A new Agriculture Victoria-bred lentil variety is set to provide another option for growers looking to manage weeds while maintaining the productivity and sustainability of their cropping systems.
Showcased at the Southern Pulse Agronomy Field Day at Horsham last month, PBA HighlandXT created interest among the 250 growers, agronomists and industry representatives in attendance.
Marketed by PBSeeds, PBA HighlandXT is an early maturing red lentil variety which has tolerance to Group B herbicides.
Its attributes, which include high early vigour and a long-term yield advantage over PBA Hurricane XT, make it a suitable option for growers in the Victorian Mallee and most of South Australia.
Speaking about the new variety at the field day, Agriculture Victoria Pulse Breeder, Dr Arun Shunmugam, said PBA HighlandXT was the result of 12 years research undertaken by Agriculture Victoria’s lentil breeding program, with support from the Southern Pulse Agronomy team.
“PBA Highland XT was developed by conventional plant breeding techniques, with selections developed from a cross with PBA Bolt and an experimental line,” he said.
“This high yielding herbicide tolerant lentil also has good disease resistance, with a provisional rating of moderately resistant (MR) to both ascochyta blight and botrytis grey mould.”
Janine Sounness of PBSeeds said PBA Highland XT was an early flowering variety and, with early to mid-maturing characteristics.
“For growers preferring herbidice tolerant lentils, this variety is an improvement over PBA Hurricane XT and a good alternative to PBA Hallmark XT, particularly in drier and shorter seasons,” she said.
“PBA HighlandXT has exhibited a 10 per cent long-term yield advantage over PBA Hurricane XT in the Victorian Mallee and six to 17 per cent improved yield across most of South Australia.
“It also has good resistance to lodging.”
Ms Sounness said moderate seed quantities would be available from PBSeeds in 2020.
The lentil breeding program and Southern Pulse Agronomy are jointly supported by Agriculture Victoria and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.