Udon Wheat Variety Launch Unveils Japanese and Great Southern Connections

31 August 2018 Wheat News

Udon Wheat Variety Launch Unveils Japanese and Great Southern Connections

Western Australia’s newest Australian Noodle Wheat (ANW) variety, Kinsei, was officially unveiled in Albany WA, on Friday 31st August, by InterGrain and Great Southern Grammar.

With unique ties to Japan where the premium quality variety will be highly-valued by udon processors for colour, taste and texture attributes. Kinsei’s release also marks a new and unique varietal opportunity for growers looking for a later maturing ANW. Kinsei was officially released in Albany, where seed is being produced for growers for planting in 2019.

Japanese language students from Great Southern Grammar named the variety in a competition, along with students from Nichinan City School in Japan, with which the Albany-based school has a strong relationship. The connection between InterGrain and the schools was made possible by Perth’s Consulate-General of Japan and involved students at both schools learning about udon noodle production and processing.

InterGrain CEO Tress Walmsley says the company has strong relationships with Japanese udon processors and scientists to ensure its unique noodle wheat breeding programme is tailored to continually improve grain colour, taste and texture for the premium export market.

Ms Walmsley says white salted udon noodles have been part of Japanese culture for more than 1000 years. She says Kinsei, meaning ‘balance’, is ideally suited to Western Australia’s medium to high rainfall zones, specifically the South Coast and Great Southern regions. It is also suited to other areas where a later maturing variety for early sowing is required in a move away from the old variety, Calingiri, which is lower yielding and has poorer quality.

“Western Australia has been producing quality noodle wheat for udon and other noodle markets for more than 40 years,” she says.

“We have an international reputation for producing grain that is well-suited to the two main countries that consume udon noodles, Japan and South Korea. This brings considerable value to WA as these two markets require one million tonnes per annum, worth $300 million per annum to the State’s economy.”

Ms Walmsley says Kinsei is aptly named, as it strikes a good balance between length of maturity, high yield, good disease resistance and excellent quality attributes for processing, balancing the needs of growers and flour millers.

“Being a long-season, late-maturing variety, Kinsei can be sown from late April through to early May, when early planting opportunities arise,” she says.

“Kinsei has a later maturity than Calingiri and similar to Yitpi, providing a varietal opportunity to vary flowering times during critical frost-risk windows.”

Kinsei has been extensively trialled as IGW8048, bred by Dr Dan Mullan and the InterGrain breeding team, and demonstrated excellent yield performance in the 2017 WA National Variety Trials (NVT) in longer growing season environments, where the variety is recommended, as well as within InterGrain trials over the last five years. On average, Kinsei has yielded 7-8 per cent higher than Yitpi.

“Kinsei offers a late maturing ANW with effective disease resistance, offering strong stripe and leaf rust resistance, whilst providing good grain size and hectolitre weight,” says Ms Walmsley.

Southern WA growers, grain industry stakeholders, Japan’s Consulate General and Great Southern Grammar representatives delighted in fresh Kinsei noodle samples made with Kinsei at the launch held at Garrison restaurant in Albany.

GSG Principal, Mark Sawle, says the collaborative project is an excellent example of the school’s various partnerships with industry, which provide pathways for students seeking career opportunities into agriculture; the arts; sport and health; hospitality and tourism; trades; and IT.

“GSG is delighted to have been selected to partner with InterGrain for this exciting project which celebrates our longstanding relationship with Nichinan, Japan, and the agricultural industry in the Great Southern region,” he says.

Kinsei is available for planting in 2019. However, seed supplies are limited so it is recommended that interested growers place seed orders as soon as possible with local Seedclub members and/or resellers.

For more information on Kinsei refer to: https://www.intergrain.com/variety/kinsei/

InterGrain Media Contact: Ashleigh Brooks – abrooks@intergrain.com
For interviews: Tress Walmsley – twalmsley@intergrain.com +61 404 819 543