“Our strongest rice portfolio ever.”
That’s how Horizon Ag general manager Dr. Tim Walker described the Clearfield® and Provisia® rice varieties available to plant next season to more than 100 farmers, consultants, and rice industry leaders who attended the company’s recent Arkansas Field Day in Harrisburg.
“It is exciting to talk about the products we have today that are being brought to market through Horizon Ag’s long-standing partnership with the outstanding breeding programs here in Arkansas and the southern rice region,” said Dr. Walker. “We strive every day to be a good partner with the industry and, most importantly, with farmers, by offering products that provide the best opportunity for them to be more profitable, and the U.S. rice industry to meet the needs of the domestic and export consumers.”
This season, Horizon Ag had a limited launch of CLL18, the newest Clearfield variety from University of Arkansas breeders, after it had consistently outyielded other elite rice varieties in multi-state, multi-year tests. In addition to providing farmers with very high yield potential and good milling, CLL18 is a conventional statured rice with excellent straw strength and good tolerance to sheath blight. It is moderately susceptible to rice blast.
Craighead County farmer Nolan Evans said that thus far this season, his “CLL18 looks very good” and is anxious to see how it performs at harvest. “We’re optimistic about CLL18. Hopefully, it will meet its potential to be a very good yielding variety on our farm.”
That optimism was echoed by Bernie, Missouri farmer Zack Tanner, who is growing CLL18 for seed for Horizon Ag, along with other new varieties. “CLL18 has really looked impressive this year,” said Tanner. “It got off to a good start and continues to have excellent potential. We’ll know how good it is when we harvest it.”
Joining CLL18 and proven performer CLL16 in the Horizon Ag lineup next season will be new CLL19, an outstanding semi-dwarf variety from the LSU AgCenter breeding program. CLL19 represents a significant step up over what it’s replacing – CLL17, another early maturing variety – in terms of yield potential and stalk strength, in addition to excellent blast resistance and milling quality.
CLL19 should be a good fit for the northern areas of the southern rice region, where farmers need early maturing varieties that have excellent potential, according to Horizon Ag District Field Representative Jason Satterfield.
“CLL19 is going to be a good addition to what we consider to be our best Clearfield variety lineup to date,” said Satterfield. “Both CLL18 and CLL19 have proven to be equal to, or better than, CLL16, in terms of consistently high yield potential,” he said. “Another positive is that while CLL16 is a little longer-maturing variety, CLL18 is roughly three days earlier than CLL16 and CLL19 is about five days earlier than CLL18. This shows how we are continually trying to improve varieties to meet farmer needs.”
PVL03, the number one variety planted in neighboring Louisiana in 2023, also is making inroads into the North Delta. Next season, PVL03 will be joined by PVL04, the latest variety released for the Provisia Rice System, and the first from the University of Arkansas breeding program.
Horizon Ag District Field Representative Corey Conner, who’s territory includes South Louisiana where most of the PVL03 acreage was planted, said fields there “were the cleanest I’ve seen in over 20 years, thanks to the Provisia Rice System.” He also noted the variety is resulting in better overall milling quality than other varieties or hybrids planted in the region.
Crop consultant Dustin Engler of Jonesboro, Arkansas said he planted Provisia varieties PVL01 and PVL02 in previous seasons but that he has been particularly impressed with PVL03 this year. “It came out of the ground better and it looks picture-perfect,” he said. “We have an abundance of red rice, barnyard grass, and annual grasses, and Provisia herbicide does a great job of providing control. If PVL03 yields and mills as we expect, we could move forward with a lot more acreage of it.”
University of Arkansas weed scientist Dr. Jason Norsworthy said reports of clean fields in his state are common where PVL03 was planted. “The Provisia Rice System is an excellent weed control system,” he said. “There are some other herbicides out there that are not as effective as Provisia herbicide.”
With no new weed control technology on the immediate horizon, he emphasized the importance of stewarding the Provisia technology so that it will be available as an effective tool for many more years. For instance, after initially recommending farmers make two 15-ounce applications of Provisia herbicide in a season, a better approach to avoiding weedy rice outcrossing is with three 10-ounce applications.
“Based on our research, my colleagues and I feel that three applications of Provisia herbicide is best,” said Dr. Norsworthy. “If the target is weedy rice, I can hit it with 10 ounces that first application and come back with a second application at 10 ounces and get effective control. After that, the third 10-ounce application is about keeping weeds that have emerged from going to seed. I like to see us make another application at post-flood to prevent outcrossing.”
More information about Horizon Ag Clearfield and Provisia varieties is available at www.HorizonSeed.com.
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