New Locally Developed Forage Oat

Queensland Government scientists have cast their spell to create ‘Warlock’, a new forage oat variety with the highest total forage yield on the market.

Warlock forage oat
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner launched the new feed source in Toowoomba, announcing it will be available for growers to buy next year.

“Warlock is the latest success story for our forage oat breeding program which continues to invest in developing superior varieties to assist Queensland livestock producers.”

“The program develops and commercially releases improved forage oat cultivars with high yield, resistance to leaf rust, late maturity and high regrowth potential.”

“In trials over four years, the total forage yield for Warlock was 19 per cent higher than the previously developed Genie forage oat, and a seven per cent improvement on the Wizard variety.”

Warlock is susceptible to one race of leaf rust in southern Queensland, but experts say it will significantly lift the forage yield of oats in growing regions where leaf rust is less prevalent and provide a degree of tolerance in susceptible areas.

The new Warlock forage oat has a long production season, produces vigorous growth in the early season and recovers quickly from grazing to produce a high forage yield during the cooler winter months when farmers need to fatten cattle.

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

Based at Toowoomba’s Leslie Research Centre, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries forage oat breeding program is jointly funded with Heritage Seeds who will market Warlock for commercial sale in 2019