Sun shines on new prime hard wheat variety

Neil Lyon, September 27, 2018

Northern NSW farmer, Alan Uebergang, Blue Nobby Station, North Star, and AGT northern marketing manager for seed products, Douglas Lush, with the new Sunprime wheat variety.

AUSTRALIAN Grain Technologies (AGT) has released a new, early maturing, APH wheat variety aimed at giving growers the opportunity to plant later in the main season sowing window.

Launched at the University of Sydney’s I.A. Watson Grains Research Centre at Narrabri in north west New South Wales yesterday, Sunprime has been developed as an alternative to the popular line, Spitfire.

AGT northern marketing manager for seed products, Douglas Lush, said the early maturity of Sunprime meant it was well suited to short season environments or where sowing was delayed.

It would also perform well where there was increased risk of heat stress and where below average spring rainfall might limit the yield potential of slower maturing varieties.

“In good conditions it will grow to a reasonable height. It is not a tall variety like Suntop or Gregory types can be, so it is quite manageable in the paddock in terms of stubble and stubble retention,” he said.

“Given a late May/early June planting, it will ideally fit in so growers can time the flowering process correctly. If we get the flowering right we don’t get a yield deficit due to heat stress at the end of the season. We are trying to maximise the yield by flowering at the right time.”

Mr Lush said Sunprime, which was bred by AGT wheat breeder Dr Meiqin Lu, had been shown to perform well in tough conditions.

“From all the AGT data we have collected it is gaining credibility as a tough environment yield performer,” he said.

“It performs across the whole range of environments. We have tested it in AGT trials through NSW and Queensland and into the other states.

“NVT (National Variety Trials) data is backing that up. We are getting good yield responses in the NVT. Unfortunately, this season data from NVT and any wheat breeding trials in the north will be very thin. It has been a tough year for everyone concerned.”

Mr Lush said the other advantage of the new variety was that it had a very good disease package.

It exhibits excellent tolerance of root lesion nematodes and has useful levels of resistance to crown rot.

Sunprime seed will be available in commercial quantities next year.


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