The Grains Australia Oat Council has announced that two new high-yielding oat varieties — 13008-18 from InterGrain and Koala from Seednet — have been accepted into the first stage of the new Australian oat classification program. This announcement follows the inaugural in-person meeting of the Grains Australia Oat Council in Perth on April 3. It means the two varieties are at “stage zero evaluation” and will progress to full commercial milling assessment next year before further decisions are made about their classification. Grains Australia’s Oat Council chairman and WA grain grower Ashley Wiese said it is exciting for the council to work closely with industry on the development of Australia’s first national oat classification program. “As the industry is investing more in oat breeding it’s increasingly important that we have a strong classification system that can ensure new varieties meet the needs of our domestic and international customers and Australian growers,” he said. InterGrain’s 13008-18 is a dual-purpose oat variety intended for use in all growing regions across WA, South Australia, Victoria and NSW. Seednet’s Koala is a mid to long-season oat variety suited for growing in medium to high-rainfall environments. Both varieties have improved disease resistance and have the potential to offer good options for growers and millers. Promoters of the two varieties being evaluated will spend the growing season bulking up the varieties in order to generate enough grain suitable to commence stage one commercial milling assessment from January 2024.