New field peas offer growers bacterial blight defence

Author: | Date: 29 Sep 2011

Dun field pea breeding program

New field peas offer growers bacterial blight defence

Two new field peas being launched this spring will provide growers with superior variety options in bacterial blight-prone regions of Victoria, South Australia and southern New South Wales.

The new Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) varieties, PBA Percy and PBA Oura , offer good levels of resistance to bacterial blight, having shown minimal yield loss in trials subjected to high levels of bacterial blight pressure.

They also have high yield potential, are broadly adapted and perform relatively well in short growing seasons and low rainfall climates that are not prone to bacterial blight.

Development of the varieties – which will be available through PBA’s field pea commercial partner Seednet for the 2012 growing season – is supported by growers and the Australian Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and PBA partner agencies.

GRDC manager pulse/oilseed breeding Brondwen MacLean said the release of these two new varieties would be well received by growers in those regions where bacterial blight had hampered field pea production.

“Bacterial blight has been the Achilles heel of the field pea industry in the southern cropping region,” Ms MacLean said.

“Development of these new varieties, through a collaborative breeding program, is expected to give farmers the impetus and confidence to grow more field peas within their farming systems.”

The two new varieties provide growers with the option of growing either a conventional type (PBA Percy ) or an erect semi-dwarf type (PBA Oura ) to suit on-farm practices.

Both varieties are early flowering and maturing and better suited for crop topping than Kaspa . Both produce Australian dun type grain suitable for human consumption export or stockfeed markets.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel acting chair, Peter Schwarz, says the new PBA varieties will ensure pulses continue to enhance the viability of farming systems throughout the southern cropping zone, and their release is another demonstration of growers’ levies working to deliver positive industry outcomes.

“Pulse Breeding Australia is a world-class Australian breeding program for chickpeas, field peas, faba beans, lentils and lupins, providing growers with varieties that achieve higher yields, have resistance to major diseases and stresses, and have grain qualities that enhance market competitiveness,” Mr Schwarz said.

“PBA’s vision is to see pulses expand to 15-20% of the cropping area so as to underpin the productivity, profitability and sustainability of our grain farming systems.”

The two new field pea varieties are being launched at specific pulse field days this spring, giving growers and advisers the opportunity to view and assess the varieties in their local districts prior to their availability next season.

The main launch will be at Hart Bros Seeds’ annual field day near Junee in southern NSW on October 12. The new varieties will also be featured at the High Rainfall Zone field day near Riverton in SA on October 11 and in Victoria at the Wimmera pulse field day near Rupanyup on October 25.

Variety brochures will be available for each new variety. These packages are a compilation of extensive agronomic and disease management projects undertaken by pulse agronomy and pathology research projects which are funded by GRDC in conjunction with the PBA partner agencies, combined with yield data from variety trials conducted by both PBA and National Variety Trials (NVT). Pulse Australia has been integral in compiling and producing these documents which are available on the PBA website,

PBA is an unincorporated joint venture between GRDC; Department of Primary Industries, Victoria (DPI Vic); South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI); Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) as part the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI); New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI); Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA); University of Adelaide; and Pulse Australia.


Caption: PBA field pea germplasm in production by Seednet.

• Media requiring further information about the new field peas can contact GRDC manager pulse/oilseed breeding Brondwen MacLean via (02) 6166 4500

• GRDC project code: DAV00072

• This media release and other media products are available via

GRDC Project Code DAV00072

Region North