Faba bean growers in South Australia, Victoria and southern NSW now have another variety to consider for planting in 2016.
Pulse Breeding Australia has officially released PBA Zahra, a large seeded faba bean suited to the Middle Eastern markets, from the industry’s breeding program.
Pulse Australia industry development manager–southern region, Mary Raynes says the new variety has achieved an average 5 per cent higher yield compared to similar, older varieties such as Fiesta VF, Farah and Nura.
“PBA Zahra is a possible direct replacement for PBA Rana, which was released in 2011, the only other large seeded faba bean variety adapted to the southern region,” she says. “PBA Zahra has a uniform seed size and colour and is superior grain quality to PBA Rana. In longer season environments particularly, PBA Zahra also delivers a significant long-term yield advantage over PBA Rana.”
PBA Zahra is particularly responsive to high yielding situations where the yield advantage over PBA Rana can be over 10 per cent. In higher rainfall districts PBA Zahra has a distinct advantage due to its lower susceptibility to disease. It is resistant to the most prevalent strain of Ascochyta blight (pathotype 1) found in the southern region. It is equivalent to PBA Rana and PBA Samira, and less susceptible than Farah and Fiesta VF, to chocolate spot and faba bean rust.
PBA Zahra produces large, light brown, plump grain, comparable in size to PBA Rana. The overall grain colour is uniform and bright and there is generally a low rate of darkening during storage.
PBA Zahra should be suitable to co-mingle with PBA Rana for a medium-large faba bean category for export to the major food markets in the Middle East.
Bred by Dr Jeff Paull of Adelaide University, PBA Zahra has an end point royalty (EPR) of $3.85 per tonne (GST inclusive), which includes breeder royalties and applies upon delivery. Seed is available from the commercial partner, Seednet.
Download the variety management package (VMP) for PBA Zahra from the Pulse Australia website:
Featured Image: Pulse Australia industry development manager (southern) with Jason Brand (Pulse research agronomist, Vic government) Dr Jeff Paull (PBA faba bean breeder, University of Adelaide) and Rohan Kimber (Pulse crop pathologist, SARDI) at the launch of the newest faba bean variety for southern Australia, PBA Zahra.
This story was first published in Leading Agriculture magazine.