New wheat, barley open up options for eastern growers

Grain Central, October 7, 2021

AGT wheat breeder Russell Eastwood and marketing manager for southern NSW James Whiteley in the new APH-quality wheat variety, Boree.

AUSTRALIAN Grain Technologies (AGT) has released a new wheat variety for southern New South Wales and a new barley for the northern cropping zone for sowing in 2022.

The new wheat, Boree, has the double benefit of APH-quality grain with yield potential equal to the leading AH-quality varieties.

AGT wheat breeder Russell Eastwood said Boree, which was developed at AGT’s Wagga Wagga plant breeding facility, offered growers a lucrative new option, with its unique combination of elite yields and highest grain quality.

“Traditionally, main season APH varieties in this region have come with a yield penalty compared to AH or APW varieties,” he said.

“Boree breaks this mould by achieving yields that equal or better the leading main season AH varieties, but with an APH quality classification.”

Boree has already out-performed current market leaders Beckom and Scepter under both eastern and western growing conditions of southern NSW in National Variety Trials conducted between 2016 and 2020.

In AGT’s own head-to-head yield trials against established AH-quality varieties Scepter and Beckom, as well as leading APH-quality varieties including Sunmaster, Mustang, Hellfire and Vixen, Boree gave a yield advantage of at least 2 per cent above the mean yield of 5.4 tonnes per hectare.

Boree has a medium plant height with good lodging resistance. Wide adaptation means it is suitable for all soil conditions across southern NSW and a mid-season maturity makes it an ideal choice for main season planting.

It can also be planted in wheat-on-wheat rotations, with good resistance to yellow leaf spot, stem rust and stripe rust plus useful crown rot resistance.

AGT marketing manager for southern NSW James Whiteley said the combination of disease resistance, elite yield and high grain quality set a new standard for wheat in the region.

“Boree should be regarded as the go-to main season wheat option for growers looking to increase the profitability of their wheat rotations,” he said.

Barley high performer

The new barley, Yeti, performed particularly well in the north during its trial seasons, out-yielding RGT Planet by almost 5pc, Compass by 8pc and Spartacus CL by more than 13pc.

“The performance of Yeti over all other barley varieties in the northern region is impossible to ignore,” AGT barley breeder Stewart Coventry said.

The variety was selected from advanced germplasm sourced by AGT from the University of Adelaide and is closely related to Compass.

“Yeti shares the same grain characteristics as Compass, with high test weights and excellent grain size,” Mr Coventry said.

“However, it has a shorter plant height for improved standability – which is essential for growers to be able to make the most of the variety.

“Ultimately, that greater yield and reliability will translate into higher profits for growers.”

AGT barley breeder Stewart Coventry is expecting big things from the new variety Yeti.

The new variety was assessed over four years of AGT yield evaluations and two years of National Variety Trials testing (as AGTB0043).

While it performed well in all major cropping regions, Yeti’s performance and yield stability was most impressive across the northern region.

Mr Coventry said the grain characteristics were excellent, with test weights just below Spartacus CL and significantly above those for RGT Planet. Yeti also delivered very low screenings losses and high retentions.

The variety has a useful disease resistance profile, including good resistance to spot form net blotch.

“Our barley breeding program is maturing and we are very excited to be releasing our new varieties – especially a variety with Yeti’s potential to help growers substantially increase their harvests,” he said.

AGT marketing manager for northern NSW/Queensland Douglas Lush said Yeti was an unrivalled choice for farmers in the north.

“For a variety to deliver high yields and good grain size in favourable years and then maintain that advantage through tough seasons is an outstanding feature,” he said.

“The fact that Yeti can do it with at least a 5 per cent yield advantage over other currently grown varieties is exceptional.

“Having a high yielding crop that stands well, improves harvest efficiencies and reduces harvest losses will make a huge difference to growers’ productivity.”

Yeti has entered the Barley Australia malt accreditation program and is currently deliverable as feed.

Source: AGT





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