Rice variety selection is one of the first and most important decisions made by a rice producer prior to planting the crop. Each year LSU AgCenter rice scientists meet to review the previous year’s research and make decisions on information to provide to Louisiana rice producers to assist them in deciding which varieties to use. This information is compiled each year into the LSU AgCenter publication (#2270) “Rice Varieties and Management Tips.” The 2015 publication will soon be available at parish extension offices in rice-producing parishes as well as at the Rice webpage at www.lsuagcenter.com
In 2015, there will be five conventional long-grains recommended for statewide production – Catahoula, Cheniere, Cocodrie, Mermentau and Roy J. The first four all have semi-dwarf plant types and are fairly similar in maturity. These four varieties typically will average between 35-38 inches in height at maturity and will range from 120-125 days from emergence to harvest maturity with a March to mid-April planting date. Roy J is a conventional-height variety released from Arkansas. It averages about 4-5 inches taller than the semi-dwarfs and is four to five days later in maturity. All of these varieties have good yield potential and milling quality. In addition, they all have shown good potential to produce a ratoon (second) crop. Catahoula, Cocodrie, Cheniere and Mermentau are rated as susceptible to sheath blight. Cheniere and Cocodrie are rated moderately susceptible to blast disease, while Mermentau is rated susceptible and Catahoula is rated resistant. Roy J is rated susceptible to blast and straighthead and moderately resistant to sheath blight. Of the group, Cheniere displays the most resistance to straighthead disorder.
Two conventional medium-grain varieties are recommended this year. Caffey and Jupiter are both short-stature lines averaging 34-38 inches in height at maturity. Both varieties have excellent yield potential and good milling quality. Ratoon crop production is possible with these varieties but typically is not as consistent as observed with most long-grains. Caffey is rated moderately resistant to blast, while Jupiter is rated moderately susceptible. Both are rated moderately susceptible to sheath blight. Jupiter is the most resistant to straighthead.
There are three Clearfield long-grains recommended for production this year (CL111, CL151, and CL152). CL111 was the most widely grown rice variety in Louisiana in 2014. Of the three varieties, CL151 has historically shown the highest yield potential followed by CL111, then CL152. However, the excessive blast disease pressure observed in the 2012 rice crop in Louisiana showed that CL151 was the most susceptible of this group to this disease. CL111 proved to be the most resistant, and CL152 was rated between these two lines for this disease. CL151 and CL152 are rated susceptible to sheath blight while CL111 is rated very susceptible. CL111 and CL152 consistently have shown superior grain quality when compared with CL151. CL152 has the best resistance to lodging among these three varieties while CL111 is the earliest maturing, averaging three to four days earlier. All three lines have very good ratoon crop potential.
CL261 and CL271 are the Clearfield medium-grains currently available. These varieties have very good first and ratoon crop yield potential and excellent grain quality. CL261 is very susceptible to blast disease and susceptible to sheath blight. CL271 is moderately resistant to blast and susceptible to sheath blight. CL261 is moderately resistant to lodging while CL271 is moderately susceptible. Both varieties are similar to the conventional medium-grains in plant height and maturity. In recent years, the Rice Research Station has released two varieties with cooking, aroma and grain quality characteristics similar to imported Thai jasmine – Jazzman (2009) and Jazzman 2 (2011). Jazzman is three to five days later in maturity and 4-6 inches taller at maturity than Jazzman 2. Jazzman also has somewhat higher yield potential, but Jazzman 2 displays better grain quality, aroma and lodging resistance. Both of these varieties will normally show acceptable milling quality numbers. Both are rated moderately resistant to blast disease. Jazzman is rated moderately susceptible to sheath blight, while Jazzman 2 is rated susceptible. Jazzman has shown more resistance to straighthead disorder. While both varieties can produce an acceptable ratoon crop, neither is typically as consistent as the conventional and Clearfield long-grains currently grown in the region.
Most rice producers will grow several different varieties each year. This is highly recommended to avoid having the entire crop in one or two varieties that might prove to be more susceptible to a disease than previously thought. Planting varieties of different maturity groups also helps to spread out the harvest season somewhat, and including different grain types as well as some acreage of a Jazzman type will facilitate marketing options.
Permission granted December 15, 2014 by B. Leonards (LA Farm & Ranch) to republish article on www.lsuagcenter.com