(06/25/2022) CROWLEY, La. – In 2022, the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station Rice Breeding Program has advanced three rice varieties that will soon be commercially available for Gulf Coast producers to add to their repertoires.
LSU AgCenter Rice Breeder Adam Famoso spoke optimistically about the new lines Avant, Addi Jo and LA19-2026.
Avant is a traditional southern U.S.-style long grain variety that has progressed to Foundation Seed production with an expected commercial release in 2023. In multi-location trials, this line has demonstrated ratoon potential that appears favorable and on par or better than the existing varieties, Famoso said. Harvesting yields look promising as well.
“It’s been in multi-location testing since 2018,” he said. “Every year, it’s yielded upwards of 5-10 percent better than Chenier, on average.”
As its name suggests, Avant (before in French), is an early maturing variety that can aid farmers in timing their late-summer harvests. Harvesting rice earlier in the season allows a better chance of avoiding crop damage by tropical storms or hurricanes as the tropical weather season begins ramping up in the Gulf of Mexico. Famoso said Avant seed should be available by early 2023, ready for next year’s planting.
The other conventional line, Addi Jo, is a high-amylose, conventional long grain variety that Famoso said is targeted for the Latin American markets where they prefer the less sticky, individual grain cooking qualities in their rice. In addition to its unique cooking quality, Addi Jo has excellent blast resistance which Famoso said serves as a major benefit among previous high-amylose lines grown in Louisiana.
“We really haven’t had much high-amylose stuff here in Louisiana because the material that has come out in the past was really susceptible to blast. That is something we wanted to take care of.”
The Addi Jo line has sparked interest among some food manufacturers such as Mars, Inc.—parent company of Ben’s Original—and Campbell’s Soups Company, which features rice in a number of its product lines.
A new Clearfield long-grain line, LA19-2026, has been identified for its upcoming release. Horizon Ag is set to market the line, likely as CLL19, Famoso said. LA19-2026 has very good milling yields, blast resistance and lodging tolerance. A 10-acre foundation seed field was planted at the Rice Research Station this year. Seed production is planned for 2023, with its commercial release anticipated for 2024.
“It has demonstrated excellent yield potential over the last three years of multi-location testing and has consistently been the top yielding semidwarf CL variety across trials,” he said.
Last year, the Rice Breeding Program released its third Provisia variety—PVL03—with marked improvements over the Provisia system predecessors—PVL01 and PVL02. The varieties were the first herbicide-resistant varieties released to farmers following the AgCenter’s release of Clearfield lines 20 years prior. With strong yield potential and good milling quality added to its disease-resistance package, PVL03 was touted as a game changer upon its release. Famoso said, in 2022, Gulf Coast-area rice producers planted 100,000 acres of PVL03. He said seed production has done better than he could have hoped for.
“It shows a lot more stability and yield potential, but it’s also the first Provisia line with really strong blast resistance,” Famoso told Evangeline Parish rice farmers. “And the grain length is right in the middle where we want it to be.”
All the new lines will be on display in test plots for the 113th H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station Annual Field Day set for Wednesday, June 29.
LSU AgCenter Rice Breeder Adam Famoso describes new rice varieties planted at Bieber Farms in Mamou. Avant, Addi Jo and LA19-2026 will be available for Louisiana rice farmers to plant within the next couple of years. Photo by Derek Albert/LSU AgCenter