New LSU AgCenter rice varieties may be on tap this year

Schultz Bruce, Saichuk, John K., Groth, Donald E.

Dr. Steve Linscombe, LSU AgCenter rice breeder at far left, tells farmers about new lines of rice that could be released as varieties. The field day was held May 19 at the Bieber Farm in Evangeline Parish near Mamou. (Photo by Bruce Schultz. Click on photo for downloadable image.)

News Release Distribured 05/20/09

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 Dr. 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.

For this year’s crop, the cool weather of mid-May will dry out the tips of young rice plants, but long-term damage will be minimal, said LSU AgCenter rice specialist Dr. Johnny Saichuk. “If you do see it, don’t get alarmed,” he said.

Saichuk said this year’s Louisiana crop was planted later than usual because of bad weather. He said some farmers in north Louisiana have yet to plant because the soil has been too wet.

The dry, cool weather will delay disease problems, said LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Dr. Don Groth. He advised that when fungicides are used, amounts can be varied. For example, he said, Quadris can be applied from 8 ounces to 12 ounces per acre.

“The key thing is if the disease occurs early or is severe, you want to use a high rate,” Groth said.

Dr. Natalie Hummel, LSU AgCenter entomologist, said the insect called grape colaspis has been found in two fields in Acadia Parish, including one no-till field where rice was drilled into soybean stubble.

The insect is a frequent problem in Arkansas, she said, and it often overwinters in soybean fields.

Hummel said the seed treatment Dermacor, originally intended for action against rice water weevils, appears to have some effectiveness on grape colaspis.

Bruce Schultz

5/20/2009 9:09:08 PM
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