New varieties of several crops, including barley, lupins, field peas and canola, plus for the first time a comprehensive growing agronomy guide for lentils, are among highlights in the 2022 released NSW Department of Primary Industries publication "Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide".
While most crops will be sown by the time you read this article, the guide is an excellent opportunity to review all current varieties, as they will form the majority of next year's crop, despite more new releases likely. Plus it is an opportunity to check latest agronomy characteristics, such as a varieties updated disease resistance status.
Authors are well known NSW DPI agronomists, Peter Matthews technical specialist grain services, Don McCaffery technical specialist oilseeds and pulses, and Leigh Jenkins research and development agronomist. Various other specialists such as plant pathologists are acknowledged as contributing to the publication.
Lentils now represents a crop of 10,000 to 20,000 hectares in NSW, a considerable expansion in recent years and with further expansion likely. In many respects it is a high value chickpea-type crop, although short in stature. Hence the need for level seed beds. Soil type is an important consideration with pH (calcium chloride method) of 6 to 8, including no acidic soil layers. Good drainage is also critical as is even soil type for uniformity of maturity.
Lentil agronomy aspects highlighted by the authors include sowing directly into previous cereal stubble. Benefits of retained upright stubble include more timely sowing in the early part of the window and with standing stubble providing canopy support to enhance harvest efficiency.
Marketing is a key aspect. The bulk of the Australian lentil crop is exported with most going to countries like India, Bangladesh Sri Lanka, and the Middle East for human consumption as whole seed or splits. The authors note that while demand is strong for 2022 (India has recently removed tariffs) trade conditions will remain challenging for the foreseeable future, meaning potential price volatility and higher risk for traders.
While lentil variety performance data for NSW is limited, big gains in yield and agronomic performance have occurred in recent releases. An important variety is likely to be PBA Jumbo2, highest yielding large-seeded red lentil, yielding around 9 to13 per cent higher than Jumbo. Kelpie XT is also likely to be important and is a large-seeded herbicide-tolerant variety.
Two new field pea varieties released by Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) are likely to prove valuable upgrades. PBA Taylor is a consistently high yielding Kaspa-type resistant to two virus diseases, Pea seed-borne mosaic virus (PSbMV) and Bean leaf roll virus (BLRV). It is mid flowering with early to mid-maturity. Grain is marketable as a Kaspa-type for human consumption.
PBA Noosa is the first blue pea with high grain yield, shatter resistant pods and improved resistance to bleaching. It will replace older blue pea varieties such as Excell to suit niche marketing opportunities. Grain yield according to independent national variety trials data is 20pc to 30pc higher than Excell and similar to Kaspa-type varieties such as PBA Wharton.
Three new barley varieties are AGT releases Cyclops, Minotaur, and Yeti. All three have yielded well in NVT trials. While rated feed quality, as most new varieties initially are, they are undergoing testing for possible malt classification. Cyclops is quick-mid maturing, high and stable yield potential with a short plant type. Minotaur is a mid-slow maturing high yielding variety more suited to medium-high rainfall environments. Yeti is a high yielding variety released for northern NSW. Bottler, a current variety, was upgraded to malt classification by Barley Australia.
New to NSW is lupin variety, Coyote. It has yielded well in limited NVT trials and has performed well across a very broad range of soil types, rainfall zones and high and low yielding situations. It is an early maturing narrow leaf lupin type.
The 2022 Winter Crop Variety Sowing Guide can be obtained from most agribusiness or Local Land Services offices.
Next week: Serradella; king legume of light acid soils.
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