WA gets new wheats

Agriculture WA wheat breeders Iain Barclay (left) and Robin Wilson display one of three new varieties bred to suit WA conditions.

The GRDC has helped fund development of three new wheat varieties which show major improvements in yield, quality and disease resistance.

The new wheat varieties bred by Agriculture Western Australia and known as 83Y:1308, 80Y:1325 and 85Z:1379 promise wider variety options for WA growers, according to Agriculture W A wheat breeder. Robin Wilson.

He said the varieties have been bred to withstand stem and leaf rust, septoria and yellow spot.

"The new variety 85Z:1379 shows potential for the Australian Premium White segregation and has superior resistance to major crop diseases, particularly in areas where Spear. Machete and Amery are deficient." Mr Wilson said.

"This high-quality variety will be easier to grow because it is more resistant than existing varieties to septoria. stem and leaf rust and yellow spot."

Trials show yield advantage

He said in 53 variety trials across the wheatbelt over the past three seasons. 85Z:1379 has outyielded Spear by 9-13 per cent in the high and medium rainfall zones.

"Growers from all graingrowing regions will be able to take advantage of 85Z:1379's superior disease resistance characteristics because it yields similarly to Amery in low rainfall areas and about the same as 80Y:1325 in the high rainfall areas," he said.

Agriculture WA's Iain Barclay was the principal breeder of the potential Australian Hard variety 83Y:1308. "Variety trials carried out in areas with less than 450 mm of rainfall have shown 83Y:1308 yields higher than current premium white or hard varieties and is similar in quality to Machete." Dr Barclay said.

"83Y:1308 has yielded 8 per cent higher than Spear in more than 30 trials in each of the medium and low rainfall areas. It also has a better grain size and test weight than Machete with some resistance to stem and stripe rust, yellow spot and leaf rust." he said.

The third of the varieties, 80Y:1325. will suit growers in the 450- and 750¬mm grain growing regions because it is high yielding and has some resistance to stem and leaf rusts, according to the breeders.

More than 13 trials carried out across high rainfall areas of the State have shown 80Y:1325 can yield 22 per cent higher than Spear.

It also claims quality characteristics which are superior to those of Spear, with good flour yield, colour and strength.