WA calling Wonga

Wonga lupins are capturing interest on both sides of the continent.

NSW seed growers are expecting a high demand from Western Australia for a new high-yielding lupin variety called Wonga. The variety was originally bred in WA but selected for use in New South Wales.

Wonga is an early-flowering, narrow-leafed lupin. Its newfound popularity in the west is due to its moderate resistance to anthracnose, which is currently devastating crops in WA.

Wonga is well adapted to NSW growing areas, where it has shown a 10 per cent yield advantage over Gungurru and Merritt. It is likely to replace these varieties, especially in the higher-rainfall, lupin-growing areas of NSW. It is moderately resistant to phomopsis and more tolerant of brown spot than Merritt and Gungurru.

Growers enthusiastic

A party of agronomists recently inspected a growing crop of Wonga grown for seed by Andrew Roberts of 'Hillside', Cootamundra, and described it as probably the best crop of lupin they had seen.

"We are pretty impressed with Wonga as a variety," Mr Roberts said. "There is no doubt in my mind that it will replace Merritt and Gungurru."

Further south at Gerogery near Albury, Evan Moll was also looking forward to good results from his seed crop of Wonga. "It looks like the best variety we have had for quite a while," Mr Moll said. "It's a little bit taller, easier to harvest, but best of all, it is resistant to anthracnose.

"I would say within the next year or two most of the lupin production will be Wonga," Mr Moll said. "It is probably the next generation of lupins."

Wonga seed is grown for Lachlan Valley Seeds, which owns the Plant Variety Rights, and is available from Auswest Seeds retailers throughout Australia.

Program 2.4.3 Contact: Dr Wallace Cowling 08 9368 3528