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WA to host oat forum

Jo FulwoodCountryman
The GIWA International Oat Conference pitch team included the South Australian Research Development Institute’s Peter McCormack, Georgie Troup from DAFWA, GIWA Oats Council chairman Will Carrington-Jones, Robert Loughman from DAFWA, GIWA’s Larissa Taylor and former international oat council chairwoman and SARDI principal oat breeder Pamela Zwer.
Camera IconThe GIWA International Oat Conference pitch team included the South Australian Research Development Institute’s Peter McCormack, Georgie Troup from DAFWA, GIWA Oats Council chairman Will Carrington-Jones, Robert Loughman from DAFWA, GIWA’s Larissa Taylor and former international oat council chairwoman and SARDI principal oat breeder Pamela Zwer. Credit: Jo Ful wood

Australia will play host to the 2020 International Oats Conference, with the Grains Industry Association announcing it had been successful in its bid to hold the world’s biggest oat forum in Perth.

GIWA Oats Council chairman Will Carrington-Jones said Australia was at the forefront of oat breeding and WA growers were some of the best in the world at growing excellent quality oats for human consumption.

Mr Carrington-Jones said the bid had been successful partly as a result of Australia’s clean green image for producing food grade oats which were sold throughout the world.

The conference pitch was driven by GIWA’s Oats Council with research and industry support.

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He said the group had presented the pitch to the recent International Oat Conference held in St Petersburg, Russia.

“We are extremely excited that our bid has been successful, meaning WA will host some of the most eminent scientists, researchers, breeders and marketers in the oats industry, here in Perth in 2020,” he said.

“We also hope to expand the conference and encourage growers to participate. It’s a golden opportunity for international science to meet the growing community.”

At the GIWA Oats Spring Forum earlier in the month, Mr Carrington-Jones told growers, industry representatives, marketers and breeders that the reputation of Australian grown oats was a clear marketing advantage on the world stage.

But he warned the inappropriate use of certain chemicals, particularly glyphosate, which is not registered for use on oat crops, could derail the entire industry, particularly given the recent publicity over the discovery in Taiwan of traces of glyphosate in oat products imported from the US.

“Understanding maximum residue limits and withholding periods is essential,” he said.

“We need to guard our international reputation as a clean and healthy producer of oats.

“What will sell our crop internationally is quality, quality, quality.”

Mr Carrington-Jones said mandatory load testing for residues could soon become the norm, rather than the exception, with some buyers already implementing testing on all loads delivered this season.

He said GIWA was continuing to work on the registration of trifluralin for use on oat crops.

“We are currently progressing this with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and hope to have this finalised soon,” he said.

Mr Carrington-Jones said with the WA oat crop expected to be about 750,000 tonnes for 2016, the expansion of the oat industry had been significant over the past five years.

“This expected tonnage is a 45 per cent increase on tonnages delivered in 2015, and we believe this is still a manageable level for the industry,” he said.

“However, if the season isn’t kind to us, and we are unlucky enough to end up with a large percentage of Oat2 deliveries, then I think this will become a problem in terms of the increase in tonnages.”

He said CBH expected deliveries of about 450,000 tonnes.

“I understand there are still trade enquiries coming in now which is very encouraging.”

According to recent GIWA data, 261,000ha has been planted to oats, for both grain and hay, this year.

Mr Carrington-Jones said it was encouraging to see the expansion of oat production into non-traditional areas, such as the eastern Wheatbelt.

“Some of the best oat deliveries into Narrakine last year came from the Merredin district,” he said.

With the release of the new short-season oat variety Durack, growers in lower rainfall zones will now be in a stronger position to deliver milling grade oats, he said.

Durack’s milling classification is subject to a trial this harvest.

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