New Rice Research

New Rice Research

July 11, 2016

Rice is grown across the globe and researchers are interested in maintaining the quality of the crop. Developing a new rice variety that is high-yielding, disease resistant and has excellent milling quality takes patience and perseverance. Researchers at the H. Rouse Caffey Research Station in Crowley, Louisiana believe they have two good candidates: a long-grain variety called CL 153 and a medium-grain called CL272. CL 153 could serve as a replacement for the widely-grown variety CL151, which is susceptible to blast disease and has some milling concerns.    
 
Steve Linscombe, a Rice Breeder for Louisiana State University's AgCenter, is hopeful, "We think that CL 153 will address both of those issues while maintaining a very high yield potential."

Medium-grain varieties are typically used by large-scale food processors. Kellogg’s purchases a large amount of medium-grain rice, and it is important for CL272 to meet the company’s standards. Linscombe said, "Up to this point, all of the testing that has been done by Kellogg’s has been very positive. Kellogg’s approval is very, very important, especially for medium-grains here in Louisiana."

Dustin Harrell, a state rice specialist for the AgCenter, says this year’s crop looks good, but he doesn’t expect it to set any yield records. He is focusing some of his research on the ratoon, or second crop of rice, because of its economic importance to growers in south Louisiana. "Sometimes I talk to producers, and they tell me they break even on their first crop, and then they might make a little money with the ratoon crop, so it’s very important here," said Harrell.

Harrell is looking at adding gibberellic acid to increase the yield on the second crop. He said adding the acid when the first crop was at the soft dough stage increased the second crop’s yield. The rice specialist said it would take at least three years of data before he would make gibberellic acid a recommended AgCenter practice. 

Louisiana has approximately 430,000 acres of rice this year, which is a slight increase from last year.

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