A softwood breeding trial at a plantation in Muja aims to provide superior pine genes for both Forest Product Commission (FPC) and national seed orchards in the years to come.
The Southern Tree Breeding Association (STBA) oversees the national collaborative genetics breeding program for the pine-species pinus radiata, and as part of their activities, research trials are planted to test some of the newest and best genetic material available in Australia.
Trials are being conducted in Victoria and South Australia but the FPC’s ongoing relationship with the STBA has led to a trial at the Muja site.
FPC Project Officer Michael Cully said staff from across the FPC were involved in the Muja breeding trial, from hand sowing radiata seeds from over 260 individual families, to labelling, packing and planting over 6,000 seedlings.
“The seedlings were labelled with their family number and trial coordinate, with their field position also accurately recorded,” Michael said.
Growth and form data will be collected by the FPC and STBA over the next 10 years, and will be used in the identification and selection of superior genetic material.