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 in their rice production programs. This information is compiled each year into the LSU AgCenter publication (#2270) “Rice Varieties and Management Tips.”
In 2013, there will be four conventional long-grains recommended for statewide production – Catahoula, Cheniere, Cocodrie and Mermentau. All of these lines have semidwarf plant types and are fairly similar in maturity. The 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. 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, Cheniere and Mermentau are rated as susceptible to sheath blight disease while Cocodrie is rated as very susceptible. Cheniere and Cocodrie are rated susceptible to blast disease, while Mermentau is rated moderately resistant and Catahoula is rated resistant. Of the group, Cheniere displays the most resistance to straighthead disorder.
Three conventional medium-grain varieties are recommended this year. Caffey, Jupiter and Neptune are all short-stature lines averaging 34-38 inches in height at maturity with Neptune showing the most resistance to lodging. Jupiter and Caffey have consistently shown somewhat higher yield potential than Neptune, and all three lines typically have acceptable milling yields. Neptune has been the most consistent of the three in producing a ratoon crop followed by Caffey, then Jupiter. Caffey and Neptune are rated moderately susceptible to blast while Jupiter is rated susceptible. Caffey and Jupiter are rated moderately susceptible to sheath blight while Neptune is rated moderately resistant. Neptune also has shown more resistance to straighthead disorder.
While there are five Clearfield long-grains recommended for production this year (CL111, CL131, CL151, CL152 and CL161), most of this acreage will be planted to CL111, CL151 or CL152. Of the group, 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 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 four days earlier. All three lines have very good ratoon crop potential.
CL261 is currently the only Clearfield medium-grain available. The variety has very good first and ratoon crop yield potential and excellent grain quality. It is, however, very susceptible to blast disease and moderately susceptible to sheath blight. The variety is moderately resistant to lodging and 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). These varieties have greatly expanded the acreage planted to specialty varieties in the state, and the expectation is that this acreage will continue to increase over the next few years. Jazzman is 3-5 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 very 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; including different grain types as well as some acreage of a Jazzman type will facilitate marketing options.
Permission granted February 15, 2013 by B. Leonards (LA Farm & Ranch) to republish article on www.lsuagcenter.com