Farmers will benefit from a new direction in wheat breeding in Western Australia, with today’s launch of the company InterGrain Pty Ltd by Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance.
Mr Chance also launched the first InterGrain varieties today - two new high performance wheat varieties for WA farmers named Magenta and Yandanooka.
InterGrain is a Western Australian commercial entity responsible for the future breeding and selection of superior WA wheat varieties and has been established by the WA State Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
The Minister said InterGrain would continue the successful track record of the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) in developing high performing wheat varieties such as Wyalkatchem, Carnamah, Calingiri, Arrino and Westonia.
“InterGrain will provide high-performance, cost-effective cereal crop breeding services to the Western Australian and the Australian grains industry,” he said.
Mr Chance said that with the establishment of InterGrain, shareholders had transferred the ownership of wheat varieties and germplasm into InterGrain.
“However, the WA Government has no intention of ceasing investment in public plant breeding,” he said.
GRDC chairman Keith Perrett said Australian wheat breeders led the world in the application of biotechnology in grain breeding.
“The new commercial venture InterGrain will work in partnership with the department and other breeding research providers to utilise cutting edge technology in developing better varieties faster to address growers’ cropping needs,” Mr Perrett said.
InterGrain will be governed by a board of directors chaired by Dale Baker.
Peter Wells from Perth and Ross Fellowes from Melbourne will join Mr Baker on the board of InterGrain as directors.
InterGrain will be co-located at the Department of Agriculture and Food South Perth facilities.
The new wheat varieties Magenta, a high yielding, disease resistant Australian Premium White wheat and Yandanooka, an Udon noodle wheat with good quality and yield, were developed by DAFWA breeders.
Mr Baker said Magenta was a high yielding, disease resistant variety, with a number of advantages over Wyalkatchem, including better stem and leaf rust resistance.
“It has the most complete resistance to the rusts and leaf spotting diseases of any variety currently available in WA,” Mr Baker said.
Mr Baker said Yandanooka was a mid-season variety maturing between the two widely-grown udon noodle wheats Arrino and Calingiri.
“It has a similar yield to Arrino, is of an excellent quality, with good colour and noodle texture similar to Cadoux,” he said.
“Importantly, it has improved resistance for all three rust diseases, compared to Calingiri and Arrino.”
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