Oat Breeding in Western Australia
Robyn McLean
Clive St, Katanning, Agriculture Western Australia
The oat group at Agriculture Western Australia has grown in the past two years with the addition of an oat cereal chemist, Maurice Hall, and an oat agronomist, Glenn McDonald. Both are employed through Grains Research and Development Corporation (farmer levy) projects. Maurice is developing NIR calibrations and setting up other tests to enable the breeding program to screen for a wider range of quality factors. Glen is in his second year of field trials looking at various agronomic factors and how they influence grain quality.

The breeding program has had a busy time with several new varieties released in recent years. All the new varieties are protected by Plant Breeders Rights. Our varieties are named after rivers in Western Australia.


Carrolup was registered in 1993 and is a milling oat variety. Its pedigree is :- Mortlock/5/Kent/Ballidu//Curt/3/Cortez/4/TAMO-312/2*West. It has similar height and plant type to Mortlock, the major milling oat variety in Western Australia. Carrolup has better hectolitre weight, groat per cent, and a lighter grain colour than Mortlock. It has similar grain plumpness. Carrolup is S to stem rust, VS to crown rust, and MS to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus.


Pallinup was registered in 1994 and is a milling oat variety. Its pedigree is:- Mortlock/5/M127/Curt//Cortez/4/IORN78-45/3/Dwarf Palestine/Swan//M127/Curt. Pallinup is earlier maturing and taller than Mortlock. Pallinup has similar groat per cent and grain plumpness to Mortlock, and poorer hectolitre weight. Pallinup is resistant to the races of stem and crown rust which caused Western Australia's last epidemic in 1992, but there are races present that are virulent on Pallinup. Pallinup is moderately resistant to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus.


Both Coomallo and Toodyay were registered in 1996. Coomallo is a milling oat variety and came from the cross:- Brooks/Lort//Mortlock. Coomallo is earlier and taller than Mortlock. It has lighter coloured grain, improved groat per cent and grain plumpness compared to Mortlock, and similar hectolitre weight. Coomallo is S to stem rust, MR to crown rust and R to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus.


Toodyay has the pedigree:- Mortlock/5/Fulmark/Newton//Swan/3/XBVT183/4/IORN78-45/3/Dwarf Palestine/Swan//M127/Curt. Toodyay is another milling oat variety with similar plant type to Mortlock. Toodyay is a good quality oat with lighter coloured grain of similar groat per cent to Mortlock. Grain plumpness and hectolitre weight are not as good as Mortlock. Toodyay is S to stem rust, MR to crown rust, and S to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus.


Vasse was released in 1997 and is atypical of the type of varieties the breeding program produces. Vasse is a tall semi dwarf variety, which is very late maturing. It was released for hay production in the very high rainfall, long season environments in W.A. Vasse produces high quality hay with good digestibility, metabolizable energy and crude protein. Vasse has good resistance to the major leaf diseases being R to crown rust, Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus and Septoria. The pedigree of Vasse is:- IORN-82-47//OT207/Swan.


Hotham was also released in 1997 and is an early maturing milling oat variety. Hotham is shorter than Mortlock and has the best straw strength of oat varieties other than the semi dwarfs. Hotham has good quality with similar groat per cent to Mortlock, better hectolitre weight and slightly smaller grain. The pedigree of Hotham is:- West/Spear//Mortlock. Hotham is S to stem rust, MR to crown rust, and MS to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus.


This oat is a semi dwarf feed oat variety, which will be released this year (1998). WAOAT2014 is a later maturing semi dwarf oat variety compared with the major semi dwarf feed oat variety Dalyup. It is best suited to the longer season southern high rainfall regions of W.A. It has better groat per cent, hectolitre weight and grain plumpness compared with Dalyup so should have better feed value. The pedigree of WAOAT2014 is:- Avon/Swan//Jaycee/3/OT207/Swan//Moregrain/West.


This oat is likely to be released in 1999. It is a semi dwarf feed oat line that outyields Dalyup across the agricultural areas, and has improved goat percent, hectolitre weight and grain plumpness. It's pedigree is Mortlock/Echidna//OT207/Swan.


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