The Western Australian oat industry generates about $540 million for the state economy each year through the production of milling oats for human consumption and feed oats and about $225 million per year in oaten hay for livestock production.

The major markets for Australian milling oats are China, Mexico, India and Japan.

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

WA produces about 40% of Australia's export hay – most of which is sent to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea to support their 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. 


  • 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.

  • UAN spray damage in wheat

    Post-emergent (mainly sprayed) fertiliser can cause leaf scorching, but affected plants recover without any yield loss.

  • Successful crop establishment is the key to maximising crop yield potential.  Focus on paddock selection, the use of good quality seed, optimising seeding rate, depth and spacing, and matching vari

  • Durack was launched in September 2016 as a candidate milling variety with potential for use in oaten hay production.

  • Patchy growth, with plants in poor areas stunted with pale older green leaves with yellow/orange -red ends

    Oats are more susceptible to zinc (Zn) deficiency than wheat or barley.

  • Nitrogen deficiency symptoms, note water weeds and puddle

    Waterlogging and salinity often occur together. Oats are very waterlogging tolerant but are more susceptible to salinity damage than wheat and barley.

Filter by search

Filter by topic