TWO new lupin varieties developed in Western Australia are set to significantly increase productivity of the state’s most important grain legume.
Bred by leading field crop breeder Australian Grain Technologies, the varieties Gidgee and Rosemont are named after WA goldmines, a nod to the resemblance of lupin grain to profitable “golden nuggets”.
Released by AGT lupin breeder Matt Aubert at the Mingenew Irwin Group Spring Field Day on September 6, the varieties offer a leap forward for lupin growers, each one a package of exciting traits, but most importantly, significant yield and profitability increases.
“Gidgee is a really good all-rounder, but has particularly shone in the northern and central lupin-growing regions of WA, while Rosemont, with a slightly slower maturity, displays a significant advantage in southern growing areas or regions experiencing a kinder finish,” Dr Aubert said.
“Both varieties share some key traits, like metribuzin tolerance, resistance to seed splitting, cucumber mosaic virus and stem phomopsis”.
“But mostly, it’s the yield advantage that these varieties offer over currently grown varieties that has us excited, with both Gidgee and Rosemont having produced over 5 percent higher yields compared with Coyote, 6pc above PBA Jurien, and a huge 13pc over Mandelup in AGT trials.”
Plant breeding is a slow process, but AGT has now released four lupin varieties since 2016 when it acquired the lupin-breeding program from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
“These two new varieties have been developed using plant material from the department’s original breeding pipeline, before it was transferred to AGT,” DPIRD grains director Kerry Regan said.
“It’s exciting to see varieties being released with improved attributes that play a crucial role in boosting the yield and profitability of lupins in WA.”
AGT WA variety support manager Floyd Sullivan said there was already a ground-swell of excitement in grower-land for these improved lupin varieties.
“Even before the varieties were officially released, the main question we’ve been getting asked is: ‘When can I get my hands on seed?’
“We have been talking about Gidgee and Rosemont for a little while now, and I guess growers are seeing the potential that they offer to their systems.
“To get these varieties out to growers even quicker, we have fast-tracked the seed production, using summer multiplication in conjunction with winter, so that growers have the best lupin varieties in their paddocks as soon as possible”.
Limited seed of both Gidgee and Rosemont will be available through AGT affiliates and local retailers for the 2024 growing season.