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Variety/Hybrid Roster For 2010
Tanner Seed Farms
Potential New Medium Grain Variety
LT-ILRP Replaces ILRP
USA Rice Outlook Conference
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Seed treatments

Varietal selection is critical to producing a successful crop and now is the time to make your selections, and, in some cases, purchase your seed. You have many more options than in the past – you can select conventional inbred, herbicide-resistant inbred, conventional hybrid and herbicide-resistant hybrid cultivars. Seed costs vary tremendously depending on variety. You must weigh the economic benefits and costs associated with each variety as applied to your particular situation. This array of choices is a good thing for disease, weed and insect management.

I recall in the mid-1990s the majority of planted cultivars in Texas were susceptible to bacterial panicle blight, which reared its ugly head during an abnormally hot period coinciding with flowering of the crop. Yields were drastically reduced; in some fields 50 percent losses were incurred. So, not putting all your eggs in one basket is a good option. If you want to plant a variety you have not planted before, you may want to plant limited acreage of this variety to see how it performs under your specific conditions. Learn as much as you can about these new varieties and adjust your production practices based on what you learn.

In general, recommended seeding rates are decreasing, and many Texas farmers are planting earlier to take advantage of producing a high-yielding ratoon crop. Some Texas farmers this year produced about 1/2 main crop yields on their ratoon crop, which resulted in over 12,000 lb/acre total production! However, other farmers were disappointed in their ratoon yields, which was attributed, in part, to flooding the ratoon crop too late following main crop harvest. At any rate, protecting expensive seed from insects and diseases is a good safeguard.

In 2010, Texas farmers will have the option of planting seed treated with Dermacor X-100 or CruiserMAXX. Our data show both seed treatments provide excellent control of rice water weevil. In addition, Dermacor X-100 controls fall armyworm, South American rice miner and stalk borers, whereas CruiserMAXX controls grape colaspis (which is not a serious pest of rice in Texas), chinch bug, thrips, black bugs and probably aphids. CruiserMAXX also has three fungicides to control an array of seedling diseases.

I know the up-front cost of treated seed is expensive, but our data consistently show the economic benefits of controlling these pests. I have observed many fields with irreversible damage caused by insects. Frequently, farmers tell me they forgot to control the pest insect or were too busy to check fields for these pests. This is where a seed treatment has real value.

Cultivars that performed well in Texas in 2009 include Presidio (particularly in Matagorda County close to the Gulf Coast – excellent main and ratoon crop yields when planted early), CL151, Neptune, Cocodrie and the hybrids. For 2009, rice acreage in Texas was about 170,000. Based on the Texas Rice Crop Survey, which represents about 25 percent of rice acreage in Texas, the most popular cultivars grown were Cocodrie, CL151, Presidio and XL723. In addition, about 60 percent of Texas main crop was ratooned in 2009.

Before you know it, we will be planting our 2010 rice crop. I know fields are soggy and cold now, but proper land prep and early booking of seed are the first steps to producing a successful crop in 2010. Every management decision becomes the foundation for later decisions. So, let’s get off to a good start in 2010 by making good, initial decisions now!


Selection, placement

With 2009 behind us, many producers are already trying to make decisions for the 2010 growing season. The biggest decision for producers is cultivar selection and placement. A lot of lessons were learned from the 2009 season. Producers who planted newly released cultivars on only a portion of their acres instead of the whole farm were probably rewarded more than ones making wholesale changes. Nonetheless, a lesson was learned, which happens every year.

In 2010, rice producers will need to plant multiple varieties to help manage their risk.
As we all realized in 2009, there are no silver bullets, and managing risk is essential for survival in farming. CL151 and the hybrids offer awesome yield potential, but these cultivars do have some drawbacks especially with lodging. These cultivars have less standability in the field than other popular cultivars such as Cocodrie, Cheniere, CL131 or Bowman. As a result, CL151 and hybrids need to be planted first, if possible, so that they can be harvested first. The longer the crop sits in the field, the probability for lodging, shattering and sprouting increases.

Cultivar placement is also essential to maximizing the yield potential of each specific cultivar. CL151 and hybrids would be better suited for heavy clay soils. I say this for a couple of reasons. One, these soils are typically not as high yielding as some of the mixed to lighter soils. Therefore, total farm production can be improved upon. Two, lighter soils tend to have more vegetative growth, especially when fertilizing higher than recommended rates. This situation occurs because lighter soils have more native available nitrogen than heavy clay soils. More vegetative growth means an increased chance of lodging.

Cocodrie is also a good fit for heavy clay soils. Cheniere and Bowman are cultivars that would be well suited for light- to mixed-textured soils. These cultivars provide better resistance against straighthead than most of the other available cultivars.

We have been discussing seeding rates over the past few years. CL131, CL151 and Cheniere generally have more than 20,000 seed per pound. This means that seeding rates when planting under optimal conditions with these cultivars need to be between 65 and 75 lbs/A. Optimal conditions mean planting on a smooth seedbed into moisture at a depth no deeper than 1.5 inches. Cultivars such as Cocodrie and Bowman need to be planted at a higher seeding rate due to fewer seed per pound. A seeding rate of 75 to 85 lb/A would result in a more than adequate stand of rice.

2009 was a year that I hope we never have to experience again. But, the weather is the biggest wildcard producers face, and proper risk management needs to be in place.


Recommended 2010

With 2009 behind us, many producers are already trying to make decisions for the 2010 growing season. The biggest decision for producers is cultivar selection and placement. A lot of lessons were learned from the 2009 season. Producers who planted newly released cultivars on only a portion of their acres instead of the whole farm were probably rewarded more than ones making wholesale changes. Nonetheless, a lesson was learned, which happens every year.

In 2010, rice producers will need to plant multiple varieties to help manage their risk.

As we all realized in 2009, there are no silver bullets, and managing risk is essential for survival in farming. CL151 and the hybrids offer awesome yield potential, but these cultivars do have some drawbacks especially with lodging. These cultivars have less standability in the field than other popular cultivars such as Cocodrie, Cheniere, CL131 or Bowman. As a result, CL151 and hybrids need to be planted first, if possible, so that they can be harvested first. The longer the crop sits in the field, the probability for lodging, shattering and sprouting increases.

Cultivar placement is also essential to maximizing the yield potential of each specific cultivar. CL151 and hybrids would be better suited for heavy clay soils. I say this for a couple of reasons. One, these soils are typically not as high yielding as some of the mixed to lighter soils. Therefore, total farm production can be improved upon. Two, lighter soils tend to have more vegetative growth, especially when fertilizing higher than recommended rates. This situation occurs because lighter soils have more native available nitrogen than heavy clay soils. More vegetative growth means an increased chance of lodging.

Cocodrie is also a good fit for heavy clay soils. Cheniere and Bowman are cultivars that would be well suited for light- to mixed-textured soils. These cultivars provide better resistance against straighthead than most of the other available cultivars.

We have been discussing seeding rates over the past few years. CL131, CL151 and Cheniere generally have more than 20,000 seed per pound. This means that seeding rates when planting under optimal conditions with these cultivars need to be between 65 and 75 lbs/A. Optimal conditions mean planting on a smooth seedbed into moisture at a depth no deeper than 1.5 inches. Cultivars such as Cocodrie and Bowman need to be planted at a higher seeding rate due to fewer seed per pound. A seeding rate of 75 to 85 lb/A would result in a more than adequate stand of rice.

2009 was a year that I hope we never have to experience again. But, the weather is the biggest wildcard producers face, and proper risk management needs to be in place.

In 2009, three of the top five varieties grown in Louisiana were Clearfield lines. The variety, Jupiter, a medium grain variety was the number three variety. Both of those facts represent a huge change from most of the previous decade where rice acreage in Louisiana was dominated by traditional long-grain varieties. What does that forebode for 2010?

Medium grain acreage will depend, as it did last year, on medium grain prices. If demand is there and contracts are offered, then acreage could even increase more than the 11 percent of 2009. If that happens and the market accepts Neptune, I expect it to become the dominant variety in that grain class in the South.

Jupiter has a minimal advantage over Neptune in its disease profile and a small yield advantage, but Neptune has better grain characteristics, outstanding lodging resistance and better second crop potential than Jupiter. I think once the buyers are able to test the grain, they will find it superior to Jupiter, causing the market to shift away from Jupiter and toward Neptune. Bengal, Jupiter and Neptune are all recommended for 2010.

According to our surveys, hybrid acreage remained fairly constant from 2008 to 2009. Part of the reason is simply the limitations on production of hybrid seed. The LSU AgCenter does not recommend any hybrid varieties for 2010. This is because we have not been able to test them for three years; a standard of evaluation adopted a number of years ago by the LSU AgCenter for evaluation of all crops, not just rice. Three hybrid varieties are mentioned: CL XL729, CL XL745 and XL723. The first two are Clearfield hybrids, and the third is not resistant to Newpath herbicide. All have excellent yield potential and excellent second crop potential.

The most disconcerting problem we have experienced with the hybrids showed up in abundance last year. Because most of the hybrids have some degree of seed dormancy and because they have a tendency to shatter, a lot of seed was not harvested, especially in areas hit by Hurricane Ike. It was similar to planting rice in the fall and waiting for it to come up in the spring. There were a number of cases where hybrid seed germinated last summer, producing highly variable populations of weedy rice that has all of the undesirable characteristics of red rice except the red bran.

The mild winter complicated the situation because in some fields rice came back the following spring not from seed, but from the original plants just as would a ratoon crop. In simple terms, treat it like Newpath-resistant red rice if it is on your farm.

Of the long-grain varieties grown last year, CL151 stood out as the yield producer. Its only negative characteristics are the tendency to lodge and chalkiness in the grain. In our verification fields, we produced yields in excess of 8,000 pounds per acre with only 140 pounds of nitrogen (300 pounds of urea) applied per acre. I suspect some of the lodging was a consequence of too much nitrogen. Four Clearfield varieties are recommended for 2010: CL131, CL151, CL161 and CL171. Clearfield 111 will be available in limited supply for 2010. We plan to look at it in one of our verification fields.

Seven non-Clearfield varieties are recommended: Bowman, Catahoula, Cheniere, Cocodrie, Cypress, Trenasse and Wells. Bowman is a variety developed in Mississippi. In testing in Louisiana, it appears to perform better on the heavy soils characteristic of northeast Louisiana. Catahoula was in commercial production last year. I have heard mixed reports about it although it performed well in our verification program. The most common statement was that it looked better in the field than it yielded.

Another interesting recommended variety is Jazzman. Jazzman was developed by Dr. Xueyan Sha at the Rice Research Station in Crowley. It is intended to compete with imported Thai Jasmine because its aroma, flavor and soft cooking properties are similar to Thai Jasmine. The success of this variety will depend on the market. It should not be planted unless a market is already available. Because of its unique properties, it cannot be co-mingled with other rice.

For detailed information on all the varieties mentioned above, please consult the publication 2010 Rice Varieties and Management Tips (publication 2270), which is available through your local county agent or online at: www.lsuagcenter.com/en/crops_live-stock/crops/rice/publications.


Yields reported

Rice producers decide the varieties they want to grow based on their goals for the coming year, the seed meetings they attend, the coffee shop scuttlebutt, their ability to surf the Internet these days and, not to be forgotten, seed availability. The results of variety trials, public and private, are a very good source of information on variety yields and disease traits. This information can be gleaned at grower meetings as well as online. The coffee shop is another source of information, perhaps less reliable, but still valuable, if you listen long enough to the comments of other producers. However, it all comes down to a producer’s goals – high yields, clean fields and cost.

With that in mind...

The 2009 rice production year was atypical – we hope! The growing conditions were not the best, but they were conditions that tested the varieties available to producers. In the Missouri Rice Variety Trials, conducted under several different cultural practices and on different soil types, what follows is how they fell out across the board.

The best of the conventional varieties was Wells at 164 bu/A followed by Trenasse, Cheniere, Cocodrie, Francis and Catahoula with 161 bu/A, 160 bu/A, 153 bu/A, 152 bu/A and 151 bu/A, respectively. Of the new varieties from Arkansas, Templeton and Taggart yielded 152 bu/A and 143 bu/A, respectively. Of the Clearfield lines in the trials, there was not much difference between CFX111, CL151 and CL171-AR; 150 bu/A, 153 bu/A and 155 bu/A, respectively. The only hybrid in the yield trial was Bayer’s Arize 1003, which averaged 139 bu/A with a high yield of 189 bu/A.

According to rice consultants, on-farm yields ranged from 75 bu/A in late-planted rice to 220 bu/A for CL151 and RiceTec CL745. Among the conventional lines, Wells, Trenasse, Cheniere and Cocodrie averaged over 150 bu/A. The Clearfield lines averaged more than 145 bu/A with CL151 at 175 bu/A, CL171-AR at 145 bu/A, and CL131 at 161 bu/A. The RiceTec hybrids did well, averaging 180 bu/A, while Arize 1003, on limited acres, averaged 160 bu/A.
Of the medium grain rice in the Missouri Rice Variety Trial, Jupiter was slightly lower yielding than Neptune, 161 bu/A and 163 bu/A, respectively. A new medium grain from Louisiana, Neptune yielded 143 bu/A. The on-farm yields had Jupiter ranging from 160 to 180 bu/A and Bengal at 160 bu/A when planted early.

Rice producers should be aware of the disease ratings on these released varieties, particularly blast, as this was the major problem in 2009. Templeton appeared to withstand the blast disease better than most of the other released varieties.

As of mid-December, there did not appear to be any seed availability issues as we have experienced in previous years. More complete information will be forthcoming at the Missouri Rice Research Conference on March 3, 2010, held at the Dexter Eagles Lodge and at www.edu/rice/index_htm soon thereafter.


Plan for diversity

It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. Rice varieties have evolved over the past 25 years tremendously, but we are still considering some of the same issues when selecting which varieties to grow. Rice blast problems in 2009 reminded many of us that blast resistance, water management and variety selection are linked.

As we think about varieties for the 2010 crop, here are some things to keep in mind. Many or most of you have probably already considered this decision. RiceTec and Horizon Ag have encouraged you to make early decisions regarding their hybrids and Clearfield varieties. While you may have already committed, you still must decide which fields you will plant these varieties or hybrids. Hopefully, you have planned for some diversity so that all of the farm is not planted in a single variety.

New Clearfield varieties are entering the market and look to be fairly popular. CL151 is likely to be the most widely planted Clearfield variety. This is a very good variety but do not plant it in fields with a history of rice blast or fields that are hard to flood continuously. Lodging can be a serious problem if excessive fertilizer is applied. We are reducing our recommended nitrogen fertilizer rate to 120 pounds of nitrogen per acre on silt loam soils to help reduce lodging problems. CL142, CL181, CL111 and CL261 will be available in very small amounts but bring excitement to the Clearfield portfolio.

Wells is still a popular long-grain in Arkansas and is likely to stay that way. However, it is fading as new technology becomes available. Taggart is a new long-grain with a similar disease package as Wells and slightly better yield potential than Wells. Templeton is a new long- grain with blast resistance and yield potential similar to Wells.

The hybrids continue to have a significant amount of acreage. Good overall disease resistance and excellent yield potential make the hybrids attractive to many growers. I prefer to plant hybrids on fields that need the most help in improving overall yields. However, they are also excellent choices in high-risk fields where blast can be a significant pest.

RiceTec hybrids will primarily be CL XL729, CL XL 745 and XL723. They also have new hybrids that you should have the opportunity to see that will be entering the market soon. Bayer CropScience plans to have more of its new hybrid Arize QM1003. This is an excellent-yielding hybrid that can be used in situations where conventional varieties are not meeting expectations.

What about medium grain varieties? Jupiter was planted on fairly wide acreage last year and proved to be a very good medium grain, although rice blast was a problem for some growers. A new medium grain, Neptune, will be available in 2010 that has a lot of the positive characteristics of Jupiter but also has a larger kernel. However, before you decide to plant more medium grain than you have in the past, you must consider the markets. There may be some pricing opportunities, but I encourage you to sell it before you plant it.

A new and emerging market is upon us. Availability of U.S.-grown Jasmine-type rices that can compete with Thai Jasmine has finally arrived. Arkansas has released JES, and LSU has released Jazzman. Both of these varieties have good aroma, good flavor and the potential to compete with Jasmine rice that is currently imported into the United States. This will likely be grown in certain locations and under specific contracts, but it is encouraging to know that U.S. rice farmers can finally tap into this growing market.

Variety selection is one of the most important decisions you make all year. Putting the right variety or hybrid in the right field can mean success or failure for that variety. I encourage you to look at as much variety trial information as you can. Our rice variety trials are posted at ArkansasVarietyTesting.org. If you have any questions regarding variety selection, please feel free to contact your local county Extension agent or give me a call.

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