New LSU AgCenter rice varieties may be on tap this year

Linda Benedict, Schultz, Bruce  |  6/2/2009 9:23:00 PM

MAMOU, La. – Two new long-grain rice varieties could be released by the LSU AgCenter this year if they continue to show solid results, according to Steve Linscombe, LSU AgCenter rice breeder.

Linscombe told farmers at the Evangeline Parish rice field day May 19 that one of the lines is a Clearfield long-grain that would be named CL111 if it is released. It has early maturity – a week earlier than CL131 or CL151 – with good yield potential and good grain quality.

Linscombe said 52 acres of the line have been planted at the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station, and Horizon Ag has a considerable acreage planted in Texas.
 
A Clearfield medium-grain line similar to Neptune also may be released, depending on its performance this year, he said.

The LSU AgCenter has taken the plunge into exploring the possibility of developing rice hybrids, Linscombe said. RiceTec, a private company, has been successful with hybrids, and now Bayer CropScience is developing hybrids.

Hybrid rice production requires male-sterile rice lines, and some recently were obtained from China, Linscombe said. In addition, the LSU AgCenter has hired a hybrid rice breeder from China.

He said a hybrid line would require additional funding and an expansion of the LSU AgCenter’s winter nursery in Puerto Rico.

"Even if we are successful, it’s going to be a number of years before you see a hybrid come out of the research station," Linscombe said.

Bruce Schultz

(This article was published in the spring 2009 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)

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