Williams: a milling quality oat for Western Australia

Page last updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2018 - 12:02pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Williams is a milling oat variety which was released in September 2013. It is a mid-tall, high yielding line with an improved disease resistance profile compared to current varieties.

Williams has been released to partner the variety Bannister as the benchmark milling quality oat varieties for Western Australian production. These two varieties are expected to enhance on-farm oat profitability as well as Western Australia's reputation as a world leader in the production of high quality milling oats for export, either exported directly as grain or after processing by local milling companies. With growing demand for export milling oats, it is expected that these varieties 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.


Williams was tested as WAOAT2332. It was bred by the National Oat Breeding program with research and technical input from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).


Williams was crossed as 98Q954-13-37.

Short pedigree: Pennlo(P25144)/Murray(86Q845-59)//Carrolup(90Q209-21-34)/3/(93Q496-13)TAM386(Quaker-87-151)/Carrolup.

Plant characteristics

  • Mid-tall oat, slightly taller than Kojonup and about 10cm shorter than Carrolup.
  • Early maturing, flowers slightly earlier than Carrolup and 7-10 days earlier than Kojonup.
  • Good straw strength and standibility.

Herbicide tolerance

Williams registered yield loss in a trial with Diuron 1 litre (L) + Dual® 0.5 litres per hectare (L/ha) (pre-emergent), Broadside® 1L, Diuron 0.5L + MCPA 0.5L and 2, 4-D (Amine) 625 1.3L/ha applied post-emergent at label recommended timing in 2012 at Katanning on a loamy sand soil. It also registered low crop safety margin with Amicide Advance 700 1.5L/ha applied at Z31. The variety is being tested further in 2013 to confirm these results which will be published on the National Variety Testing (NVT) website.


Nationally, Williams is the highest yielding milling oat variety in the National Variety Testing (NVT) trials. In WA its mean yield across AgZones has been 23% higher than Carrolup and 13% higher than Wandering.

Table 1 Average grain yields (t/ha) in WA 2012-2016. (Data courtesy of National Oat Breeding Program and NVT. Analysis by SAGI)
Variety AgZone 2 AgZone 3 AgZone 4 AgZone 5 Agzone 6
Bannister 4.3 4.1 2.5 3.4 4.4
Carrolup 3.6 3.6 2.2 2.8 3.3
Durack 3.5 3.5 2.1 2.8 3.3
Kojonup 3.7 3.6 2.3 2.9 4.0
Kowari 3.8 3.7 2.3 3.0 4.0
Mitika 3.8 3.8 2.3 3.0 3.9
Wandering 4.3 4.0 2.7 3.5 3.8
Williams 4.2 4.2 2.3 3.3 4.1
Yallara 3.7 3.8 2.1 2.9 2.9


In accordance with commercial acceptance protocol for assessment of potential milling varieties, Williams was commercially grown in Western Australia and was test milled at Quaker Oats Forrestfield facility. Tests undertaken by Quaker Oats showed that Williams milled very well with qualities that will be appreciated by both Australian and overseas millers.

Williams is a milling variety with hectolitre weight similar to Kojonup and slightly lower than Carrolup. Screenings are similar to Carrolup and its groat percent is slightly lower than Carrolup and Mitika.

Table 2 Average physical grain quality characters for Wiliams compared with nine other varieties
Variety Hectolitre weight (kg/hl) 1000 grain weight (g) Screenings (% 2.0mm)
Bannister 48.9 35.2 6.9
Carrolup 50.5 35.0 8.4
Durack 51.5 35.6 5.8
Kojonup 47.9 35.5 6.3
Kowari 48.7 37.0 5.0
Mitika 49.7 37.6 4.3
Wandering 47.6 35.8 6.7
Williams 48.0 33.1 9.3
Yallara 49.9 34.9 4.9
No. trials 50 37 49
Table 3 Average chemical grain quality characters for Williams compared with nine other varieties
Variety NIR protein (%) NIR oil (%) NIR groat (%) Grain brightness Estimated metabolisable energy (MG/kg dm) B-glucan (dry basis) Hull lignin
Williams 11.1 6.8 71.7 - - - -
Bannister 11.1 7.1 75.1 59.1 12.0 4.3 (3) High
Carrolup 13.1 5.5 75.6 60.0 11.7 4.7 (3) High
Kojonup 13.4 5.6 78.4 60.2 12.0 5.4 (2) High
Mitika 12.6 6.5 75.6 58.8 12.6 5.5 (3) Low
Possum 12.5 5.7 76.3 58.6 11.7 4.9 (3) High
Potoroo 11.6 6.6 74.4 61.0 11.8 5.0 (3) High
Wandering 12.3 6.2 74.2 61.7 11.6 4.9 (3) High
Yallara 11.6 4.6 79.3 61.3 11.7 5.1 (3) High
No. Trials 48 42 40 34 15 - -

Disease resistance

Williams is moderately resistant to stem rust and resistant to leaf rust in WA. It also has improved septoria resistance compared to Carrolup and Wandering.

Table 4 Stem rust, leaf rust, barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) and septoria reactions in ten grain varieties in WA
Variety Stem rust Leaf rust BYDV Septoria
Williams MR R MR-MS MS
Bannister R-MR R MS S
Carrolup MS S MS S-VS
Durack MR-MS R-S MS-S S-VS
Kojonup R-MS S MS S-VS
Kowari S R MS S
Mitika MR-S R S S-VS
Potoroo MS S MS S
Wandering MS VS MR-MS S-VS
Wombat MR-S S MR S
Yallara MR-MS R MS S

R = resistant, MR = moderately resistant, MS = moderately susceptible, S = susceptible, VS = very susceptible.  Rust reactions may vary in different regions depending on the prevailing pathotypes.

Seed availability

Williams is available through Heritage Seeds.

The National Oat Breeding Program

The National Oat Breeding Program is a partnership between:

Its mission is to release improved oat varieties for grain or hay production, adapted to Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales.

Contact information


Jennifer Garlinge