Out with the old and in with the new – 2016 Wheat Variety Master List released

Out with the old and in with the new – 2016 Wheat Variety Master List released

As part of the ongoing work to improve the competitiveness of Australia’s wheat industry, eight newly classified wheat varieties have been announced in the 2016 WQA Wheat Variety Master List – along with the removal of 46 old wheat varieties first flagged in 2014.

The 2016 list introduces Coolah, Lillaroi, Arrow, Kittyhawk, Reliant, Scepter, Cutlass and Suntime.

These new releases include Australian Prime Hard and Hard varieties across all available zones and Cutlass, which has an APW in all zones. This year’s Master List also sees Lillaroi offered as a new Durum variety in the Southern, South Eastern and Northern zones.

The range of classes released across all four zones, shows the breadth of new varieties being classified to meet a range of market needs, including the increasing emphasis on animal feed.

“Global wheat prices are historically low and with Australia being increasingly challenged to maintain our share in key export markets on a price basis, we must continue to lead with quality specified grain,” WQA Chairman Dr Don Plowman said.

“WQA’s role is not just to approve new varieties but to make sure the entire Master List is as user friendly and up-to-date as possible – this means removing varieties that are no longer relevant to contemporary market requirements, and reviewing varieties still being grown that may not meet the current quality requirements of their class.”

The 2016 WQA Wheat Variety Master List is now available from the WQA website at www.wheatquality.com.au

In 2014 WQA flagged 46 varieties that were classified more than ten years ago with deliveries less than 0.1%, for removal from the Master List. To provide maximum time for growers to adjust, these varieties remained on the list during 2014 and 2015, however, from 1 September they will be removed from the Master List and only received as Feed.

In 2015 a further 81 varieties were flagged for removal in 2017, after consultation with industry. These can still be delivered to their existing class in 2016, as was the case for 2015.

In 2016 WQA flagged 46 varieties that were classified more than ten years ago with deliveries less than 0.1% for removal from the Master List. Through consultation with industry there were 6 varieties out of the 46 requested for maintenance – Rosella, QAL200, Anlace, Wylah, Marombi and Petrel – these have been retained.

In addition, this season 45 varieties that are still being delivered at 0.1% or more, but had been classified more than 10 years ago, were reviewed to assess if they met the current quality requirements of their class.

To achieve this, an expert sub-committee of the Wheat Variety Classification Panel was commissioned to conduct a science based review of the performance of these varieties using data submitted for classification and other available high quality data sets. This group recommended that 15 varieties across all zones have their classification changed or reviewed.

These recommendations were then referred to a consultative group representing growers, agronomists and the trade, who accepted the recommendations for 13 of these. There were two varieties that were dominant in a class or a region, where more time was requested for assessment of market acceptance and agronomic performance of potential replacement varieties. These were Calingri and Strzelecki and the consultation process for these varieties will continue in 2016/17.

The 13 varieties recommended for a changed class can be delivered into their existing class in 2016 and 2017, with the changed class becoming effective in 2018, with one exception. As a result of this review process EGA Gregory was recommended for an upgrade to APH in the SE Zone and this will be affective as of the 2016 harvest.

Varieties change in class 2016

KEY: Changed class, unchanged class

“The major task of reviewing varieties more than 10 years since classification is drawing to a conclusion,” Dr Plowman said.

“More than 220 varieties have been flagged for removal, re-classification or changed classification over the last three seasons.

“This is now an ongoing process of updating and refreshing the list.

“Many of these old varieties represent a tiny percentage of wheat grown in Australia – they are also no longer referenced in any state, industry or GRDC sowing guides, as they have been superseded by new varieties with better agronomic and yield and quality characteristics.

“Despite this apparent lack of relevance in the bulk trade, it has been important for us to consult with breeders, growers, traders and end users to ensure their removal does not have any negative effect on production or marketing.”

Dr Plowman said the role that WQA has played in quality management, since the deregulation of the bulk wheat export market in Australia, has been vital in maintaining the trust of trading partners and consumers.

“We are all in this together and everyone has a responsibility for the brand reputation of Australian wheat.

WQA acknowledges the support provided by members of Grain Producers of Australia, Grain Growers and Grain Trade Australia in assisting with the review of old varieties.

“It’s an exciting time for Australian grain producers and traders and I am very positive about the role that WQA plays in the industry.”

The WQA 2016 Wheat Variety Master List is now available from the WQA website at www.wheatquality.com.au. It will also be published in the Grain Trade Australia Wheat Standards at www.graintrade.org.au. For further information on the management of Old Varieties on the Master List, please contact Grain Producers Australia or Wheat Quality Australia.

MEDIA CONTACT DETAILS

FOR INTERVIEWS:

Don Plowman
Chairman, Wheat Quality Australia
Mobile: 0401 122 179
E: don.plowman@wheatquality.com.au

Hugh Robertson
Executive Officer, Wheat Quality Australia
Mobile: 0414 326 007
E: hugh.robertson@wheatquality.com.au

MEDIA ASSISTANCE:
Kate Fuller
FULLER
Mobile: 0433 931 592
E: kate.fuller@fuller.com.au