MADE TO FIT OUR AREA

A new chick­pea va­ri­ety has been de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for CQ grow­ers

Central Queensland News - - FRONT PAGE - Kris­ten Booth Kris­ten.Booth@cqnews.com.au

CEN­TRAL High­lands chick­pea grow­ers will soon have ac­cess to a new high-yield­ing va­ri­ety with im­proved dis­ease re­sis­tance, made specif­i­cally for Cen­tral Queensland.

Of­fi­cially re­leased this week, PBA Drum­mond is an im­proved desi chick­pea de­vel­oped from a cross be­tween PBA Pis­tol and PBA Hat­Trick.

Named af­ter a lo­cal moun­tain range, DAF se­nior plant breeder Dr Mer­rill Ryan said the new va­ri­ety de­liv­ered higher yield sta­bil­ity.

“It’s high yield­ing, it’s got as­cochyta re­sis­tance, it’s tall and erect and doesn’t lodge, and it’s suited to the ex­port mar­ket,” she said.

“Ninety per cent of the crop up here is sown to PBA Pis­tol and Kyabra, two proven high-yield­ing lines, but they are both very sus­cep­ti­ble, they have no re­sis­tance to as­cochyta blight, a fun­gal pathogen dis­ease that hits in wet years.

“It’s the first time a spe­cific CQ-bred va­ri­ety has had any level of as­cochyta re­sis­tance. It’s like an in­sur­ance pol­icy – no mat­ter whether you have a wet year or a dry year, you will have some level of cov­er­age.”

This is the first time since 2011 a CQ-spe­cific chick­pea va­ri­ety has been re­leased and the crop has been tested across five sea­sons at 17 CQ sites.

Dr Ryan said they were con­fi­dent with the re­sults and that the va­ri­ety would de­liver to the ex­port mar­ket.

“There’s 200,000ha ap­prox­i­mately grown in CQ (worth $240 mil­lion), which is 40 per cent of the state’s crop,” she said.

“It has been ex­ten­sively tested. We’ve had in-crop rain­fall at those sites from 20mm right through to 400mm, dif­fer­ent sow­ing depths, dif­fer­ent times of sow­ing, so we feel in the 17 trial sites we’ve thrown every­thing at it and we’re as con­fi­dent as we can be that it will de­liver.”

Seed will be avail­able to pur­chase in 2019 through Seednet.

For more in­for­ma­tion and to view the in­di­vid­ual site data from the tri­als, see the VMP brochure at grdc.com.au.

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