World Pulses Day: WA research to grow pulse potential

  • WA legume industry in spotlight on World Pulses Day
  • WA Government leading research and development to grow the State’s pulse potential

The McGowan Government is driving a range of innovation initiatives to grow the uptake of pulses, which have garnered global attention for their nutritional benefits.

World Pulses Day today (10 Feb) recognises the significance of pulses – also known as grain legumes – which include lupins, lentils, chickpeas, field peas and faba beans.

Research by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is backing the Western Australian industry, with work across crop genetics and agronomy through to supply chain support.

A key project, backed by the Australian Government’s Agricultural Innovation Hubs Program, has brought together WA-based lupin processing and food businesses with technical professionals to establish a new syndicate called Sweet Lupin Western Australia.

The group aims to advance the production and export of lupin food ingredients and finished food products from the State.

DPIRD is also leading WA trials for a new national pulse physiology project to help match chickpea varieties and agronomy with soil and climate to help growers maximise yield and profit.

On the lentil front, WA researchers are looking at whether lentil tolerance to soil acidity can be improved, with about 300 lines planted at Merredin last season to look at performance in soils with varying potential of hydrogen (pH) levels.

Long-standing agronomic work conducted by DPIRD scientists involving faba beans and chickpeas continues.

WA’s lupins production for the 2022 season is estimated at 830,000 tonnes with remaining pulses production at 72,000 tonnes.

As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis:

“Legumes make up a small proportion of Western Australia’s $7.5 billion grains industry, but growing global interest from consumers and their importance in our farming system present great opportunity for our farmers.

“World Pulses Day is a chance to recognise the benefits of these crops as a nutritional food source and to highlight the breadth of work our local researchers are doing in this space.

“DPIRD research and development across a range of pulse crops is often delivered in conjunction with national research bodies or local grower groups.

“I am particularly excited to see the formation of a consortium of WA-based lupin processing and food businesses to advance the potential for lupins in the food industry, with this work being driven by DPIRD in a nationally funded project.”

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