Oats a boon for livestock
A NEW forage oat variety was released in Toowoomba last week with the potential to allow livestock industries to gain greater productivity with its superior forage.
Aladdin was bred at the DEEDI Leslie Research Centre in Toowoomba. The variety is completely resistant to all known traces of leaf rust in Australia.
DEEDI senior plant breeder Bruce Winter, who developed the new line, said as well as being resistant to leaf rust, Aladdin had late maturity with a long production season.
"It produces vigorous growth early in the season, and recovers quickly from grazing to produce high forage yield during the cooler winter months," Mr Winter said.
"Aladdin also has higher tolerance to heavy grazing due to its low growing point."
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin attended the launch and said it would greatly improve the range of commercial varieties available to livestock producers through its very high forage yield and disease resistance.
"This means a more reliable source of forage is available to the livestock industry, and is a significant achievement for our Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation's breeding team, which has worked towards this goal for seven years," he said.
"Forage oats are the preferred winter forage crop in sub-tropical areas of Australia and are widely grown in central and southern Queensland and northern New South Wales.
"They are the main source of feed during autumn, winter and early spring for many livestock operations, and many growers rely on forage oats for finishing livestock during this period.
"The value of the live weight gain produced from forage oats annually in the beef cattle industry alone is estimated at $250 million.
Aladdin will be marketed by Heritage Seeds, with seed available for commercial sale in 2012.