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Development of lupins as a crop in Australia

  • P. Nelson
  • W. A. Hawthorne
Chapter
Part of the Current Plant Science and Biotechnology in Agriculture book series (PSBA, volume 34)

Abstract

In just twenty years, a new crop plant, Lupinus angustifolius has been developed to become a major cropping industry in Australia. This occurred as a result of a successful project of research and development undertaken mainly in Western Australia (WA). It involved plant breeders, agronomists, marketers, farmers and extension personnel. This paper documents the development and highlights the benefits of research and development occurring concurrently.

Before the development of lupins, cropping systems in WA involved either continuous cereal or pasture/cereal rotations. Problems with weeds and diseases were prevalent. Lupins are now the cornerstone of many farming systems in Australia, especially WA where there is a predominance of acidic, sandy soils. Lupins are an economic crop in their own right and provide benefits to other crops in terms of weed management, nutrition and disease breaks which lead to higher yields. Lupins play a vital role in the successful integration of stock and crop enterprises on many farms. Development of varieties, which are resistant to the fungus, Phomopsis leptostromiformis has reduced the risk of the disease lupinosis in sheep.

In 1996, 1.5 million hectares of lupins were grown in Australia as a grain crop and earned US$190 million of export income with a further estimated value of US$120 million being generated from sheep feed and increased cereal yields. It is forecast that varieties of Lupinus angustifolius will be cultivated on 2 million hectares before the year 2005. A national research and development program continues to develop better varieties of L.angustifolius. In addition other lupin species are being developed which are more suited to the heavier and the finer textured soils and also very acid soils.

In 1996 for the first time, the serious disease anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporoides) was recorded in commercial lupin crops. Strategies are now in place to eradicate or minimise the effects of this disease through quarantine, plant breeding and agronomic practices. Fusarium oxysporum has not been recorded in lupin crops and perhaps the anthracnose experience will strengthen our resolve to prevent this disease entering Australia.

Keywords

Wind Erosion Western Australia Lupin Seed Finer Texture Soil Grey Leaf Spot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Nelson
    • 1
  • W. A. Hawthorne
    • 2
  1. 1.The Grain Pool of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.South Australian Research and Development InstitutNaracoorteAustralia

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