On-farm optimisation of oat grain production and marketing (MFM318G)


August 1, 2018


August 1, 2018


An oat field day and property visit was held by Mackillop Farm Management Group at Wolseley on 1 August 2018, with key topics of discussion including the management of individual varieties and the importance of variety specific agronomy packages.

The responses of different varieties to time of sowing and nutrition, and management for hay vs grain yields were also discussed.


With an oat mill located at Bordertown, local growers have the chance to produce a crop and market locally.

This field day gave an opportunity for growers, researchers, agronomists, oat breeders, seed and nutrition representatives, oat millers and seed marketers to come together in one place to discuss the challenges with different varieties, the need to assess new varieties on a local level from a milling perspective and how the entire industry could collaborate moving forward to optimise the management and marketing capacity of oats.

Research Aims

The core objectives of the project were to:
• Facilitate the extension of cropping research relevant to Upper South East farming systems
• Provide an opportunity for Upper South East grain growers to link with leading national researchers on topics of personal and industry interest

In The Field

Mackillop Farm Management Group held their Oat Field Day on 1 August, 2018 at the Wolseley Recreation Centre, with the forum followed by a visit to local farmer Peter McLellan’s property.

There were 37 attendees, which included a mix of growers, agronomists and various industry representatives, with topics of discussion revolving around the management of individual oat varieties and the importance of developing variety-specific agronomy packages.

There were also constructive conversations had about the varying responses of different varieties to time of sowing and nutrition, and also the management required for hay vs grain yields.

DPIRD WA Oat Research Agronomist Georgie Troup was the keynote speaker, with other industry speakers including SARDI Manager of Industry Development Peter Cormack.

Georgie discussed the findings from GRDC project DAW00227 Oat Agronomy and Industry Development in the Western Region and also discussed relevant issues about oat hay and grain production with attendees.

Representatives from local miller Blue Lake Milling were in attendance so discussions about marketing were had, as well as discussion about the new variety Kowari and the plans to assess the grain quality locally through BLM.

During the farm visit, attendees had the chance to view the MFMG milling oat variety management trial, which was developed collaboratively with industry to try and optimise management in milling oats.

The event also provided opportunities for growers to discuss oat nutrition, varieties and relevant issues with other industry agronomists and marketers.


Growers and attendees of the field day improved their knowledge of the interactions between varieties, sowing times and nutrition in oat crops, as well as the importance of managing varieties according to their strengths.
While information provided came from a Western Region perspective, growers have the ability to apply some of those learnings immediately in South Australia.

The research conducted in Western Australia and discussed at the event also assisted in forming research questions for the South Australian environment.
There were a number of future plans made as a result of discussions on the day.

They included:
• Continuing to work with industry to develop variety-specific agronomy packages for milling oat varieties under South East conditions
• Supporting Blue Lake Milling with their testing of Kowari during the following season
• Supporting industry efforts to develop the South Eastern Oats Advisory Group/Committee

Project Participants

MFMG: Meg Bell, Danielle England;
DPIRD WA: Georgie Troup;

SARDI: Peter Cormack

The Problem

Helping South East growers capitalise on having an oat mill located at Bordertown and discussing different management and marketing options.

The research

Holding an oat field day and property visit to facilitate industry discussion about relevant issues in regards to oats. Viewing the MFMG milling oat variety management trial.

More information

Meg Bell, Mackillop Farm Management Group
M: 0433 499 630
E: [email protected]

Value for Growers

The forum and farm visit provided a platform for local growers, agronomists, researchers, oat breeders, seed marketers and oat millers to engage in meaningful conversation about the way forward for oats across the region.
Growers and agronomists also heard about the need for variety-specific agronomy packages and management techniques for different varieties.