Cropping

DPI releases soybean resistant to leaf rust

Grain Central, February 24, 2022

NSW DPI research agronomist Natalie Moore. Photo: NSW DPI

SOYBEAN growers can now benefit from the first soybean variety bred for New South Wales with resistance to soybean leaf rust.

Soybean leaf rust, or Phakopsora pachyrhizi, is a major concern for growers as the disease can rapidly move up the canopy, destroying the leaf and preventing grain from filling, which results in a reduced yield, seed size and quality.

A 2019 analysis, based on an edible grain price of $700 per tonne and a severe rust event occurring once every four seasons, estimated that the income benefit for soybean growers in choosing a rust-resistant variety is worth around $2500 per hectare.

Breeding and evaluating varieties of soybean to suit the wide variety of climates and farming systems in Australia is the focus of the Australian National Soybean Breeding Program, a collaboration between NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), CSIRO and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

NSW DPI research agronomist Natalie Moore said the new variety, Gwydir, is high yielding, rust resistant, and has improved weathering tolerance, providing greater crop security.

Gwydir soybean variety

“Gwydir is an intermediate maturing soybean variety suited to the early sowing window of northern NSW production regions including the North Coast, Northern Tablelands, Northern Slopes and Liverpool Plains,” Dr Moore said.

“Soybean growers in Central Western NSW may also consider the benefits of Gwydir over the more favoured fast-maturing variety, Moonbi.

“Gwydir has a compact, branching plant type with narrow leaf shape, allowing aeration of the canopy and greater penetration of sunlight and sprays into the canopy.”

It is highly tolerant to pod shattering and lodging.

“Gwydir has greater weathering tolerance than early-sown soybean varieties such as Moonbi and Soya 791 and will assist growers to maintain edible market quality and price in environments that experience heavy rainfall at harvest time.”

Dr Moore said with the growing demand for plant-based food, Gwydir has a high protein content suitable for higher-value human-consumption markets, as well as animal feed and industrial uses.

“This new soybean variety has the same suitability as Soya 791 and Richmond varieties for soy milk, flour and other human consumption uses,” she said.

“Soybean crops are an integral part of many farming systems in northern NSW.

“They are high fixers of nitrogen and provide a profitable break crop for sugarcane growers as well as dryland winter cereal cropping and beef grazing enterprises.”

Source: NSW DPI

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