FABA bean producers will finally have access to the herbicide tolerance technology so popular in other crop species.
Seednet last week officially launched the release of PBA Bendoc, Australia’s first herbicide tolerant faba bean, bred by Pulse Breeding Australia.
The bean has a high tolerance to some imidazolinone (imi) herbicides.
It will vastly improve the ability of faba bean producers to control broadleaf weeds in crop.
In general, the amount of selective herbicides available in pulse crops has traditionally been limited compared to those that can be used in cereal crops.
Rob Christie, of Seednet, said equally importantly, it would reduce the risk of plantback problems.
“There have been cases where Group B herbicide residuals have persisted over summer and have hurt the following year’s bean crop,” Mr Christie said at last week’s southern pulse field day outside of Horsham.
He said farmers had reacted positively to the release of Bendoc, which has the popular Samira variety prominent in its ancestry.
“We have already had really good demand for seed for next year, especially given the fantastic prices on offer for faba beans at present and we expect to sell out,” he said.
“If people want to get hold of seed for next year they’ll need to get in touch with us quickly.”
Along with the headline herbicide resistance, Mr Christie said the variety stood up well against current bean varieties, with comparable yields and good ascochyta blight resistance.
Seed size is small to medium, which is suited to the Middle Eastern market currently driving the surge in prices up to over $800 a tonne.
The variety is adapted to most faba bean production zones in southern Australia, although it is too late to flower for the northern market.
Mr Christie said, similar to other bean varieties, Bendoc benefited from being planted early.