A new oat variety developed in SA, claiming to be healthier for consumers and beneficial for farmers, has been launched at the Royal Adelaide Show.
The new Bilby oat will be available for the next growing season and Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone expects it to be popular.
"Farmers are constantly looking for opportunities to grow crops that not only have significant health benefits, but provide higher yields and better quality and the new Bilby oat ticks those boxes," he said.
"Bilby also offers high beta-glucan, which has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol."
Mr Whetstone said the potential grain yield of Bilby crops and a higher proportion of the grain being edible means higher milling yield - a positive for processors.
"The new variety has been developed through the National Oat Breeding Program, which has produced oat varieties found in many popular porridge and muesli products as well as oat varieties that are exported to Asia as high-quality hay," he said.
We are delighted that the new Bilby oat delivers not only increased beta-glucan to help lower cholesterol levels, but also enhances paddock yields for farmers.
Uncle Tobys senior research and development manager John Pitcher said his company was looking forward to trialing the new oat variety.
"We are delighted that the new Bilby oat delivers not only increased beta-glucan to help lower cholesterol levels, but also enhances paddock yields for farmers, and we are looking forward to trialling the Bilby oats in the upcoming growing season," he said.
GRDC Business Development and Economics acting general manager Ron Osmond said oats were an important component of farming systems in Australia, providing growers with profitable grain and hay options in their cropping rotations.
"The nutritional benefits of milling oats are well recognised and we expect consumer demand for this functional food product to increase," he said.
"It is therefore necessary that growers have access to new varieties that are high-yielding, resilient, well-adapted and of high quality to meet the needs of consumers and support profitable grain businesses."
Bilby oats were developed by researchers at SARDI and Heritage Seeds is the commercialisation partner.