National breeding program puts SA on par


A new durum variety due for release this year will give South Australian growers durum yields similar to yields from their current bread wheats.

Until now, boron toxicity and zinc deficiency in SA soils have diminished yields.

The as-yet-unnamed variety will mark another success for the National Durum Wheat Improvement Program, which is supported by growers through the GRDC. The Program's previous successes include the varieties Wollaroi, Kamilaroi and Yallaroi, which together almost completely dominate the expanding Australian industry.

The new variety, bred by Ray Hare at Tamworth, has Yallaroi's resistance to cereal cyst nematode but yields about 10 per cent better, with similar grain and pasta quality.

Other cultivars in the pipeline are planned for release in eastern Australia. Dr Hare said a set of 10 advanced high quality lines are currently in regional trials across Australia. All had displayed pasta quality superior to that of Wollaroi.

Subprogram 1.6.1 Contact: Dr Ray Hare 067 631 232