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Breakthrough lentil variety to reduce herbicide risk in southern Australiaqrcode

Nov. 14, 2011

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Nov. 14, 2011

Lentil growers in southern Australia have welcomed the release of the first lentil variety featuring extra herbicide tolerance.

The new Pulse Breeding Australia variety, PBA Herald XT, offers improved tolerance to the herbicide flumetsulam, plus reduced sensitivity to some sulfonylurea and imidazolinone herbicide residues.

PBA Herald XT will be available through PB Seeds for the 2012 growing season and is supported by Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) and its partner agencies, Australian lentil growers and the Australian Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

The small red lentil was developed by Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd (AVS) through the work of Dr Michael Materne (Department of Primary Industries Victoria), Larn McMurray (South Australian Research and Development Institute) and the PBA team.

The new lentil has been recently launched at specific pulse field days, including those at Arthurton in SA and Rupanyup in Victoria, giving growers and advisers the opportunity to view and assess the variety in their local districts prior to its availability next season.

Lentil breeder Dr Michael Materne says having shown minimal crop damage and yield loss in trials subjected to herbicides or residues, PBA Herald XT will bolster growers’ efforts to manage in-crop weeds.

"This new variety will provide lentil growers with the confidence to spray for weeds during the growing season,” Dr Materne said.

"However, it is very important that growers must adhere to product label rates, plant-back periods and all label directions for use.”

Dr Materne said that in currently grown lentil varieties flumetsulam applied according to label directions may cause height reduction, crop discolouration, delayed flowering and yield loss.

"Post emergent application of flumetsulam at recommended rates has resulted in yield losses up to 20 per cent in all current lentil varieties on alkaline soils,” he said.

"Where flumetsulam is applied to PBA Herald XTA according to label directions the risk of crop damage and yield loss is minimised.”

In addition to its herbicide tolerance advantages, PBA Herald XT has a good combination of Ascochyta blight and Botrytis grey mould resistance and is a direct replacement for Nipper in medium to higher rainfall areas and early sowing situations where improved herbicide tolerance is beneficial.

PBA Herald XT is lower yielding than PBA Flash, PBA Blitz , PBA Jumbo , particularly in drier shorter season areas, but may be preferred where disease and weed control are major issues.

GRDC manager breeding programs, Brondwen MacLean, says the release of this new variety will be well received by growers in those regions where some particular weeds are a problem and herbicide damage from either applied flumetsulam or residual sulphonylurea and imidazolinone herbicides from the rotation can affect lentil performance.

"Yield loss and inconsistencies of crop damage with herbicide use has been a significant issue for the lentil industry in parts of the southern cropping region,” Ms MacLean said.

"Developed through a collaborative breeding program, this new variety represents a significant step forward for lentil growers and the broader industry.”

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