New lupin variety sparks solid interest

21 Sep, 2015 01:00 AM
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The yield increase could make it worthwhile and it sounds like there's disease resistance we need

THE newly released PBA Jurien lupin interested Koorda growers Neil and Grant Henning at a national variety trial site near Cunderdin.

The father and son were among growers from across the State who saw the lupin trials as a part of the WA No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA) Spring Field Day.

Neil Henning said he was considering a return to growing lupins after about a 10-year break from the crop.

"We just weren't getting the returns from lupins in yield or price so we stopped planting them," he said.

"This new variety could change that and I think it's worth a try.

"The yield increase could make it worthwhile and it sounds like there's the disease resistance we needed (when we were planting 10 years ago)."

Department of Agriculture and Food senior plant breeder Jon Clements talked growers through the new variety last week, outlining an average 11 per cent yield increase across the State on the Mandelup variety and 5pc on Barlock.

"If you're not already into Barlock or if you've got an older variety and you're still onto Mandelup or Gunyidi, it would be worthwhile trying if you haven't replaced your lupin variety for a while," Dr Clements said.

"It's got all the key features you want in a lupin variety including anthracnose, phomopsis and grey spot resistance.

"This has also got the level of yellow mosaic virus resistance that Jenabillup does on the South Coast where you have a high pressure of the virus.

"It is 4-5 days earlier flowering than Barlock, so it might have an advantage, it has a biomass equivalent to Mandelup and its pod shattering is better than Mandelup."

Dr Clements said pod shattering was a breeding program focus as while lupins carried two genes that resist shattering, there were still affects evident in some cases and areas.

"In terms of the breeding program we are focusing on yield," he said.

"We've got lines in our system which have a higher protein than Coromup which can be attractive to some markets, but until we see market cues asking for this, our focus will remain on yield."

Dr Clements said these cues would also have to include price increases for growers.

"We would of course like to see higher prices, at the moment they're quite strong at about the $350 mark," he said.

"We think there's potential for lupins to receive a higher price but this depends on the soybean prices out of the United States market.

"It'll be a medium to longer term move.

"Lupins were approved into India last year and there's a hope that they might be approved into China, particularly pushing the idea that it could be a health food additive.

"Depending on how these situations go we could see a stronger price, but at this stage there's still a lot of work to be done."

Trial results from the Lupin National Variety Trial will be available online in early 2016.

PBA Jurien seed is available from Seednet for the 2016 season.

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