Oats a focus for growers at field day

26 Sep, 2012 11:37 AM

More than 40 growers and industry representatives recently attended a successful Oat Grain Hay field day in York to preview trials of new oat varieties.

The Department of Agriculture and Food-supported field day was coordinated by the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) and the National Oat Breeding Program.

Department Grains Industry executive director Peter Metcalfe said Western Australia had a strong reputation as a world leader in producing high quality milling oats for export.

“Launched in March this year, the high-quality, high-yielding characteristics of Bannister should enable the sector to enhance competitiveness and expand its market opportunities,” Mr Metcalfe said.

“The new variety has the potential to increase annual production by about 20 per cent, which would deliver an additional $3.6 million to growers.”

GIWA Oat Council Chair Andrew Roberts said participants received an overview of commercialisation of varieties and the successful Bannister subscriptions for the upcoming growing season.

“Bannister received a lot of interest from growers and positive comments from industry representatives for its potential as a milling variety,” Mr Roberts said.

“WA has been unable to meet the growing demand for milling oats as producers have chosen to grow higher yielding feed oats, but hopefully Bannister will change this.

“Trial results show Bannister is high yielding, averaging 3.1 t/ha compared with Carrolup (milling oat) at 2.6 t/ha and Wandering (feed oat) at 2.9 t/ha.”

SARDI Oat Breeder Pamela Zwer led a walk through trials highlighting the strengths of an upcoming oat variety WAOAT 2332, which will be considered for release at the next GIWA Oat Council meeting in early 2013.

Concluding the day was a presentation on the GRDC funded On-farm Storage Grain Project that delivers workshops on investment and operation of grain storage options to maximise grower returns while ensuring the quality of stored grain.

Following the success of the day, a field walk will be organised in 2013 as part of Oat Week celebrations.

To find out more about Bannister, please contact Jenny Garlinge, Oat Breeding project manager on (08) 9368 3501 or email jennifer.garlinge@agric.wa.gov.au


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