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New desi chickpea bound for growers in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland

September 1, 2011

After six years of rigorous field testing, two new chickpea varieties will be released this month (September), including yet-to-be named variety, CICA0511, suitable for northern NSW and southern Queensland.

Chickpea is a major rotation and income-producing crop for growers and has cemented its place in winter cropping programs.

The new variety is set to attract industry interest after last season’s high disease pressure saw many chickpea crops abandoned across the northern region.

It will be launched at Tulloona, north of Moree, NSW on 14 September and Warra, Queensland on 15 September.

James Clark, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) northern panel chair says CICA0511 combines higher grain yields with better resistance to Ascochyta blight than all other varieties, and will improve both the productivity and reliability of chickpea production in northern NSW and southern Queensland.

“This is growers’ money being invested by GRDC and its research partners to directly support the development of new chickpea varieties,” Mr Clark said.

“GRDC contributes to the development of new temperate pulse varieties through its investment in Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA), a joint venture established between state Departments of Agriculture, the University of Adelaide, Pulse Australia and GRDC”, Mr Clark said.

For six years CICA0511 has been rigorously field-tested by Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) staff in the key Queensland chickpea producing areas of the Darling Downs and Western Downs.

Brondwen MacLean, GRDC manager pulse/oilseed breeding says CICA0511 has consistently out-yielded current commercial varieties by two to nine per cent in PBA and National Variety Trials (NVT) since 2006.

It will be marketed in Australia by Seednet (previously known as AWB Seeds) and is ideally suited to deep-sowing in zero-till farming systems allowing farmers to optimise their use of soil moisture, Ms MacLean said.

NSWDPI leads the PBA chickpea breeding program which has recently received GRDC funding for a further five years to 2016. DEEDI plays a significant part in development and evaluation of new varieties and its role is strongly aligned to the Grains Industry National Research, Development and Extension Strategy.

The other new release, desi chickpea PBA Pistol , has been bred specifically for central Queensland growing conditions.

PBA Pistol is ideally suited to the Central Highlands and Callide-Dawson grain-growing districts of central Queensland where the risk of the foliar disease Ascochyta blight remains low.

PBA and Seednet will launch PBA Pistol at three NVT sites across central Queensland including “Elcostalot”, Biloela on 5 September, “Springton”, Springsure on 6 September and “Canns Corner”, Capella on 7 September.

The GRDC managing director John Harvey and northern panel will be in the region for the launch.

Developed for hot, dry CQ winters PBA Pistol is the second variety released specifically for CQ and is considered a significant step forward from its predecessor Moti.

Ms MacLean warns the variety is very susceptible to Ascochyta blight and is not suitable for production outside of CQ.

“Strict adherence to current industry guidelines for use of clean, CQ-origin planting seed and management of Ascochyta blight remains critical,” she said.

Ms MacLean says six years of field testing in the Callide-Dawson and Central Highlands PBA has proven PBA Pistol as a package of high yield, agronomy and grain quality.

“PBA Pistol has very high yield potential in favourable years, and superior yield under water limiting conditions,” she said.

“It has out-yielded current commercial varieties in PBA and NVT trials since 2005, while under drought conditions in 2009, PBA Pistol out-yielded the nearest commercial variety by 19 per cent.”

Other traits include:

  • Early flowering to ensure a longer grain fill period and improve reliability in dry years and later planting scenarios.
  • Excellent early vigour and suitability to deep-sowing in zero-till farming systems.
  • Superior standability and lower risk of lodging, even in high yield situations with a heavily laden canopy.

 For more information, visit www.grdc.com.au/pba or www.pulseaus.com.au.

More news from:
    . Pulse Australia
    . GRDC (Grains Research & Development Corporation)
    . Seednet

Website: http://www.pulseaus.com.au

Published: September 1, 2011

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