Agriculture

New broadacre crop ready to launch

Surya safflower launch

Super high oleic safflower (SHOS) – the newest crop for the Australian broadacre market – was officially launched by GO Resources at Horsham’s Grains Innovation Park on Wednesday, 19 December 2018.

The super high oleic safflower trait, which produces high quality oil predominantly for industrial use, was developed by CSIRO with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

The first SHOS line, which was developed by GO Resources and CSIRO, performed well in field trials, which has resulted in the new variety being commercially available a year earlier than anticipated.

Super high oleic safflower provides farmers with another crop option, and with industry keen to acquire a sustainable, non-fossil fuel oil source such as high oleic acid, interest from growers is mounting.

Agriculture Victoria Senior Research Scientist Dr Surya Kant, who is working on the development of second and third generation SHOS lines for GO Resources said accelerated precision breeding was being used to develop new elite SHOS varieties.

This includes the use of the automated Plant Phenomics Victoria facility at Horsham and advanced genotyping at the AgriBio Centre in Bundoora.

“Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are also playing an important role in speeding up the breeding process,” Dr Kant said.

“UAV’s equipped with high-resolution digital cameras and multispectral sensors, combined with application of the latest software, allow us to analyse big data with resolution from whole field trial to plot to single plant level.”

Dr Kant said these new technologies allow researchers to rapidly identify the most prospective parent-lines for breeding new elite varieties, which in turn, results in new varieties becoming available to the grower sooner.

In the last two years about 400 lines, most sourced from the Australian Grains Genebank at Horsham, have undergone phenotyping and genetic profiling, which includes rating agronomic performance for traits such as emergence, biomass accumulation rate, water use efficiency, salt tolerance, disease resistance, flowering time, crop duration, grain yield and oil content.

Dr Kant said working on the development of super high oleic safflower with GO Resources had been both interesting and exciting with the crop showing to be adaptable over different climatic zones.

Trial yields for the new SHOS variety have ranged from 1.0 to 1.5 tonnes per hectare in dryland conditions and up to three tonnes per hectare on irrigation, however its oleic acid profile well exceeds anything else on the market, measuring at approximately 92 per cent.

The seed also has an oil level of around 37 per cent and with agronomic differences, including a long tap root with the ability to break up hard soil pans, Dr Kant said it would have a place in many cropping rotations.

GO Resources, who will market the new crop, will officially launched super high oleic safflower at Agriculture Victoria’s Grains Innovation Park in Horsham on Wednesday, 19 December 2018.

For more information about super high oleic safflower phone David Hudson on 0418 951 479 or email rock@sgasolutions.com.au

Source: Agriculture Victoria

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