Ex­cit­ing new desi chick­pea

PBA Drum­mond’s look­ing good

Central and North Rural Weekly - - DROUGHT - PAUL MCIN­TOSH

THERE is an­other va­ri­ety of desi chick­pea to plant in the fu­ture and it has re­ally en­thused a num­ber of farm­ers across Cen­tral Queens­land for next sea­son’s plant­ing pro­gram.

It has been named PBA Drum­mond af­ter the Drum­mond range and this gives the va­ri­ety some iden­tity into the ex­pected main fu­ture grow­ing re­gion.

For the purists on the chick­pea nam­ing his­tory, there was also a first-class Aus­tralian crick­eter with the name Drum­mond.

So fi­nally we have a desi chick­pea va­ri­ety specif­i­cally bred for Cen­tral Queens­land, and this in­cludes the Cal­lide/Daw­son area.

So what are the main char­ac­ter­is­tics and what can you ex­pect?

With the many side-by-side tri­als through the years and a cou­ple of com­mer­cial seed blocks this year, it is yield­ing sig­nif­i­cantly more than cur­rent pop­u­lar CQ re­gional va­ri­eties.

Makes sense, as there’s no point re­leas­ing a va­ri­ety with­out pos­i­tives over cur­rent va­ri­eties.

Har­vesta­bil­ity is al­ways a talk­ing point, with wide header fronts and the many work-over banks in the farm­ing ar­eas, and so these erect­ness scores and height to low­est pods are important to farm­ers and header con­trac­tors, and so it is with the tall and erect plant like Drum­mond.

Hav­ing par­ents like PBA Pis­tol and PBA HatTrick can give some idea as to where this new va­ri­ety of PBA Drum­mond may fit into your fu­ture chick­pea pro­gram.

Ma­tu­rity is al­ways a tricky sub­ject and with our win­ters up and down in day de­grees ac­cu­mu­lated, farm­ers and agros can strug­gle with

ad­just­ing their time of sow­ing to dodge these damn late frost events oc­cur­ring in Au­gust or even Septem­ber.

Drum­mond has an early to mid-ma­tu­rity and I guess you could line it up with Kyabra, Seamer and also Moti as an added bonus.

Very eas­ily one of the most chal­leng­ing as­pects of grow­ing chick­peas any­where is your plant­ing date, so con­sider your more frost-prone pad­docks and to­pog­ra­phy as­pects for your plant­ing date.

It is no fun count­ing pods and seeds formed af­ter a frost event to de­ter­mine a grain yield and a plan as to whether you should mow the chick­pea crop for hay sales.

Not that Drum­mond is rated as the most frost-prone va­ri­ety we have, and in fact it does rate fairly well in the frost score com­pared to oth­ers.

Let me say again, chick­peas are still never go­ing to be im­per­vi­ous to frosts.

What about disease rat­ings? And the news is good here for those Kyabra and

Pis­tol en­thu­si­asts, as they can now have some as­cochyta-re­sis­tance lev­els in this new va­ri­ety Drum­mond.

It is go­ing to come out with a sus­cep­ti­ble rat­ing, how­ever that is much im­proved over the very sus­cep­ti­ble rat­ing of Pis­tol and Kyabra.

Vig­i­lance and fungi­cide pro­tec­tion sprays will still be needed in those wet­ter years like 2016 and this fungi­cide state­ment in­cludes the disease botry­tis grey mould.

As with any new va­ri­ety, it will take you a cou­ple of

dif­fer­ent sea­sons to get agro­nom­i­cally fa­mil­iar with this new va­ri­ety of Drum­mond in your area, as it has done with PBA Seamer in the past cou­ple of very tough years.

So a new va­ri­ety for CQ and Cal­lide Daw­son ar­eas specif­i­cally, and it will be in­ter­est­ing in fu­ture years to see it progress.

In the mean­time, the Pulse Breed­ing Aus­tralia team led by Kristy Hob­son and Mer­rill Ryan have other ex­cit­ing new va­ri­eties in the pipe­line for our north­ern Aus­tralia re­gion.


OUT AND ABOUT: Macca at the PBA Drum­mond of­fi­cial launch at Emer­ald last week.

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