Queensland pulses with new chickpea variety

A new variety of chickpea launched today in Emerald is set to further boost Queensland’s chickpea industry.

Acting Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Anthony Lynham says the new ‘PBA Drummond’ chickpea variety was destined to become synonymous with Central Queensland.

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“PBA Drummond is a specific chickpea variety that has been purpose-bred for growing in Central Queensland.”

“The connection to the region is further reflected in the fact that it has been named after the distinctive Drummond Range, which runs between Alpha and Emerald.”

“The PBA Drummond offers local growers a chickpea variety with a significantly higher grain yield and improved harvestability compared with all other varieties currently grown in the region.”

PBA Drummond was the first Central Queensland specific chickpea release for the export marketplace since 2011.

Australia is the largest global exporter of chickpeas with Queensland contributing 55 % of the national crop value. In 2016, chickpeas were amongst the top four agricultural commodities contributing to the state’s income.

The Minister says that while recent increases in tariffs on chickpeas by the Indian government have impacted the industry, the Government will continue to invest in chickpea research to grow other export markets.

“PBA Drummond will initially be available through our commercial partner, SeedNet, to growers for the 2019 season.”

GRDC Head of Business Development Ron Osmond says PBA Drummond was a cross between two previously released PBA varieties, PBA HatTrick and PBA Pistol.

“This exciting new variety has a number of agronomic benefits that should help to put dollars in growers’ pockets.”

“PBA Drummond boasts a high yield, superior agronomic and seed quality characteristics, improved resistance to the fungal disease ascochyta blight, and can be deep sown which allows producers to use subsoil moisture.”

“Trials have shown the yield from PBA Drummond is, on average, between 7 and 10 % higher than existing varieties.”