Pastures & Cropping

New Oats variety launched in Queensland

Beef Central, 31/08/2016



A NEW high-yield, disease resistant forage oat variety developed by Queensland’s Department of Agriculture has been officially released.

The new variety, called Wizard, is the culmination of seven years of research by the Department’s scientists to develop a crop completely resistant to all known races of leaf rust.

“Leaf rust is the most serious disease of forage oats causing high yield loss, so any level of built-in resistance is welcomed by growers,” Queensland agriculture minister Leanne Donaldson said.

“Over four years of trials, Wizard has achieved a nine per cent improvement in total forage yield when compared to Aladdin and Genie which have been the benchmark varieties for growers in the northern regions.

“It has been bred specifically for local conditions and we expect that Wizard will be very quickly taken up by growers wanting to produce a crop for winter 2017.

“The new line produces vigorous growth early in the season, and recovers quickly from grazing to produce high forage yield for fattening cattle during the winter months.”

Minister Donaldson said with the record drought continuing to bite across most of Queensland, forage oats were vital for the state’s livestock industries.

“They provide beef and dairy cattle producers, and sheep producers, with a source of high quality feed during autumn and winter when summer pastures are dormant,” the Minister said.

“The value of the liveweight gain produced from this feed source by the beef cattle industry each year is estimated at $250 million. Forage oats are also an important feed source for the dairy, sheep and horse industries.

“This is an innovation that will translate directly into increased productivity.”

The Minister praised the work of plant breeders at the Leslie Research Facility where a breeding program was first started in the mid-1990s.

“This is another practical example of how the Palaszczuk Government is supporting our farmers to be more productive.

“Funding for the forage oats breeding project is jointly by the government and its commercial partner, Heritage Seeds, which will market Wizard in Australia in 2017.”


Source: Queensland Department of Agriculture


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