New lentil paves way for higher yielding crops

Lentil growers will have a new variety option in 2021 with the commercial release of PBA Kelpie XT — Agriculture Victoria’s first large sized herbicide tolerant red lentil variety.

Agriculture Victoria Research Scientist Dr Arun Shunmugam said PBA Kelpie XT was the result of 12 years of research undertaken by Agriculture Victoria’s pulse breeding team at Grains Innovation Park, Horsham.

‘PBA Kelpie XT is a high yielding, large market class red lentil variety, boasting a six to 29 per cent long-term yield advantage over PBA Hurricane XT.’

‘It is an early to mid-flowering and maturity variety with provisional, disease ratings of moderately resistant/moderately susceptible to ascochyta and resistant/moderately resistant to BGM,’ he said.

Victoria’s lentil industry contributes $120 million to the Victorian economy each year, with 95 per cent of lentils grown in Victorian exported to countries all around the world, including Bangladesh and India.

PBA Kelpie XT will be marketed and managed by Seednet, who will produce the variety in commercial quantities for lentil growers. It is adapted to most lentil growing regions in Australia and its herbicide tolerance will help farmers manage weeds efficiently.

Developed by conventional plant breeding techniques, PBA Kelpie XT is the fifth herbicide tolerant lentil variety bred by Agriculture Victoria scientists. It was developed under the Pulse Breeding Australia (PBA) initiative and the suffix XT (for extra tough) denotes its tolerance to group B herbicides.

Dr Shunmugam said it was bred with selections developed from a cross between PBA Blitz and an experimental line and it features a large grey seed coat with red cotyledon. It will also be suitable for export and domestic markets.

Agriculture Victoria’s lentil breeding program and Southern Pulse Agronomy team are jointly supported by the Victorian Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

/Public Release. View in full here.