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Super Pea in the Making

by 5m Editor
1 November 2010, at 12:02am

AUSTRALIA - A new high yielding, disease resistant field pea released by Australia's Pork Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for commercial sowing next year offers pork producers a reliable protein source.

Previously designated PRL131, the new variety, CRC Walana, is named after an aboriginal weapon, continuing the naming tradition of Yarrum and Maki, field pea varieties already released for Australia's northern region.


Steve Moore, University of Sydney, Bernard Hart, Waratah Seed Company grower member of Junee, NSW, Adrian Russell, Plant Research New Zealand and Dr Ray King, Pork CRC Program One Manager, at a trial site of the new field pea CRC Walana, formerly known as PRL131

The Pork CRC has applied for Plant Breeders Rights for CRC Walana in Australia and has licensed Waratah Seed Company Ltd to market the variety.

According to Pork CRC Program One Manager, Dr Ray King, CRC Walana is resistant to powdery mildew and pea seed borne mosaic virus, has useful tolerance to bean leaf roll virus and is specifically suited to short season planting in northern NSW and southern Queensland.

"CRC Walana not only satisfies pork producers, but its large, spherical, white seed can also be eligible for lucrative human consumption and splitting markets," Dr King said.

In extensive field trials in northern NSW and south east Queensland, CRC Walana outyielded Yarrum and Maki, varieties recently released by The University of Sydney field pea breeding program and Plant Research New Zealand Ltd (PRNZL).

The original cross was by Adrian Russell of PRNZL and then selected for release by Steve Moore, University of Sydney, with funding from the Pork CRC, which supports the New Zealand and Narrabri, NSW-based field pea programs as part of its innovative and successful feed grain breeding programme.

The Pork CRC programme successfully released Maki in 2009 and recently released the triticale, Berkshire and the barley, Shepherd, also for northern Australia.

Dr King said the programme enhanced the commercial production of cereals and pulses with high yield, cost-effective agronomy and acceptable nutritional attributes for pigs.

"The Pork CRC is committed to identifying high yielding field pea varieties for northern and southern regions and encourages farmers to grow them for the Australian pork industry in these regions," Dr King added.

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