Rice varieties developed at the LSU AgCenter’s H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station are grown not only in Louisiana but throughout the southeastern United States. Rice variety development research includes work on long grains, medium grains, and specialty-grain types. Variety development focuses on different (non-GMO) herbicide systems, including conventional, Clearfield, and Provisia. The station released the first specialty-grain type variety that incorporates Clearfield resistance in 2018. This variety (CLJ01) is a Jazzman (Jasmine) type for use in the Clearfield Production System.
The technology that has led to the advent of the Clearfield Production System for rice was derived from research conducted at this LSU AgCenter facility. The technology allows for the control of rice weeds, including weedy (red) rice. Clearfield rice currently is grown on more than 48 percent of the southern U.S. rice acreage. Most of this acreage is seeded with Clearfield varieties that also were developed at this research station.
One of the most important functions of the LSU AgCenter’s H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station is the production of foundation rice seed. Foundation seed is the first step in the commercialization of a rice variety.
Because of its Puerto Rican connection, the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station breeding program squeezes three growing seasons out of a year, accelerating the process of developing new rice varieties. Without the nursery program at LaJas, Puerto Rico, the breeding program would only be able to grow one generation of rice a year.
Data from the Louisiana Ag Summary
Rice variety development will continue to be a mainstay of the research program at the LSU AgCenter’s H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station. While two research projects focus specifically on variety and hybrid development, most other projects contribute to these efforts through collaborative research. Future variety development will be facilitated through increased use of techniques such as marker-assisted breeding.
The H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station continues to expand research into the development of rice hybrids. This program is being conducted in cooperation with the Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Nanning, China and the Tianjin Academy of Agricultural Science in Tianjin, China. The Puerto Rican nursery will continue to be critical to variety development efforts, and plans are to increase the size of the nursery to accommodate the rice hybrid-development efforts.
Rice diseases, insects, and weeds are major constraints for Louisiana rice production, and research will continue in these three critical areas.
Research will continue in all rotational crops which are grown in rotation with rice in southwest Louisiana.
The H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station conducts an annual field day. The next field day will be on June 26, 2019, and will highlight current breeding, production, disease, and pest research projects.