NEW PATHWAYS: Tony Rathjen launched the new durum variety Yawa at a Mid North durum field day last month. It was bred under the University of Adelaide’s durum program.NEW durum wheat varieties capable of yielding equal to or higher than bread wheats are making them a more attractive option.
South Australia and New South Wales are major durum-producing states in the country – SA totalled an estimated 210,000 tonnes from about 70,000 hectares sown in 2011.
Production has markedly increased in the past couple of years, especially in the Mid North and Upper South East areas, but the industry hopes to increase volumes to meet strong demand from pasta makers.
One of these new high-yielding varieties is Yawa, from the University of Adelaide’s durum breeding program and bred by now retired Prof Tony Rathjen, Dr David Cooper and Dr Mike Sissons.
The durum breeding program at the university forms the southern node of the national Durum Breeding Australia, funded primarily through the GRDC with support from San Remo.
Yawa was officially released in September at the high-rainfall trial site near Riverton, with seed available from the SA Durum Growers Association.
The original cross was made in 2004 and it has been grown for a couple of years as WID 803 in the paddock.
Yawa was evaluated in 40 advanced yield trials between 2006 and 2010 and has shown to be well-adapted to a range of areas, depending on the season.
In the National Variety Trials since 2008, it has out-yielded all other varieties at six sites across South Australia, except Saintly at Turretfield.
Yawa out-yielded Hyperno by between 5.4 per cent and 13.3pc, and the recently released Tjilkuri by 6.25pc to 26.1pc depending on the region.
It has a low-sprouting damage score and, compared to Hyperno, produces a higher yellow pigmentation well-suited to semolina and pasta production.
*Full report in Stock Journal, October 18 issue, 2012.
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