Oats

The Western Australian oat industry generates about $200 million for the state economy each year through the production of milled (rolled) oats for human consumption and feed oats and oaten hay for livestock production.

The major markets for Australian milling oats are Mexico, North Asia, South-East Asia and South Africa.

Western Australian feed oats are well received by international markets, particularly the growing Middle Eastern and Japanese race horse industries.

WA produces about 50% of Australia's export hay – most of which is sent to the Japanese dairy industry. 

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is a partner within the National Oat Breeding Program, which is responsible for breeding and developing new oat grain and hay varieties with superior quality. 

Articles

  • Cereal smut and bunt diseases are caused by fungi which parasitise the host plant and produce masses of soot-like spores in the leaves, grains or ears.

  • The oaten hay market in Western Australia has developed significantly in recent years.

  • Western Australia exports on average 48% of Australia's oaten hay, exporting around 300 000 tonnes worth over A$88 million in 2012/13.

  • Oats are more competitive with weeds than most other crops but weed control is still critical, particularly in hay crops as weeds can cause downgrading or rejection of export hay.

  • Growing oaten hay on frost-prone paddocks minimises the frost risk as it is cut soon after flowering, avoiding the frost-sensitive period.

  • There are specific requirements for hay for the export market that are different to usual on-farm requirements.

  • Oats in Western Australia are grown for grain, hay, grazing or silage. Each year between 250 000 and 350 000 hectares are sown for grain production, and 113 000 hectares for hay production.

  • Affected plants are stunted with few tillers.

    A soil-borne pest affecting roots of cereal crops, cereal cyst nematode (CCN) can cause substantial yield losses, particularly in continuous cereal crops.

  • At head emergence, each grain is replaced by brown to black powdery spores

    Loose smut (Ustilago avenae) and covered smut (Ustilago hordei) of oats are both externally seed- borne diseases with similar symptoms which are difficult to distinguish in the fi

  • Major leaf diseases of oats are stem rust, leaf rust, barley yellow dwarf virus and septoria avenae blotch; their severity changes with seasons.

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