|Greenbio.checkbiotech.org, 20 Oct, 2009
Three new pulse varieties suited to the Victorian cropping zone
were launched today at Minyip, along with their variety management
and marketing packages.
The two lentils, PBA Flash and PBA Bounty, and the chickpea PBA
Slasher, will be commercially available for the 2010 winter cropping
The pulses were launched by Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) in association
with its lentil and chickpea commercial seed partners PB Seeds and
AWB Seeds respectively during a pulse field day at the Department
of Primary Industries (DPI) agronomy research site at Minyip.
Offering growers improved reliability, the new varieties
release is supported by growers and the Australian Government through
the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and PBA partner
According to Pulse Australias Wayne Hawthorne, as field day
co-convenor, the release of these varieties offers greater options
to growers to help stabilise and increase pulse production. The
varieties offer more yield, are better adapted to some areas, offer
improved quality and fit the modern farming systems for pulses.
Jason Brand, DPI Victoria Pulse Research Agronomist and also a
field day co-convenor, said that pulse crops occupied 173,000 hectares
of Victoria cropping land, with a likely farm gate value in excess
of $98 million a year. Lentils, in particular, are a valuable crop
for Victorian growers, fetching between $600-$800 per tonne, about
three times the value of wheat.
Pulses grown in Victoria and throughout Australia feed millions
of people worldwide, and the new varieties launched today at Minyip
are expected to be well received by international markets.
PBA Flash is suited to all lentil-growing areas, particularly shorter
season areas where its high yield and earlier maturity improves
reliability of yield. Its earlier maturity makes it the best variety
for timely crop topping to control weeds.
PBA Bounty is a high-yielding red lentil, broadly adapted and suited
to most lentil-growing environments. It is the highest-yielding,
small-seeded red lentil in Australia. Similar to PBA Flash, it is
moderately resistant to ascochyta blight and has improved tolerance
to salinity, compared to Nugget.
PBA Slasher is a new desi-type chickpea variety for southern Australia.
It is resistant to ascochyta blight and has produced excellent yields
across a range of environments. It will suit chickpea growers who
want an alternative to current desi and small kabuli types in southern
GRDC southern panel chair, David Shannon, says the new pulse varieties
are part of a pipeline of pulse varieties that will be released
by PBA over a five year period.
PBA provides a single world-class breeding and germplasm
enhancement program for chickpeas, field peas, faba beans, lentils
and lupins in Australia, Mr Shannon said. The GRDC,
along with the other PBA partners, is pleased to support PBA in
bringing growers varieties with improved yield, harvestability,
disease resistance, tolerance to abiotic stresses, quality and weed
Mr Shannon said pulses were an important part of crop rotations.
Pulses fix atmospheric nitrogen to reduce the fertiliser
requirement of following cereal crops, they help to reduce the incidence
of cereal diseases and provide opportunities to manage herbicide
resistance, all of which lead to better financial and environmental
outcomes for growers and the grains industry overall, Mr Shannon
In conjunction with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries,
the South Australian Research and Development Institute and NSW
I&I, GRDC also funds pulse agronomy and pathology research projects.
Source: GRDC (Grains Research & Development Corporation)