Durack: A short season oat with milling grade potential or dual purpose for hay production

Page last updated: Thursday, 20 April 2017 - 2:18pm

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Durack was launched in September 2016 as a candidate milling variety with potential for use in oaten hay production. It underwent commercial milling evaluation in the first quarter of 2017, where it passed physical milling requirements for rolling and flaking, producing product with typical aroma and taste. However, due to 2016 seasonal conditions (that is, frost), more data was required to assess its nutritional performance, notably β-glucan, as the key component of soluble dietary fibre.

On that basis, the Durack variety has not yet met all criteria for industry acceptance for a milling grade variety and will undergo further nutritional evaluation during 2017. Industry expects that the additional evaluation of Durack will be completed by the end of February 2018.

If Durack meets the nutritional component of the commercial evaluation in the course of 2017 and is endorsed by industry as a milling variety, it would be eligible for delivery as OAT1 or OAT2 from the time of that industry endorsement (that is, post February 2018). Durack has been developed to partner the varieties Bannister and Williams as the benchmark milling quality oat varieties for Western Australian production. Durack is expected to enhance on-farm oat profitability, targeting low-medium rainfall areas, as well as enhance Western Australia's reputation as a world leader in the production of high quality milling oats for export.

Growers who choose to grow Durack in 2017 to gain experience with the variety, or for seed bulk-up, will by arrangement with CBH be eligible to deliver as OAT2 from the 2017/18 harvest if the variety does not pass the nutritional evaluation.

With Asian demand for milling oats growing gradually, it is expected that Durack, Bannister and Williams will equip industry with the opportunity to capture expanding high value human food markets and provide grain growers with more profitable and productive alternatives to high yielding feed oats.

Tested as WA02Q302-9, from the cross 01Q211/94Q106-45-28, Durack is a product of the National Oat Breeding Program.  This program breeds oats for southern Australia under a partnership between the South Australian Research and Development Institute, the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, with assistance from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

Agronomic characteristics

Durack is the earliest maturing oat variety of any current milling or hay variety. As a short season type it is suited for conventional sowing windows in medium-low rainfall areas or for delayed sowing opportunities in traditional (medium-high rainfall) oat areas. Relative to other varieties in breeding trials it was:

  • 7-10 days earlier than Mitika
  • 10-12 days earlier to head than Carrolup
  • 10-16 days earlier than Yallara and Williams
  • 15-18 days earlier than Bannister
  • 18-20 days earlier than Kojonup.

Durack is moderately tall, standing at between 80-90cm. Its grain yield is similar to other tall varieties Carrolup and Yallara assessed in yield trails across four states. While yields associated with tall oat varieties may not surpass dwarf oats, the yield is competitive and grain quality characteristics of Durack indicate it will provide robust performance when compared to other varieties in medium-lower rainfall areas.

Yield performance

Table 1 Grain yield assessed across four states from 2010-2014
Variety Yield (t/ha) SA Yield (t/ha) VIC Yield (t/ha) NSW Yield (t/ha) WA Overall
Bannister 3.4 4.1 4.0 3.7 3.7
Carrolup (tall) 2.9 3.3 3.5 3.2 3.2
Durack (tall) 2.9 3.2 3.6 3.1 3.2
Kojonup 3.1 3.7 3.7 3.5 3.4
Mitika 3.2 3.5 3.8 3.4 3.4
Williams (tall) 3.4 4.2 3.9 3.7 3.7
Yallara (tall) 2.8 3.3 3.5 3.1 3.1

Data courtesy National Oat Breeding Program, NVT Programs in SA, Vic and NSW and CVT Program in WA. Analysis by Chris Lisle, (Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry Project).

Table 2 Grain yield assessed across WA Agzones from 2010-2014
Variety Yield (t/ha) Agzone 2 Yield (t/ha) Agzone 3 Yield (t/ha) Agzone 4 Yield (t/ha) Agzone 5 Yield (t/ha) Agzone 6
Bannister 4.04 3.91 2.0 3.25 4.78
Carrolup (tall) 3.37 3.19 1.8 2.81 3.74
Durack (tall) 3.45 3.29 1.64 2.88 3.82
Kojonup 3.72 3.64 1.8 2.99 4.54
Mitika 3.67 3.44 1.83 3.03 4.56
Wandering 4.00 3.49 2.17 3.56 4.44
Williams (tall) 4.09 4.12 1.88 3.23 4.58
Yallara (tall) 3.49 3.4 1.65 2.92 3.38
Number of trials 22 16 3 3 5

Data courtesy National Oat Breeding Program and CVT Program in WA. Analysis by Chris Lisle, (Statistics for the Australian Grains Industry Project).

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Durack: A short season oat with milling grade potential or dual purpose for hay production