GROWERS have been given the opportunity to see oat varieties, suitable for the export fodder industry evaluated by the National Hay Agronomy project, in their region as part of a Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD) trial.
The trial, which is based at DPIRD's Wongan Hills research station, was sown in early May, with three replicates of each variety, sown in 10 metre plots.
While many varieties are a part of the trial, a lot of growers are interested in using it as a gauge to see how InterGrain's new oaten hay variety Kingbale, which is single gene imidazolinone (IMI) tolerant, compares to AGF Seeds' Wintaroo, which is a very popular mid-season hay variety.
DPIRD research scientist Georgie Troup said Wintaroo and Kingbale appeared very similar.
"The key difference is the single gene trait tolerance that Kingbale has for imidazolinone which enables a grower to use Kingbale as a plant-back option on soils that have a imidazolinone residue from the previous crop," Ms Troup said.
"Kingbale imidazolinone tolerance is linked to a single gene, this means that the crop will be adversely affected if imidazolinone is applied to the plant, there will be no registered product for post-emergent use.
"There is currently an application for an incorporated by sowing (IBS) pre-emergent herbicide being considered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority."
Growers around WA are excited about Kingbale as it may fit into their system where they are transitioning out of an imidazolinone residue in their crop rotation.
Ms Troup said Wintaroo was a high-yielding variety that wasn't widely grown in WA, although it was a strong performer.
"In 2019, at Muresk, Wintaroo yielded 0.5 tonnes per hectare higher than Carrolup, and was only slightly behind the yield of newly released variety Koorabup," she said.
Wintaroo and Kingbale are currently being evaluated in trials across southern Australia as part of the National Hay Agronomy project, a collaboration between DPIRD, SARDI, DPI NSW, AgVIC and AgriFutures Australia.
Ms Troup said to date, their visual observations were showing that Kingbale ws behaving very similarly to its parent, Wintaroo.
"Is Kingbale going to be the best option going forward?" she said.
"It will be one tool, in a system that requires many tools.
"It will be used where it is appropriate in the farming system, I am not expecting it to be a dominant hay variety, but it will have a niche.
"I have selected strong performing varieties for the trial, and it shows, to date there is little difference in the visual hay yields, although as the season comes to an end, there will be some that perform better than others."