National Oaten Hay Breeding Program


  • Project code: PRJ-012976

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Thursday, March 25, 2021

  • Project completion date: Monday, December 29, 2025

  • National Priority: Adoption of R&D


This project will enable the transition of oat breeding from a public model to a commercial platform. The subsequent commercial breeding program conducted by InterGrain will develop varieties combining high yield (dry matter production), improved hay quality and robust agronomics aligned with relevant industry stakeholders. These improved varieties developed by InterGrain will be suitable from commercial application across WA, SA, Vic and NSW markets.

Further, InterGrain will increase the rate of genetic gain in future breeding and selection activities by targeting key elements of the breeder’s equation and application of methodologies that enable increased scale of breeding operations and selection accuracy:
• High through-put phenomics (HTP) platform: InterGrain has a sophisticated fleet of drones, which non-destructively image ~4000 plots/day/person, and is highly portable. This will extend regional biomass prediction, and will be conducted at an earlier stage.
• Genomic selection (GS) platform: InterGrain will build genomic capacity for GS, including the development of global relationships. GS enables accurate selection for all traits (quality, disease, yield) amongst larger populations earlier in the breeding program.
• Speed Breeding: Via improved glasshouse infrastructure (22 hour/day light + heat), InterGrain will shorten the segregation time phase between crossing and robust plot scale testing.
• Improved quality prediction: InterGrain is involved in research aimed to predict some aspects of hay quality via improved HTP platforms. In addition, InterGrain has dedicated quality labs and experienced personal that will optimize quality prediction (NIR, wet chemistry etc).
• Increased breeding scale: Due to “mechanisation of breeding” at InterGrain, combined with HTP/GS, broader scale testing (number of parents/crosses, lines/cross and test locations/year) will occur. This will drive improved agronomic testing and variety performance knowledge, including hay quality response across diverse agronomical locations and treatments.
• Integration of leading biometrics: Excellence in Biometrics occurs across our breeding program, and is combined with research for future improvements.
• Reduced selection interval time: Earlier testing in the program will drive more rapid identification of elite genotypes for commercial release, and for use as improved parents to increase performance amongst the next generation.
• Increase the genetic base of Oats: Targeted genetic diversity is a crucial element of long-term breeding improvements, and InterGrain will increase the rate of global germplasm exchange.
• Partner with industry research: InterGrain is developing strong collaborations.
• Marketing and demand creation: At InterGrain, we have a demonstrated history of engaging with customers to understand their needs, and help create demand. This same team will also be utilised via InterGrain marketing of future Oaten hay varieties.


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