meet export quality requirements. 

The National Oat Breeding program is a partnership between Primary Industries and Regions South Australia - SARDI and DPIRD. Development of milling oats has Grains Research and Development Corporation investment. Development of hay oat varieties is funded by AgriFutures Export Fodder Program and AEXCO.

For more information about growing oats in WA visit the Oats: essentials page or contact Georgie Troup, research officer, Northam,  on +61 (0)8 9690 2215.