Grain growers and consumers are set to benefit from a new local oat variety, Kowari, which will be available for seeding next year.

A dwarf plant type, Kowari has been developed by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of Primary Industries and Regions SA, since 2003 as part of the Waite-based National Oat Breeding Program.

Kowari produces increased levels of beta glucan which helps to reduce blood cholesterol re-absorption. Furthermore, its high yielding potential and disease resistance promises to make it attractive to growers.

For the past two decades, the National Oat Breeding Program, based at SARDI, has delivered new varieties which offer processors and manufacturers high quality, nutritious and tasty milling oats to meet consumer needs and open new markets.

It has produced the majority of oat varieties currently used by Australian growers, accounting for up to 85 per cent of south-east Australian milling oats and up to 75 per cent of Australian export hay varieties.

The program is funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation, AgriFutures Australia, South Australian Grain Industry Trust, the Uncle Toby’s Company, the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and commercial partners AEXCO and Heritage Seeds.

“Oats is the feature grain at this year’s Royal Adelaide Show and the National Oat Breeding Program is a key contributor to the State Government’s Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment Exported to the World economic priority,” said Peter Appleford, Executive Director SARDI.

“In 2015-16 the South Australian oat industry contributed $90 million to the State’s economy and this new variety, Kowari, provides further domestic and international growth opportunities for the oats and grain sector.”

Steve Amery, Portfolio Manager at Heritage Seeds, said “Heritage Seeds have had a long and productive partnership with the National Oat Breeding Program which has bred market-leading varieties such Mitika & Williams and earlier this year the shorter season variety, Durack.”

“At Heritage Seeds our goal is to bring new varieties to market which bring real benefits to growers – increasing their productivity and profitability – we feel we have that in Kowari.”

More information: National Oat Breeding Program (SARDI)

Source: SARDI

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