Linda Benedict | 3/5/2014 9:49:08 PM
The LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station has as one of its goals to continuously develop and release new varieties that will benefit the Louisiana rice industry. The program works with many different types of rice, including conventional and Clearfield long-grain, medium-grain and specialty types. Four years ago the project also initiated research into the development of rice hybrids. Typically, it takes seven to eight years from when a cross is made until foundation seed of a new variety is delivered. However, two new varieties will be released in 2014, which made it to foundation seed in four years. They are CL271 and CL-Jazzman.
CL271, which was tested as LA1202065, is an early-maturing, short-stature Clearfield medium-grain variety, which has consistently outyielded CL261, which is the only Clearfield medium-grain variety now available in the southern United States. In 18 head-to-head yield tests in 2012 and 2013, CL271 had an average per acre yield of 8,995 pounds compared to 7,687 pounds for CL261. CL271 has also shown similar or slightly better yields than Jupiter and Caffey, the predominant conventional (not Clearfield) medium grains.
CL271 is similar to CL261 in having excellent whole-grain milling yields and excellent grain appearance characteristics. One of the significant advantages of CL271 is the very high level of resistance to blast disease. CL261 is very susceptible to this disease, which was especially evident during the blast epidemic of 2012 in southwest Louisiana. The new variety also has shown high levels of resistance to Cercospora. It is moderately susceptible to sheath blight and susceptible to bacterial panicle blight and straighthead.
Seed of LA1202065 was increased as headrows at the winter nursery in Puerto Rico during the winter of 2012-2013, and the seed harvested from this increase was used at the Rice Station during the summer of 2013. To maximize seed production, a 32-acre field was planted at a seeding rate of 10.2 pounds of seed per acre. In spite of the low seeding rate, stands were excellent, and the field yielded 8,500 pounds (52.5 barrels or 188 bushels) per acre on a dry weight basis. This production will be used primarily for seed production in 2014, but a limited amount of certified seed should also be available.
Another new variety will be marketed as CL-Jazzman. This is an aromatic, soft-cooking Clearfield long-grain line. The line has cooking, appearance and aroma characteristics similar to Jazzman-2. It has very nice aroma and excellent grain appearance, as well as very long and uniform milled grains. This line was developed primarily through the work of Xueyan Sha, a breeder formerly at the Rice Station. Jazzman and Jazzman-2 were grown on approximately 33,000 acres in Louisiana in 2013. The new variety will allow for the production of a Jazzman-type variety to be grown using the Clearfield production system. CL-Jazzman has excellent grain yield and has consistently outyielded both Jazzman and Jazzman-2. The new variety is similar in height to Jazzman, making it 4-5 inches taller than Jazzman-2. Therefore, CL-Jazzman will be somewhat more susceptible to lodging than Jazzman-2 and will require slightly lower levels of applied nitrogen. The new variety is similar in maturity to Jazzman-2 and about three days earlier than Jazzman. The new variety is highly resistant to blast disease and Cercospora, moderately susceptible to sheath blight, and susceptible to both bacterial panicle blight and straighthead disorder.
The development of these two new varieties was possible only through the repeated use of the winter nursery facility in Puerto Rico. This nursery facility is crucial to the Rice Station’s variety development activities.
Steve Linscombe is a rice breeder, director of the Rice Research Station and director of the LSU AgCenter Southwest Region.
(This article was published in the 2014 winter issue of Louisiana Agriculture magazine.)