Talented new player for Eyre wheat team

Dr Tony Rathjen (right) and grower member of the GRDC southern regional panel, Neil Smith, of Maitland, in a crop of Worrakatta.

A newly released 'West Coast wheat' has out-yielded all other commercial varieties in Eyre Peninsula trials.

The new variety, named Worrakatta, was bred by Tony Rathjen at the University of Adelaide and is suited to yellow noodle production. It yields about 5 per cent more than last year's successful release, Krichauff.

"Worrakatta has performed particularly well on high boron, calcareous soils on Eyre Peninsula," Dr Rathjen said.

Dr Rathjen said the new wheat ranked as moderately resistant to moderately susceptible to the very damaging root lesion nematode Pratylenchus neglectus and was clearly able to withstand attack from this pest better than other varieties such as Halberd, Spear and Machete.

It was also moderately resistant to the other root lesion nematode Pratylenchus thornei.

Dr Rathjen said farmers with very high levels of root lesion nematode should still sow Excalibur, but with higher levels of nutrition and somewhat lower levels of nematodes they could sow Worrakatta or Krichauff.

The Australian Wheat Board's long-term plan is for Worrakatta and Krichauff to be binned together for the same South-East Asian markets.

Program 1.6.2

Contact: Dr Tony Rathjen 08 8303 7216