THE AUSTRALIAN lupin industry has received a vote of confidence with the news one of the country's major grain breeders have appointed a dedicated lupin breeder.
Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) took over the former Western Australian Department of Primary Industries lupin breeding program in 2016.
The WA DPI program was believed to have been the largest lupin breeding program in the world.
The pulse crop holds particular importance to growers in WA as a legume crop with a relatively high tolerance of the acidic, sandy soils commonplace in the west.
Matthew Aubert, who has just completed a PhD at the University of Adelaide, will be based at Northam, in WA's Avon Valley, east of Perth.
"I moved to WA to take on the position of lupin breeder and feel excited to have the opportunity to focus on a crop that is so important to the state's farmers," Dr Aubert said.
"Lupins are well suited to sandy soils found in the Western Australian wheatbelt and play an important role in providing nitrogen to cropping systems.
"WA is the world's largest producer and exporter of lupins, making up more than 80 per cent of lupin exports."
In further good news for the lupin industry, AGT is set to name and release its first new lupin line since taking over the DPI breeding program.
Dr Aubert said the aims of the breeding program would be to continue to develop high protein cultivars while improving yield.
He said the future was bright for the lupin industry which is becoming increasingly well recognised for its health benefits in human consumption markets.
"It also has the potential to be used as a high value export in aquaculture and potentially human consumption into the future."