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Craig Hardner, João Costa e Silva, Emlyn Williams, Noel Meyers and Cameron McConchie

In 2017, five new cultivars specifically selected for Australian conditions were released. These were developed from an improvement program initiated by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in the early 1990s. Progeny seeds were produced by crossing industry standard cultivars with other cultivars with elite kernel production per unit projected canopy area. Seedlings were planted at two densities (2 m and 4 m along rows) in field trials at Bundaberg in 1997 and 1998, and Northern New South Wales in late 1997, along with replicated plants of parents grafted onto seedling rootstocks. Trials were assessed for commencement of flowering, growth, yield, kernel recovery, and components of kernel quality over 8 years. Best linear unbiased predictions of clonal values were obtained for each individual progeny using a pedigree-based mixed linear model. A bio-economic model was used to estimate economic weights for a selection index of clonal values to identify elite candidates. Final approval of 20 candidates for second-stage assessment was made by an industry committee using selection index rankings and observations of tree field performance and kernel quality.