Western Australia (WA) has become the world’s leading producer of lupins, responsible for about 80% of world production. The narrow-leaf lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) is by far the most important lupin species in WA, comprising over 95% of all lupin grain production (French et al 2008).
Water shortage is the most important environmental constraint to Lupin production in WA. Plant breeding has focused on drought escape and more recently released cultivars flower 30 days earlier than the first released cultivars and 10 days earlier than most cultivars grown at the beginning of the 1990s (French and White 2008). Such earlier flowering helps reduce crop exposure to dry soils which occur later in the growing season.
Lupinbud was developed in WA for Lupins suffering from nutrient stress associated with soil moisture stress between periods of rainfall. Rapid drying of sandy soils between rain events, especially in Spring when the grain is filling, restricts nutrient uptake. Brennan et al. (2008) emphasise the importance of Mn in preventing split seed disorder in lupins. Lupinbud contains calcium, magnesium and a variety of trace elements (with a bias towards manganese, Mn) to supplement nutrient requirements during periods of moisture stress. In some replicated trials in WA, Lupinbud has increased yields by an average of 300 kg / ha.