Soaker Wheat – Longreach
Soaker has been described as a ‘Scepter type’ wheat with the addition of an IMI tolerance gene that can protect the crop from any IMI residual activity. Soaker presents an option as a ‘Soaker crop’ following an IMI break crop such as canola, lentils or beans while also displaying high yield potential. In trials, Soaker has demonstrated a 1% yield increase on Scepter with similar mid-maturity time, growth pattern, disease profile and wide adaptation potential. More data will be submitted later in the year, but current indications show an APW classification in the Southern Zone (SA/Vic) with AH potential.
Figure 1: Ratings based on LongReach pathologist screens and field trial data as of March 2023
Agronomically the Soaker variety has a tolerance for both Boron and Aluminium and has shown adequate tolerance to both Boron (MTMI) and acidity (MI) in abiotic screening. The line has been extensively assessed in trials since 2019 across Victoria and South Australia, and the variety has been entered into NVT trials in 2023. Farmer-to-farmer trading of the variety has been allowed, with the Soaker being exclusively distributed by AG Schilling & Co, Cunliffe, in 2024.
Figure 2: Wheat varieties disease resistance comparison
Matador Wheat – Longreach
Matador is another new release mid-maturity AH wheat variety. Matador is characterised by a medium grain size, market-leading yield potential, a shorter canopy, and improved lodging tolerance compared to Scepter. It also displays an improved Powdery Mildew (MS) and Stripe rust resistance (MS).
Figure 3: Matador Disease Resistance Profile
Matador was produced through a cross between Scepter and a LongReach breeding line. Like Scepter, it displays a mid-spring maturity, is suited to May planting, and shows broad adaptation to a large area of SA and Victoria. Matador displays average vigour, good tillering, and build bulk steadily through the season. It’s a shorter, more erect plant that can handle high production and tougher conditions. Lodging tolerance is better than Scepter and far better than Calibre with genes that allow tolerance to Aluminium and Boron. Some significant disease resistance over Scepter has been noted for stripe rust, with an MS rating compared to MSS. Matadors NVT Powdery rating indicates a similar resistance that has been effective for reducing lower canopy pressure and supporting fungicide treatment.
In terms of yield, in 37 LongReach trials over 4 years, Matador has proven to outyield Scepter in 84% and Vixen in 57% of trials, respectively.
Figure 4: Table of values displaying variety yield comparison
Koala Oats – Seednet
Seednet has released a new milling oat named Koala. It is growing in a handful of paddocks around Australia to be put in front of millers and go through its milling evaluation. Koala has a medium-tall plant height with a mid-long growing season. Koala’s disease package looks like it will be R for CCN, S for Red Leather Leaf and MSS for Septoria Blight. Early grain quality tests suggest it may be attractive to feed end users due to potentially higher digestibility because of its mod-low hull lignin.