Winter nursery operations expanded

Frances Gould, Schultz, Bruce  |  10/10/2013 11:18:42 PM

The LSU AgCenter has expanded its research and rice seed production operations at its winter nursery in Puerto Rico.

As the LSU AgCenter’s rice breeding program has grown, so has the need for property to grow more rice, said Dr. Steve Linscombe, AgCenter rice breeder and regional director for southwestern Louisiana.

While the LSU AgCenter still grows rice with other universities at the nursery, 15 additional acres were needed to move forward with expanded research, including the new hybrid program.

"Because of the rotation scheme, we didn’t have an adequate area where we could plant the hybrid lines," he said.

The additional acreage has already proven its worth, Linscombe said. "This was very important for the past couple of years," he said, adding that seed increases for Jazzman 2, Caffey and CL152 were carried out on the new land. Those lines were released as new varieties a year earlier than usual because rice could be grown during the winter months to provide a seed increase.

Linscombe said Anthony Rivera, farm manager for the nursery, has greatly improved his rice growing expertise through the years. "He’s a very valuable asset to us and totally responsible for the success of the winter nursery. He’s very dedicated, and he’s of a maximum benefit to us," Linscombe said.

Rivera also visits the Rice Research Station at Crowley every year, Linscombe said, and he picks up new ideas. "Every year that this occurs, he incorporates what he learns and brings it back to Puerto Rico," Linscombe said.

Checkoff funds for this
project in 2011: $73,500

(This article was published in the 2012 Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report.)

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