New varieties maintain pulse momentum
GroundCover™ Issue: 107 | Author: Alexandra Roginski
Pulse breeders continue to drive the Australian industry with seven advanced new varieties coming out of the national breeding program this spring
The first kabuli chickpea to be released by Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) is one of seven new pulse varieties launched this spring.
PBA also released a new desi chickpea, a new lupin, a new lentil and three field peas. All of these varieties, except for the lupin, were launched at a PBA field day in South Australia on 21 October. There will be no new faba bean releases this year.
PBA is a joint venture of the GRDC, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland (DAFFQ), the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the University of Adelaide, the University of Sydney and Pulse Australia.
The light, well-wrinkled coat of PBA Monarch (the new kabuli chickpea) has already met with favourable feedback in Middle Eastern markets. “It is earlier-flowering and maturing than previous medium-seeded kabuli varieties, which gives it better adaptation to the shorter, more favourable season environments such as SA, and the shorter-season environments of Victoria,” says Dr Kristy Hobson of the NSW DPI, who leads the chickpea breeding program.
PBA Monarch has a similar seed size to Almaz and it yields at least 10 per cent more than Almaz, Genesis™ 090 or Kalkee. But it is still moderately susceptible to ascochyta.
“It’s therefore an economic decision for growers. PBA Monarch yields more than, for example, Almaz, but then are you prepared to budget for the extra fungicides required for PBA Monarch compared with Genesis™ 090? Are you set up to get those on time to protect the yield?”
Dr Hobson says PBA Monarch has already attracted significant interest, not only in traditional kabuli-growing areas, but also in the north because of improved adaptation due to earlier flowering and maturity.
“It does fit the northern environment better than previous kabuli varieties, but it is still susceptible to Phytophthora root rot. And there have been some bad experiences with weathering in the north. We are encouraging growers to consider the risks.”
Meanwhile, the new desi variety PBA Maiden has a larger seed size and a lighter yellow-golden colour – desirable attributes on the Indian subcontinent. It is intended to complement existing varieties PBA Striker and PBA Slasher.
“The target market for PBA Maiden is anywhere that the chickpea is consumed whole, for example Bangladesh and India. Varieties such as PBA Slasher are smaller-seeded but have a higher milling yield, so are better suited to the split markets,” Dr Hobson says.
PBA Maiden and PBA Monarch will be available through Seednet.
Lupin boon for WA
The new lupin variety PBA Barlock (also available through Seednet) takes its name from one of several Aboriginal words for a grass tree common to the coastal sandplain where it is particularly adapted. It has high levels of anthracnose resistance, equal to that of Tanjil and Wonga, and metribuzin tolerance that is greater than Tanjil and equal to PBA Mandelup.
Dr Bevan Buirchell, senior plant breeder (lupins) with DAFWA, says the variety will be well suited to the high and medium-rainfall northern zones of the WA lupin growing area. PBA Barlock yields two to three per cent more than the most popular variety, PBA Mandelup, but has smaller seed.
“It’s a nice robust variety, looks a lot like Tanjil, has small seed like Tanjil, but yields 12 per cent more. It also has good phomopsis resistance and is early flowering and early maturing,” Dr Buirchell says.
Dr Buirchell says PBA Barlock has also performed well in NSW and some areas of SA.
PBA Hurricane XT is a new small red lentil variety from the PBA program. Like the variety PBA Herald XT, released in 2011, the new variety is tolerant of Group B herbicides, including imazethapyr. It also has good resistance to ascochyta blight.
“PBA Hurricane XT incorporates the same herbicide tolerance as PBA Herald XT but in a higher-yielding, better agronomically adapted variety,” says the Victorian DEPI’s Dr Matthew Rodda, head of the PBA lentil program.
He says it also yields between five and 12 per cent more than PBA Herald XT and Nipper (another small red lentil variety), has taller plants, and flowers and matures earlier.
PBA Hurricane XT will be available through commercial partner PB Seeds.
Of the three new field peas to be released this spring, PBA Wharton should appeal to growers in northern NSW, with its resistance to pea seed-borne mosaic and bean leaf roll viruses.
“This is the first Kaspa type variety released by PBA that would be suitable to that kind of region,” says the Victorian DEPI’s Peter Kennedy, who leads the field pea program. “It’s also early flowering and high-yielding, giving it better yield stability than Kaspa in some of the shorter and mid-season climates.”
The vigorous PBA Hayman is being marketed as a fodder variety with the potential to replace vetch in areas where vetch has been more difficult to grow, such as the Mallee. “PBA Hayman produces quite large amounts of biomass mid-to-late season. It’s also soft-seeded, so it doesn’t emerge into the following year’s crop,” Mr Kennedy says.
Meanwhile, PBA Coogee could be grown for seed or forage. “Its grain yield is quite good, while it also puts on a lot of biomass, so the aim with this particular variety is to allow a grower to choose during the season whether to grow it for grain or cut it for hay.”
Mr Kennedy says that both PBA Coogee and PBA Hayman will be applicable to the usual field pea regions, although PBA Hayman might be riskier in the drier regions because it is later flowering. All three varieties will be available through Seednet.
More information:Dr Kristy Hobson,
02 6763 1174,
Dr Matthew Rodda,
0427 815 659,
0408 560 312,
GRDC Project Code DAV00118, DAV00119, DAN00151, DAW00181
Region South, North