The oats farming process
Growing and preparing great oats
The Uncle Tobys Team works in collaboration with local farmers to ensure that only the best quality 100% Australian oats reach your table. At the moment, Uncle Tobys farmers are growing the Mitika oat, developed by the National Oat Breeding Program at the South Australian Research Development Institute. The Mitika oat has a superior taste and ability to survive tough Australian conditions, including protracted drought and wet weather.
Our team visit our oats farmers at least three times a year, during the sowing, growing and harvesting stages. They monitor crop development and ensure that Uncle Tobys® standards are adhered to. After eight to nine months of growing, Uncle Tobys oats are naturally dried on the stem before harvesting.
Producing Uncle Tobys quality oats takes time. From late February into March and April, the paddocks are prepared for sowing, which means ploughing, controlling weeds and preparing the soil. In April the oats are sown, and the soil is fertilised.
During the growing season, the oats need regular rainfall and sunshine to fully develop. Uncle Tobys standards require farmers to harvest when the grain is plump and golden and its moisture levels are just right, which is usually in late October or November. The oats have their heads removed by a combine harvester, which separates the grain from the chaff. Then the oat grains are loaded into trucks for delivery and storage.
Making Uncle Tobys oats
The farmers we work with are growing the Mitika oat, developed by the National Oat Breeding Program at the South Australian Research Development Institute. The Mitika oat is prized for its superior taste and ability to survive tough Australian conditions, including protracted drought and wet weather.
Our team visit local oat farmers at least three times a year, during the sowing, growing and harvesting stages. They monitor crop development and check that our exacting standards are met to ensure that every Uncle Tobys product is the highest quality possible.
Once they arrive at the Uncle Tobys factory in Wahgunyah, Victoria, it takes only a few steps to turn our 100% Australian oats into the Uncle Tobys Oats you love.
The minimal processing starts when the oats are dehulled and cleaned. They're then kilned, which means purging them with steam, before they're rolled into flakes. Some of these rolled oat flakes are packaged for porridge or baking, and others are added to other Uncle Tobys products like our muesli bars or cereals like O&G and Oat Crisp.
The Uncle Tobys storage method
There are very strict standards for Uncle Tobys oats, so when they're delivered to silos around the Riverina and Murray regions they're tested to ensure they are plump, golden and ready to create great porridge or rolled oats.
For storage, the oats are tipped into a pit and then elevated in the silos so that they’re aerated. This preserves the quality of stored oats by keeping an even and cool temperature within the silos. It’s vital for safeguarding their quality and protecting against infestation. Moisture levels need to be monitored to keep the optimal level we require for Uncle Tobys Oats.