InterGrain honours Chrysler Valiant Charger with new, long-season AH wheat

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InterGrain senior wheat breeder Dan Mullan.
Camera IconInterGrain senior wheat breeder Dan Mullan. Credit: InterGrain

WA plant breeder InterGrain has unveiled its new Australian Hard wheat variety Valiant CL Plus with seed zooming onto the market in time for planting next year.

Named to reflect on and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Chrysler Valiant Charger, the variety is hoped to leave a similar mark on the grains industry.

The slow-maturing variety features Clearfield Plus tolerance to post-emergent applications of the Intervix herbicide and geared to early sowing, growing to a “moderate height”.

InterGrain has spruiked the variety for its “unique package of advantages” which could help drive wheat productivity and profitability across Australia.

The plant breeder says it is adaptable to seasonal variability with strong disease resistance to stripe and stem rusts and yellow leaf spot, and good grain size and test weight.

InterGrain senior plant breeder Dan Mullan said the variety provided a later maturity option than Australian Grain Technologies’ AH variety Cutlass, which was released in 2015.

He said the name was chosen because the variety was an “early starter” and took about eight years to develop.

“What makes this variety unique is its extra long maturity length for a spring wheat,” he said.

“In this variety we have packaged in Clearfield Plus tolerance so growers can sow sow into paddocks treated with imi-chemistry the prior year.

“Or they can follow up with a post-emergent Intervix application.

“It gives growers a mid to April sowing window option, ideally.”

Mr Mullan said he came up with the name because there is “always a Valiant” in the back paddocks of farm, “it’s always slow but always reliable”.

Valiant CL Plus contains two genes which have tolerance to the label rates of Intervix herbicide, which is used to control many major grass and broadleaf weeds in broadacre.

What makes this variety unique is its extra long maturity length for a spring wheat, coupled with some other tools to de-risk that in terms of how they can use it.

Dan Mullan

This includes brome grass, barley grass, wild oats, Indian hedge mustard, muskweed, oats, wheat, and non-Clearfield barley, wild radish, wild turnip and annual ryegrass.

InterGrain is co-owned by the State Government and the Grains Research Development Corporation.

WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the State’s grain scientists were leaders of the “crop breeding pack”.

She said the State investment in facilities, field trials and relationships with industry, academia and customers would help growers be more resilient, innovative and competitive.

“Our government’s commitment to InterGrain and our grains research and development continues to deliver for WA growers,” she said.

“InterGrain has cemented its place as the engine room for breeding new premium grain varieties.”

“We are continuing to fuel the robustness in the WA grains industry, through investments in research capability, infrastructure and equipment across the regions to assist growers to produce more with less and remain internationally competitive.”

Valiant CL Plus is expected to be available from local Seedclub members and resellers for planting next year.

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