Make wise variety decisions
With continued rising production
costs and market volatility at an alltime
high, rice producers have to be
as productive as possible, and there is
no room to come up short in terms of production. In this article,
I would like to highlight some of the new cultivars that
are available in 2012.
Rex is a newly released variety from Mississippi State
University. This variety has shown yield advantages of
three to 10 percent over Cocodrie, and maturity and milling
are similar. Rex is a few inches taller than Cocodrie, but has
shown excellent standability in the field. Rex is rated moderately
susceptible to sheath blight and straighthead and is
susceptible to blast, kernel and false smut.
XL753 is a new hybrid from RiceTec released in 2011. It
has shown three to 10 percent yield advantage over
XL723. Height, maturity, milling and harvestability are
similar to XL723. XL754 is another new hybrid from RiceTec. It
has shown comparable yields and milling to XL723. XL754 matures
about seven to 10 days later than XL723. One of the drawbacks is that
it begins to tiller at a very short height. Therefore, it may be hard to
quickly establish a flood with its short tillering height. However,
XL754 does catch up in growth later in the growing season. XL754
is not as easy to harvest as some other hybrids, especially if it lodges.
There has been more development in CLEARFIELD cultivars
recently since this technology is being grown on over 75 percent of
the acres in Mississippi. Until recently, there has been a lack of high-yielding cultivars available for producers to grow.
CL162 is variety that was released by Horizon Ag in 2011 and
developed by Mississippi State University. This variety has shown
average yields approximately five to eight percent less than CL151.
However, this variety does have good milling yields. CL162 averages
a couple of inches taller than CL151, but has better standability in the
field than CL151 and CL111. CL162 is susceptible to sheath blight
and moderately susceptible to blast and straighthead. CL142-AR is
variety that was released by Horizon Ag in 2010. CL142-AR has
shown comparable yields to CL151 but lower milling yields. It is about six inches taller than CL151; however, it has good straw
strength. CL152 was released by Horizon Ag in 2011. In preliminary
data, CL152 has shown yields to be around five percent less than
CL151. However, this variety does have good milling yields.
CL152 has averaged a couple of inches taller than CL151 but has
shown excellent standability in the field.
CLEARFIELD XL756 is a hybrid that was released by RiceTec in
2011. This hybrid has shown comparable yields and milling to
XL729. Clearfield XL756 will mature about seven to 10 days later
than XL729. One of the drawbacks is that it begins to tiller at a very
short height. Therefore, it may be hard to quickly establish a flood with
its short tillering height. CLEARFIELD XL756 does catch up in
growth later in the growing season. Also, XL756 is not as easy to harvest
as some other hybrids, especially if it lodges.
Please feel free to look over our Mississippi on-farm variety trial
information at www.mississippi-crops.com.
A lifetime ago when I was in graduate
school and working on soybeans, most of
the varieties in the South were named after
Confederate generals. We had varieties
named Bragg, Lee, Davis, Forrest and so on. Today, most are
named with a combination of numbers and letters and are the
result of research by private companies.
Rice is the only major commodity grown in the United States
that still depends primarily on public breeding programs for the
development of new varieties. The limited acreage of rice grown
in the United States is just too small a market to make privately
developed pure line varieties profitable. The introduction of hybrid
varieties has changed the situation. We now can choose from traditional
pure lines, CLEARFIELD pure lines, hybrids and
CLEARFIELD hybrids. More varieties mean more choices, which
mean more decision making for the producer.
According to surveys conducted by county agents in Louisiana,
there were 31 varieties of rice grown in Louisiana last year: 19
long-grain varieties (including hybrids); five medium grain varieties;
and seven special purpose varieties. Fourteen of these varieties
were CLEARFIELD lines or hybrids, which occupied 65 percent
of the acres. The six hybrid varieties (both CLEARFIELD and
non-CLEARFIELD) were planted on 24 percent of the acres.
For 2012, the LSU AgCenter’s publication Rice Varieties and
Management Tips lists eight recommended long-grain varieties and
12 other long-grain varieties (including hybrids); four recommended
medium grain varieties and five special purpose varieties.
Hard copies are available through your county agent or it can
be downloaded at: www.lsuagcenter.com/en/crops_livestock/ crops/rice/Publications. In this publication are data on
yield, maturity, milling quality and reaction to disease, all of
which are necessary criteria in deciding what to plant this year.
There also are two new releases in 2012 from the Rice Research
Station in Crowley – Mermentau and Della-2. Please refer to the
article on page 7 for more information about these varieties and
Foundation seed of Caffey, Cheniere, Cocodrie, Cypress, Della-
2, Jazzman-2, Jupiter and Mermentau are available from the Rice
Research Station. Contact your local county agent for details.
Variety selection is so important to achieving
maximum yields with optimum inputs.
The variety you select is like the engine in
your truck – it carries the workload; you must have the “horsepower”
up front to realize peak performance on your farm. Your
agronomic and pest management practices can maximize the potential
of your variety, but, first, you must select the proper variety for
your situation, and each situation is unique.
For instance, in Texas, Presidio is the choice of many farmers in
Matagorda County where ratoon crop potential is high. Presidio is
early maturing and has good main and excellent ratoon crop potential.
Farmers in this area can plant early due to their proximity to the
Gulf of Mexico, which has an ameliorating effect on cold, spring
temperatures. Thus, farmers are able to harvest their main crop in July
and ratoon crop in September – early in, early out –
which helps them avoid certain pest and climatic
problems occurring later in the season. Another benefit
of early planting with an early maturing variety
is partial avoidance of very high day and night temperatures
during flowering. I used to be skeptical of
climate change, but now I am not so sure. If we are
in an era of increasing temperatures, panicle blight
and heat-caused sterility may become more problematic
for our rice crops. Only time will tell.
Also, CLEARFIELD varieties, both conventional
and hybrid, are very popular across the Texas Rice
Belt, which suggests these varieties are well adapted
to a relatively broad range of environmental conditions.
Medium grain varieties seem to perform
well east of Houston where ratoon cropping is more
risky. However, in 2011, at least one farmer in the
southwestern part of the Texas Rice Belt produced 52 barrels per acre on Neptune (main crop only).
As far as new varieties, RiceTec will release on a broad basis
XP744 in 2012. This hybrid is similar to CLEARFIELD XL745 in
terms of maturity, yield, milling quality and disease resistance. XP744
can be used in a rotational, stewardship program with CLEARFIELD
XL745. Another new variety is CL152 out of the LSU AgCenter
breeding program. This CLEARFIELD, semidwarf, long-grain variety
has good resistance to lodging – better than CL151 – and good
ratoon crop potential. Caffey, also from the LSU AgCenter, is an
early, short stature, medium grain variety. Caffey has excellent yield
potential and milling quality.
Jazzman II, another LSU AgCenter offering, is an early maturing,
aromatic, long-grain variety possessing good yield potential,
milling quality and lodging tolerance. Jazzman II is about four inches
shorter and four days earlier than Jazzman. Jazzman II has a very
strong aromatic fragrance. This is not a complete list of new varieties,
so consult your rice experiment/Extension station and/or USDA
facility for more detailed information. Also, talk with your rice farmer
neighbors, crop consultants, county Extension agents and seed dealers
to make this most important choice for the upcoming 2012 season.
Regardless of variety, Texas farmers should strongly consider
applying one of three insecticidal seed treatments to control an array
of pest insects attacking rice. CruiserMaxx Rice, Dermacor X-100 and
NipsIt INSIDE will be available for use in 2012. Our data consistently
show an economical return associated with the use of these seed
treatments. All seed treatments control rice water weevil. CruiserMaxx
Rice and NipsIt INSIDE also control early seedling pests with piercing-
sucking mouthparts and grape colaspis. CruiserMaxx Rice possesses
three fungicides to control seedling diseases. Dermacor X-
100 also controls fall armyworm, South American rice miner and
stalk borers. Finally, remember when you control pests on the main
crop, you get a positive carry-over effect on the ratoon crop.
In conclusion, I hope Texas receives an abundance of precipitation
in a hurry. Right now I am looking out my office window and seeing
a few raindrops and very cloudy skies. The Beaumont Center received
0.6 inches of rain last night (Dec. 15). Let’s hope and pray this most
precious resource fills our reservoirs and rivers before next field season.
In the meantime, do what you can to conserve water and support
the Colorado Water Issues Committee chaired by Ron Gertson.
Consider every aspect of a variety
Successful production and marketing of rice
requires knowledge of plant and grain characteristics.
Since a rice grower’s first concern is
usually yield performance, it is an important criterion for variety
selection, although for certain varieties market quality outweighs
yield. Varieties should also be chosen on the basis of their relative
maturity so they can fit the cropping schedule of a particular farming
operation or are suitable to a particular climatic condition. For example,
late-maturing varieties fit early planting schedules; cold-tolerant
varieties are needed for cooler areas. Agronomic characteristics, such
as lodging and nitrogen response, may also be considered in addition
to straw quantity and quality.
Maturity of California rice varieties is classified by the number
of days from planting to 50 percent heading in the warmer areas of the
state. Maturity differs primarily in the length of the vegetative stage.
Beyond the 50 percent heading point, California short and medium
grain varieties normally require another 40 to 55 days for grain maturity
in warm areas, and five to 15 days more in cool areas. Longgrain
varieties usually ripen five to 10 days faster after 50 percent heading
than medium grain varieties. Maturity is relative and can be
advanced or delayed by planting date, nutritional status, temperature
and other environmental factors.
Three categories are used: Very early, early and late maturing.
Very early varieties are commonly grown in cooler areas and for
late planting when later varieties are not well suited. They reach 50 percent
in less than 90 days. An increasing practice is to plant them
early in warm areas to advance harvest to allow more time for straw
management and to shorten the water season. Maintenance of milling
quality can be more of an issue when very early varieties are planted
early. The principle public varieties in this category are M103, M104
and the newly released variety M105. M105 is earlier maturing than M206, but not as early as M104. It exhibits very high stable milling
yields. Its yield potential is greater than M104, but less than M206. It
is less cold tolerate than M104.
Early varieties, principally M205 and M206, occupy roughly 70 to
75 percent of the acreage. They are predominately Calrose-type
medium grains and are generally the higher yielding California varieties. Early varieties provide flexibility because they are suited to a
wide range of planting dates. They reach 50 percent heading in 90 to
97 days after planting. If you are in an area prone to blast disease,
M208 is the variety of choice. Its yield and milling potential is comparable
to that of M206.
Late-maturing varieties, notably M401, also provide options for harvest
sequencing. However, most late varieties currently grown are used
because they have particular characteristics, such as premium quality,
rather than for their value in scheduling harvest. They are ideally
planted before May 1 because they require more than 100 days to
reach 50 percent heading. About 10 percent of the acres are typically
planted to late-maturing varieties.
Suggested planting dates for public varieties are shown in the table
below. These suggestions assume that average weather conditions
will prevail. Within the preferred planting date range, the variety
should perform well if other conditions are optimum. Planting outside
these ranges increases risk of weather-related damage.
Planting dates are not rigid, and many growers accept the risk and
successfully plant outside these ranges. They are meant as guidelines.
Warm areas refer to the Sacramento Valley north of Highway
20 and west of Highway 99. Cool areas include south of Highway 20
and east of Highway 99. Cold areas include south Natomas and
Low temperatures during formation of the pollen mother cell
(microsporogenesis) is a primary cause of panicle sterility (blanking).
This physiological stage coincides with the time when the collar
of the flag leaf is adjacent to the next to the last leaf, and when the
panicle is still entirely inside the boot. The cause is low temperature
for a sufficient duration, particularly if it occurs for several successive
nights. While many combinations of time and temperature can cause
blanking, an overnight low of 55 degrees or lower can be used as an
alert that temperatures may be low enough to cause damage. All
varieties are screened for tolerance to blanking.
More about agronomic characteristics of California public varieties
can be found at http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/uccerice/