LSU AgCenter researchers test rice in locations across the state to compare yield differences and to quantify disease pressure.
AgCenter rice breeder Adam Famoso said the collaboration between research station personnel is what makes the advanced and pre-commercial yield trials successful.
“The study that we’re doing at the AgCenter Northeast Research Station at St. Joseph is one of 10 advanced yield plots that we have across the state,” he said. “We need different growing conditions to see how a crop performs in those situations.”
Famoso said the advanced yield trials that he performs normally consist of regional and statewide studies of rice performance.
Having good collaboration between producers to do trials on their farms as well as other AgCenter research stations is essential to the work he does in developing new rice varieties.
Collaboration across researchers at different stations throughout the state is also an important component to successfully completing Louisiana Rice Research Board funded projects.
“Just because one researcher is funded to, for instance, study pests, diseases, agronomy or breeding, that doesn’t mean that the various projects don’t contribute to that work,” he said.
Dennis Burns, AgCenter agent and research coordinator at the Northeast Research Station said the research done there is also replicated elsewhere in the state to see how the crop does in different locations.
“This is actually an extension of Adam’s rice breeding program,” Burns said. “The variety trials have been going on here for many years.”
Burns said Famoso has a variety of plots at the station, ranging from commercial and regional to some extended studies.
“Just like we do with cotton and corn, we look at one variety on silt loam and another on clay soil,” Burns said.
Famoso said he does tests on more than 12,000 plots per year in his breeding program.
“Without the cooperation and collaboration that I have with other researchers it would be near impossible to complete these evaluations,” he said.
He said as he gets closer to the advanced stages of the variety development process, he must have people in multiple locations to help him with the results.
“For instance, at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro, Trey Price has been an excellent collaborator to our work, even though his primary Louisiana Rice Research Board project is related to plant pathology,” he said. “At Northeast, not only does the breeding program do rice trials there, but we also have the agronomy and weed science project conducting studies there also.”
Famoso said the point is to look at how a variety performs in different locations before it is advanced to be released.
“We are looking to try to identify any of the potential flaws a line may have,” he said. “The best way to do that is to plant them in as many environments as possible.”
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture