Lentil Growers Get Excited! There are 4 New Imi-Lentil Varieties on the horizon. Here’s a summary below:
GIA Thunder (GIA2002L) IMI Lentil
GIA Thunder lentils are an imi-tolerant, high-yielding, and broadly adapted premium small round red lentils planned for commercial release later this year.
Why are we excited? Because Thunder lentils are derived from a cross between the popular varieties PBA Bolt and Hurricane XT. And the results are fabulous. GIA Thunder was the highest yielding IMI lentil across NVT and GIA trials in Australia in 2020 and 2021. They averaged approximately 10% above all other varieties, apart from GIA Lightning, where they were around 3% higher.
Package wise, GIA Thunder disease resistance and plant maturity are similar to PBA Hurricane XT. Still, they showed significantly improved levels of vegetative frost tolerance over PBA Highland XT, Hallmark XT and Hurricane XT’s in 2021 trials.
The great news is a large-scale seed release of GIA Thunder is expected for 2023. We’ll keep you posted as we know more.
GIA Lightning (GIA2003L) IMI Lentil
Another one we’ve got our eyes on is GIA Lightning. GIA Lightning’s are another Imi tolerant high yielding, broadly adapted premium small round red lentil. They had some limited seed released for 2022 sowings, and we’re interested to see how they go.
In GRDC NVT trials (2020-21), GIA Lightning averaged 9 – 13% higher yielding than all current IMI tolerant varieties (excluding GIA Thunder) in South Australia.
GIA Lightnings come from a PBA Ace and Hurricane XT background, and the plants have an upright bush type structure which will aid harvestability.
Another reason we’re keen to grow GIA Lightning’s is because their combination of yield stability, growth pattern, and plant type makes them a reliable choice on lighter sandy textured soils. (In these situations, they have even produced higher yields than GIA Thunders).
GIA Lightning has disease resistance similar to PBA Hurricane XT, and its plant maturity timing is slightly later than GIA Thunder but earlier than GIA Leader. All things going well, GIA Lightning is expected to have more significant seed availability for 2023.
GIA Sire (GIA1703L) IMI Lentil
GIA Sire is also a unique one – they’ll be the first lentil with improved tolerance to clopyralid soil residues from a prior crop! (Of course, that’s if clopyralid was applied according to product label directions). GIA Sire’s are in the pipeline as an IMI tolerant, premium small round red lentil with a grey seed coat. They’re tolerant to Imi and SU soil residues – equivalent to existing XT varieties – however, they have improved clopyralid soil residue tolerance over all other lentil varieties.
GIA Sire’s are slower growing with smaller plant parts. And have increased basal branching and shorter plant heights compared to other lentil varieties. They’ll be best suited to agronomic practices such as early sowing, and lentil growing environments that maximise growth, harvest height, and grain yield. But you’ll want to be careful in some areas and avoid low fertility sandy soils and low rainfall in frost-prone environments.
GIA Sire’s will have higher yields than other lentil cultivars in soils with significant clopyralid residues. Their disease resistance is similar to PBA Hurricane XT.
GIA Sire’s are under a small scale-controlled release to determine its crop suitability to lentil growing areas of southern and western Australia and if it fits the market with its smaller seed type. Depending on how this goes will determine whether they are released or not.
GIA Metro (GIA2004L) IMI+MET Lentil
Another one in the pipeline is GIA Metro. GIA Metro’s will be the first lentil to combine IMI+Metribuzin herbicide tolerances. The metribuzin tolerance was developed by SARDI and GRDC in a PBA Flash background and has been incorporated into GIA Metro’s through crossing and selection by GIA.
This unique combination of herbicide tolerance will expand production and weed control opportunities in lentils, particularly on light-textured soils prone to damage from the applications of Group C herbicides.
Yield-wise, Metro’s are significantly lower yielding than existing lentil varieties in the absence of weed pressure or where weeds are controlled effectively without crop damage from Group C herbicides.
GIA Metro’s have medium to large-sized seeds with a grey seed coat. Like GIA Sire’s, they’re under small scale controlled release to determine their crop suitability.
Information from Grains Innovation Australia (2022)