Murdoch Uni hails breakthrough lift for wheat crops

Researchers have found a way to boost the protein content of wheat.
Researchers have found a way to boost the protein content of wheat.

RESEARCHERS at Murdoch University have made a major breakthrough in their quest to improve the quality and profitability of Australia’s $6 billion wheat crops.

The team has increased the protein content of wheat to more than 14 per cent in a new high-yielding variety, allowing farmers to command premium prices for superior crops on the global market.

The latest breakthrough provides the nation’s farmers with a stronger competitive edge against countries that have been delivering wheat with higher protein content to some of Australia’s key customers.

Ian Edwards is chief executive at Edstar Genetics, the independent wheat and barley breeding company that developed the new wheat variety.

The adjunct professor leads the wheat research project at the Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre at Murdoch’s Perth campus.

“Increasing the protein yield of Australian crops will increase the revenue that Australia receives for its wheat, making our growers more competitive,” Dr Edwards said.

“We are now producing higher-yield wheat which can be grown in poor quality soils with lower production costs.”

Dr Edwards has 50 years’ experience in his field.