NOTICE: Hard copies of the Australian New Crops Newsletter are available from the publisher, Dr Rob Fletcher. Details of availability are included in theAdvice on Publications Available.
In this and future issues of the Australian New Crops Newsletter we plan to profile individuals who have made important contributions to the commercial development of new crops in Australia. In this issue we profile Dr John Gladstones, well known to Western Australian farmers as the 'father of the lupin industry'.
John Gladstones, a graduate of the University of Western Australia, has worked on a rather diverse group of plants during his distinguished career as a plant breeder. These have included lupin, subterranean clover, serradella and wine grapes.
John commenced his work with lupins in the mid 1950s at the University of WA where he worked until moving to the Western Australian Department of Agriculture in 1971.
He was responsible for breeding all of Australia's crop varieties of narrow-leafed lupin, releasing the world's first cultivar Uniwhite in 1967. Since then a further eleven successively improved cultivars have been released, culminating in Merrit (1992).
These cultivars are now being grown throughout southern Australia with production in 1992 totalling 1 038 000 tonnes, valued at $182.5 million.
Less well known is John's work on subterranean clover. He played a leading role in the national subterranean clover improvement program and was closely involved in the breeding, selection and commercial release of six commercial cultivars, the first of these being released in 1976.
In 1960, John commenced studies on serradella, a light-soil pasture legume, which has shown good adaptation to a wide range of soils including acid soils where subterranean clover and other pasture species make poor growth because of aluminium toxicity.
A cultivar of serradella, Uniserra, was released in 1970 and a second, Tauro, was released in 1987. Five further cultivars have subsequently been released for varied habitats, as a result of a collaborative testing program John has set up with colleagues throughout Australia.
John has also made significant contribution to Australian agriculture through a 'hobby' interest in grapes.
An ecological study published in the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science in 1965 led to the establishment of the now thriving wine industry at Margaret River. More recent studies have refined the climatic bases for selecting areas suitable for wine grape production and these are now being used to select sites for new commercial vineyards.
John's book 'Viticulture and Environment' (Winetitles, Adelaide) was published in 1992, and he has made a major contribution on viticultural ecology to the forthcoming 'Oxford Companion to Wine', which is due out later this year.
John retired from the Western Australian Department of Agriculture in 1991, but has continued his lupin breeding work with the Department on a part-time basis.
His personal breeding program is now being merged with that of his successor, Dr Wallace Cowling, but John will continue as a contributor and consultant for the next two or three years.
Meanwhile, he is enjoying his new role as a grandfather, and developing his role as an independent viticultural researcher and consultant.
Any claims made by authors in the Australian New Crops Newsletter are presented by the Editors in good faith. Readers would be wise to critically examine the circumstances associated with any claims to determine the applicability of such claims to their specific set of circumstances. This material can be reproduced, with the provision that the source and the author (or editors, if applicable) are acknowledged and the use is for information or educational purposes. Contact with the original author is probably wise since the material may require updating or amendment if used in other publications. Material sourced from the Australian New Crops Newsletter cannot be used out of context or for commercial purposes not related to its original purpose in the newsletter
Contact: Dr Rob Fletcher, School of Land and Food, The University of Queensland Gatton College, 4345; Telephone: 07 5460 1311 or 07 5460 1301; Facsimile: 07 5460 1112; International facsimile: 61 7 5460 1112; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
[New Crops Home Page] [New Crops Program] [Australian New Crops Newsletter] [New Crops Publications] [Order Form] [People] [Crop Profiles] [Other Resources]
originally created by:GK; latest update 6 June 1999 by: RF