Unveiling Firefly: Shining a light on noodle wheat yield

06 September 2023

Noodle wheat breeding leader InterGrain is excited to launch the next generation of noodle wheats with new high yielding, mid-slow maturing Firefly.

Launched by InterGrain wheat breeder Dan Mullan at the Bolgart wheat NVT site on Tuesday 5 September, this broadly adapted mid-slow maturing Australian Noodle Wheat (ANW) promises to light up the wheat landscape.

With a strategic focus to build on the popularity of Zen with a line that improves upon it in yield, InterGrain’s Firefly emerges as a shining beacon to captivate noodle growers and udon processors.

Named with a nod to its luminescent potential, Firefly is set to cast its brilliance across WA noodle paddocks in 2024 with its high yield, good disease resistance and ANW end-use quality attributes, balancing the needs of growers and noodle makers.

Dan Mullan said Firefly is set to replace commonly grown noodle varieties Zen and Calingiri with a mid-slow spring maturity which complements its robust yield potential and exceptional quality.

“Trialled as IGW8192, Firefly consistently stood out in the noodle wheat breeding program with outstanding yields.

“It has an impressive yield advantage, averaging 11-15% higher than Zen and Calingiri and 3% higher than hard wheat Scepter, underscoring its potential as a yield leader.

“Being a mid-slow maturing variety, Firefly can be sown from late April through to early May, when early planting opportunities arise, similar to Zen and Calingiri,” he says.

Firefly offers an effective disease resistance profile including strong stripe and yellow leaf spot resistance, whilst providing good grain size and hectolitre weight.

Western Australia has been producing high-quality noodle wheat for udon and similar noodle markets for over four decades and has gained global recognition for its ability to grow grain that perfectly matches the preferences of udon noodle consumers in Japan and South Korea.

Earlier this year Dan Mullan and InterGrain CEO Tress Walmsley travelled to Japan and Korea to share information about InterGrain’s new generation of noodle varieties with Japanese stakeholders.

“We were pleased that during our trip, Firefly received the tick of approval from the Japanese market,” said Dan.

“InterGrain has strong relationships with Japanese and Korean udon processors and scientists to ensure its unique noodle wheat breeding program is tailored to continually improve noodle colour and texture for the premium export market.

At the launch of Firefly, growers and grain industry stakeholders were delighted in a noodle sensory workshop with Larisa Cato from the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre where they were invited to put their noodle slurping abilities to the test.

AEGICs Larissa Cato and InterGrain’s Dan Mullan enjoying udon noodles made with the new variety, Firefly

Firefly is available for planting in 2024 and interested growers should place seed orders with local WA Seedclub members and/or resellers as soon as possible.

For media enquiries contact InterGrain Communications Manager Shannen Barrett sbarrett@intergrain.com or 0408 615 431.