PCA can supply peanut seed varieties to Australian commercial peanut producers.  However growers should contact PCA for advice regarding which varieties may best suit their farming systems

Variety Improvement Program

PCA is the lead agency for the Australian Peanut Breeding Program.

This project is based in Kingaroy and is jointly funded by PCA, DAFF Queensland (formerly Queensland DPI&F) and the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC). It aims to breed and introduce new peanut varieties suitable for production systems throughout Queensland and Northern NSW.

In July 2007, PCA took over the leadership of the peanut breeding program from DAFFQ which had operated the program from about 1977. The new joint project allows the breeding and evaluation of new lines developed from crosses from the DAFFQ/GRDC program, as well as from the range of US varieties which PCA have introduced into Australia over the past 20 years.

Once enough seed has been bulked up from the early generation trials, elite breeding lines are tested in trials at multiple locations in both Southern and Northern Queensland.

In each multi-location evaluation trial, PCA continually makes observations about how each line is growing and developing, as well as noting any differences in disease tolerance present among the different lines. We then harvest and grade each line to identify its potential as a new variety.

The breeding program is concentrating on two maturity groups: full season types of around 140-150 days maturity and ultra-early types of around 110 -120 days maturity.

The main breeding objectives include:

  • High Oleic oil composition
  • High yield (exceed current check varieties in each region/production environment)
  • Acceptable flavour
  • Runner and Virginia type kernels
  • Foliar disease resistance (leaf spot, leaf rust, net blotch)
  • Soil-borne disease resistance (CBR, White Mould, Neocosmospora), and

Pure Seed Program

Those varieties which successfully prove themselves during the variety trials are released for commercial production by PCA so that they can be made available to growers in the future.

PCA has a separate pure seed plant where pure seed of all current and new varieties is produced. To ensure maximum germination and purity of seed, a dedicated seed agronomist ensures seed crops of each variety are grown on well rotated, well fertilised ground. PCA contracts some of the best peanut farmers to grow these seed crops to ensure maximum purity and seed quality are achieved.

PCA also recognises the importance of maintaining a diverse peanut gene pool as a risk management strategy in case of exotic disease outbreaks, where genetic resistance will be a key factor in ensuring new disease tolerant varieties can be developed. Close collaboration with our international breeding partners ensures the Australian peanut industry has access to a wide range of germplasm with multiple disease resistances.

Current Commercial Seed Varieties

PCA can supply the following seed varieties to commercial peanut growers:

  • Alloway – a Hi Oleic Runner-type
  • Fisher– a Hi Oleic Virginia-type
  • Holt – a Hi Oleic Runner-type
  • Kairi – a Hi Oleic type
  • Menzies  – a Hi Oleic Runner-type
  • Page – a Hi Oleic Runner-type
  • Taabinga – an early maturity, Hi Oleic Runner-type
  • Wheeler – a Hi Oleic Virginia-type

Irrigation Management – Yield Prophet

To assist peanut growers with crop management decisions, PCA is currently using Yield Prophet to assist with irrigation management.  Yield Prophet uses the world-class APSIM model, developed and maintained by the CSIRO and the APSIM Initiative, to simulate the effects of environmental variables and management decisions on crop yields.

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