November 2, 2012
The first broadly adapted white-seeded field pea variety released for Australia is set to offer growers superior grain yield potential.
Developed by the Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) field pea breeding program, PBA Pearl has been launched at a special pulse field day at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.
The grain is marketable as a white or yellow pea and can be exported to Asian countries for production of yellow split dhal, pulse flour, roasted snack food or for pea noodles. The grain is also suitable for stockfeed.
The line was bred from a complex crossing program completed in 2002 and pedigree-based selection conducted by the Department of Primary Industries Victoria. It was extensively evaluated across Australia by PBA and promoted for variety release on the basis of its superior yield potential and broad adaptation.
The variety’s development is supported by PBA and its partner agencies, Australian field pea growers and the Australian Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The new variety will be available through Seednet for the 2013 growing season. However, seed supplies will be limited in this first year of release while grain markets are developed.
PBA field pea breeding program leader, Tony Leonforte, of DPI Victoria at Horsham, says PBA Pearl produces medium to large spherical white pea seed suitable to market for human consumption or for stockfeed.
“Although initially recommended for regions where growers can deliver white pea seed for export or for domestic sale (specifically NSW’s south central region that includes Parkes, Forbes, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Narrandera and Deniliquin), PBA Pearl is broadly adapted across all the major field pea production regions in NSW, Victoria and SA,” Mr Leonforte said.
“PBA Pearl is a semi-leafless, semi-dwarf, erect growing variety. It has good early season plant vigour, flowers early to mid season and produces a high number of pods per plant,” Mr Leonforte said.
“Crop maturity is uniform, early and suitable for crop topping. At maturity, PBA Pearl has superior lodging resistance compared to other semi-dwarf varieties.”
Mr Leonforte said disease management was similar to other field pea varieties.
“Specifically, it is a low risk option for regions prone to bacterial blight compared to Kaspa , but is not as tolerant as PBA Percy . It also has good resistance to downy mildew and bean leaf roll virus.”
GRDC senior manager of breeding programs, Brondwen MacLean, says the release of PBA Pearl is an important development for the Australian pulse industry and its domestic and international markets.
“PBA Pearl is the result of a concerted, collaborative breeding program that is focused on providing Australian growers with superior new varieties.
“It is hoped these new varieties – offering higher yields, resistance to major diseases and stresses, and the seed qualities to enhance market competitiveness – will encourage growers, particularly in the targeted grain marketing regions, to incorporate more pulses into their farming systems.”
A variety brochure for PBA Pearl has been published to assist growers planning next year’s cropping programs. This agronomy and disease management information has been developed with the assistance of the ‘Southern Region Pulse Agronomy Project’ which is co-funded by GRDC, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), DPI Victoria and NSW-DPI. The variety brochure can be accessed via the PBA webpage www.grdc.com.au/pba.
PBA is an unincorporated joint venture between the GRDC, University of Adelaide, University of Sydney, SARDI, DPI Victoria, NSW-DPI, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia and Pulse Australia. More information is available via the PBA website, www.grdc.com.au/pba.