PBA Jurien lupin is a new cultivar, released in September 2015, with the promise of higher yields and a wide spectrum of disease tolerance. These qualities created widespread interest and expectation amongst growers with seed orders to Seednet, Pulse Breeding Australia’s commercial partner, outstripping the projected supply by Christmas.
No extra seed quality [or germination] risk with PBA Jurien lupin
Unfortunately many growers have recently been disappointed to learn that their order was cancelled due to the low germination rates in the bulk of the seed stock. Rain before harvest is the cause of the unacceptable germination rates in affected seed, principally sourced from the Moora district. Approximately 40 mm of rain caused a 6 day delay in harvesting crops in the Moora district and as a result PBA Jurien lupins harvested before the harvest rain had a germination rate of 92% while seed harvested after the rain had a germination rate below 60%.
Data from the AGWEST Seed Laboratories (DAFWA) has shown that all lupin varieties were similarly affected. Lupin varieties from regions such as Esperance, Lake Grace and Northam, which experienced rain in November, also showed a large reduction in lupin germination rates while crops grown in regions such as Geraldton and Merredin, which received little to no harvest rain, did not see a reduction in germination rates.
Based on the evidence from the AGWEST Seed laboratories, the risk of reduced germination rates in seed exposed to pre-harvest rain appears to be similar in all lupin varieties.
For lupin growers keen to switch to PBA Jurien for the 7% yield increase, the message is simple – harvest rain will adversely affect the viability of the seed. It is recommended to harvest all lupin cultivars, as soon as is possible. All lupins are also prone to pod shedding if crops are left for a considerable time after maturity before being harvested. PBA Jurien is rated as similar to PBA Gunyidi, and better than Mandelup, for pod shedding.
All of the affected PBA Jurien seed will be planted this season to deliver a very large quantity of fresh seed for sale to growers for the 2017 season.
Test your seed for germination rates and viruses now
High germination rates and seedling vigour are essential to achieving the crop establishment required to achieve profitable yields in lupins.
Every rain event after crop maturity and before harvest can cause reduced germination and vigour. In past years, low germination in lupins after a wet harvest has been common.
It is recommended to use a professional seed testing service, to determine if the germination rate is low in seed retained on-farm. Regardless of rain, testing seed early is a good idea as you will also be advised of the level of CMV (Cucumber Mosaic Virus) found in the sample. Aphids along the west coast were hard to control last year and CMV levels may be higher than usual as a consequence.
Low germination rates usually result in a thin stand, where stunted plants infected with CMV are more available to aphids, enabling the spread of infection. CMV control relies on healthy plants shading infected plants thereby reducing the possibility of aphids finding the infected plants.
The germination rate is also required to determine optimal seeding rates. Poor germination rate usually also means poor seedling vigour, which will reduce competition with weeds, increase the crop’s susceptibility to herbicide damage and limit the crop’s ability to establish in suboptimal soil moisture conditions at sowing.
Seed germination and disease testing is available through AGWEST Plant Laboratories.
AGWEST Plant Laboratories: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/agwest-plant-laboratories
AGWEST Seed Testing Laboratory: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/plant-biosecurity/seed-testing-agwest-plant-laboratories
Download Seed analysis request form
More information: www.pulseaus.com.au