Pulse conference to seek industry cohesion

Photo of pulses with out-of-focus group standing in the background

Growers are being encouraged to join researchers,
agronomists and marketers in Adelaide in October to
discuss how to expand Australian pulse production
to more than 15 per cent of the total cropping area.

PHOTO: Paul Jones

Australia’s pulse industry is getting together for the first time, in October, to develop a coordinated strategy for lifting acreage and production for this increasingly important crop sector.

Registrations have opened for the inaugural Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) National Pulse Conference, to be held over three days from 20 to 23 October in South Australia (www.grdc.com.au/pba-conference). The event program includes a field day at Tarlee and two days of research presentations at the Sebel Playford Adelaide hotel.

Invitations are being extended to growers, agronomists and marketers to gather with pulse researchers to discuss how to expand Australian pulse production to more than 15 per cent of the total cropping area.

The conference aims to cover practical research across the supply chain, which includes farming systems, followed by a day of sessions devoted to technologies, genetics and traits under development to improve the delivery of pulse varieties.

The field day will allow growers to interact with agronomists, marketers, researchers and pulse breeders from across Australia in addition to international guests.

The keynote speakers will be Canadian pulse breeder Professor Bert Vandenberg and international pulse marketer and processor Hakan Bahceci.

Professor Vandenberg is from the University of Saskatchewan and has experience breeding for one of the world’s largest pulse exporting nations. Mr Bahceci is president of the International Pulse Trade and Industries Confederation and group chief executive officer of Hakan Agro DMCC, a multinational commodities company based in Dubai. It has processing facilities and offices in 26 countries.

New varieties
The following field pea and chickpea varieties will be launched at the conference.

Two new PBA field pea varieties:

  • PBA CoogeePBR logo – long-season, high-yielding dun-type pea; has resistance to
    powdery mildew and a higher tolerance to soil boron and salinity; and
  • PBA WhartonPBR logo – superior high-yielding ‘Kaspa-type’ pea; has resistance
    to pea seed-borne mosaic virus (PsbMV), bean leafroll virus (BLRV) and
    powdery mildew; and has a higher soil boron toxicity tolerance.
Two new PBA chickpea varieties:
  • PBA MaidenPBR logo – a large-seeded desi variety targeted at the premium
    desi chickpea market; adapted to southern Australia (including
    Western Australia); has moderate resistance to ascochyta blight; and
  • PBA CICA0857 – a medium-seeded, early-flowering, early-maturity
    kabuli variety adapted to the main kabuli growing areas (South
    Australia and Victoria).


Conference chair Dr Phil Davies, from the South Australian Research and Development Institute, says that including all components of the pulse value chain is essential to improvements in pulse breeding: “My well-informed and motivated organising committee is working hard to deliver an excellent conference and we welcome the support and participation of all the pulse industry to create a great event.”

The committee is working with chefs Simon Bryant, from ABC TV’s The Cook and the Chef, and Ragini Dey from Adelaide’s Spice Kitchen restaurant to develop a “passion for pulses” conference menu and dinner to showcase the end uses of pulses for conference delegates.

The conference will cover the PBA’s nationally coordinated breeding activities. Since 2006, these have covered chickpeas, field peas, faba beans and lentils. More recently, lupins were included in PBA’s breeding program. PBA aims to deliver world-class varieties through an R&D pipeline that improves disease and environmental stress resistance, but also achieves the higher yields and grain quality that enhance market competitiveness. 

PBA chair Dr Alison Bowman says the organisation wants pulse production to expand and underpin the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian grain farming systems.

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GRDC Project Code DAS00120

Region National, South, Overseas