Sundancer, Leverage wheat varieties unveiled

Grain Central, October 6, 2023

AGT’s Narrabri team including Meiqin Lu (third from left) and Douglas Lush (centre). Photo: AGT

TWO new wheat varieties, Sundancer and Leverage, were unveiled by AGT at the annual Narrabri Field Day held at the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute on September 19.

Both are mid-to-late maturing, and suited to late April-early May planting, with Sundancer viewed as a
direct LRPB Lancer replacement, while Leverage is a successor to all EGA Gregory-type varieties.

AGT wheat breeder Meiqin Lu regards the launch of Sundancer as a huge breeding success, with the
variety standing out from the pack very early in her breeding program.

“We identified Sundancer’s potential very quickly; yield potential stood out from the beginning,” Ms Lu

“Maintaining a high level of stripe rust resistance was very important when developing a LRPB Lancer replacement, whilst increasing straw strength and yield.

“We have achieved this with Sundancer, along with an APH quality classification”.

“With a summer seed increase, we were able to bring it to release only eight years after the cross was made.

“Being able to shorten the breeding cycle means that we can better address current disease pathotypes and better meet the needs of growers in our region.”

AGT northern New South Wales and Queensland variety support manager Douglas Lush sees  Sundancer as a variety perfectly suited to NSW and Queensland.

“Sundancer is set to challenge the dominance of LRPB Lancer, which has been a reliable variety for some time now.

“However, LRPB Lancer is now outclassed for grain yield”.

Mr Lush said the yield jump Sundancer offered was significant.

In the early season 2022 NVT results, with a trial average yield of 5.4 tonnes per hectare, Sundancer delivered over 15 percent more grain yield than LRPB Lancer across NSW and Queensland.

“We’ve observed this yield advantage over the longer term too.

“In five years of AGT yield trials across a range of locations in NSW and Queensland, Sundancer beat LRPB Lancer in 36 out of the 39 trials analysed, with an average of 13pc yield improvement.”

Ms Lu also sees an important place on farm for Leverage, released to offer a significant improvement in yield over EGA Gregory, LRPB Flanker and Coolah.

“Aiming to develop an improved Gregory type, we carried out hard selection on our germplasm to reduce plant height, increase lodging resistance, and improve yields, whilst maintaining sound physical grain quality characteristics with an APH classification.

“We believe we achieved our goal with Leverage.”

Mr Lush said Leverage has been dominant in its yield performance, beating Gregory-type varieties in the early planting window by more than 10pc across AGT long-term breeding trials and the 2022 NVT trials.

“Leverage also holds good resistance to yellow leaf spot, which is an uncommon rating for varieties that are well adapted to NSW and Queensland.”

Sundancer and Leverage seed is available for the 2024 season through AGT Affiliates or local

Source: AGT


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