Australian Mungbean Association

Australian-grown mungbeans have quality written all over them!

Mungbeans to Feed the Farm Feed the World

1 November, 2016

The Australian Mungbean Association threw their support behind the Australian Pulse Conference by having a display and sponsoring the event. Mungbeans and the success of the Mungbean Industry was covered by so many speakers, including Tom Giles in GRDC’s opening, with mention to the size of the crop last year and the growth of mungbeans and the success of the breeding program.

Rex Williams gave a great overview of the mungbean Industry and the success of the breeding program also with special reference to breeding for disease resistance and the market needs, which in the end increases grower confidence and profitability.

Rex reiterated the return on investment to GRDC with $180 million added to GDP last year alone, through solid, balanced Mungbean R&D. Brett Williams covered all the workings of the Tropical Pulses Project in Queensland with both mungbeans and chickpeas including innovative scientific solutions to improve the resilience and productivity in tough seasons.

Although a large percentage of topics covered on the first day were research focused, a lot was learnt about where the mungbean industry will be placed in the future. As Col and the breeding team identify wild strains, other crops such as chickpeas are also identifying wild strains (from Angolia, Turkey) with higher disease resistance to cross back into modern varieties for desired trait uptake. Herbicide tolerance continues to be a driver in all breeding programs with Chickpea breeders looking towards Group I tolerant chickpeas with groups B and C also continuing for Lentils and Faba Beans.

Panel Discussion

In the International Year of the Pulse, discussion was centred around the future with eating habits, health benefits, world climate and breeding programs. With increases in temperatures worldwide, shorter season, water efficient crops such as mungbeans will be used more in the cropping system as short season, spring crop options.

With an industry focus to finish Day 2 of the conference it was all about production and consumption. Peter Wilson and Ron Story covered the subcontinent market and all that it has offers the Pulse market in the short and long term.

Michelle Broom gave a great insight into market trends and where pulses are being used as a functional food without the consumer tasting or knowing. The high protein, gluten free, low G.I nature makes pulses so adapted to the diet patterns of modern day living.

Ted Knights received the Farrer Memorial Medal for an outstanding lifetime achievement with chickpea breeding and Ted gave a great overview of the work he performed and the people that assisted him throughout his career including Kevin Moore and the late John Slatter.

The district was very wet at the time of the conference and with rain falling heavily during the conference, the field walk content was presented indoors on Day 3.

Although a large proportion of the delegation had research and development backgrounds, it was great exposure for the Australian Mungbean Association to a new audience.

The Australian Mungbean Association presence added to the content of conversation and added to an already successful industry.

180 Delegates from across Australia and abroad as well as a vast array of quality speakers from all parts of the world made this a conference with growing exposure and an ever, increasing amount of interest.