A new durum variety with ADR quality classification is setting a new yield benchmark for the northern region.

AGT release first durum variety specifically bred for the northern region

Westcourt, released by Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) at the Narrabri Plant Breeding Institute Field Day on 18 September, is the company’s first durum variety specifically bred for the northern region, and AGT’s durum breeder Tom Kapcejevs says it provides an exciting durum option for growers.

“AGT is fully committed to breeding improved durum varieties for NSW and Queensland,” he said.

“Since moving our durum breeding headquarters from Roseworthy SA to Narrabri, our program has expanded significantly. It needed to for us to realise our vision of developing durum varieties that offer significant yield advantages over commonly grown varieties, while maintaining the high levels of disease resistance and grain quality that durum growers expect.

Durum breeder Tom Kapcejevs and marketing manager Douglas Lush at the launch of Westcourt durum.

“We are excited to release Westcourt as we believe that this variety meets these breeding objectives. Westcourt offers a dominant package of very high yield, excellent disease resistance, very good grain size and end use quality.”

Tested as AGTD090, Westcourt has been trialled across northern NSW and southern QLD with encouraging results.

“Westcourt has consistently out-yielded other commonly grown durum varieties, including the popular variety Lillaroi,” said Mr Kapcejevs.

“Westcourt holds excellent resistance to stem, stripe and leaf rust, and good yellow leaf spot resistance.”

“This exceptional package of features makes this release an exciting option for growers looking for an improved durum.”

AGT marketing manager Douglas Lush believes the variety, named after the 1917 Melbourne Cup winner, should become the first choice in durum varieties for the northern region for season 2020.

“Westcourt is a mid-season maturing variety, like Caparoi, and will suit planting dates towards the front of your durum program,” he said.

“It has an ADR quality classification throughout Queensland and NSW, and will be available through AGT Affiliates or local retailers for the 2020 growing season.”

The breeding team behind the new variety Westcourt at it's official release.