New Clearfield long grain from the LSU AgCenter boasts improved yields and disease package.
• By Vicky Boyd,
The Louisiana State University AgCenter has released CLL17, a new early season, semi-dwarf, long-grain, Clearfield rice variety for registered seed production this season. It will be available commercially to growers through Horizon Ag in 2021.
From the breeding program of Dr. Adam Famoso, the new Clearfield variety has shown strong yield potential, excellent milling yield, very good grain quality and resistance to blast.
“Over three years, it has consistently performed at or better than CL151 and CL153, averaging 5.8% more than CL153,” Famoso told attendees of the 2019 LSU AgCenter Rice Field Day in Crowley. “It certainly has very good yield potential with excellent blast resistance.”
Tim Walker, Horizon Ag general manager, agreed, saying the new Clearfield variety offers growers a good overall package.
“Clearly, we have the yield advantage without sacrificing the disease package,” he says. “Compared to CL151, we pick up blast. We pick up resistance to Cercospora, which again, has cost us a couple of years in Southwest Louisiana. But we don’t give up milling. Just head to head with CL151, for example, you get improved grain length. You get more stable yields, especially in a blast environment. This, in and of itself, is worth a lot.”
Performance across the Rice Belt
In 59 trials throughout the Mid-South Rice Belt beginning in 2015, LA2097 — as the variety was designated before release — averaged 7,841 pounds per acre for the main crop. That compares to 7,155 pounds for CL111, 7,330 pounds for CL153 and 6,653 pounds for Cheniere, according to LSU AgCenter data.
In 2019, the average yield advantage was 7% more than CL153 across over 20 tests throughout Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, Famoso says.
In a 10-acre seed increase field near Crowley, CLL17 yielded about 50 barrels (about 193 bushels) per acre in 2019, Walker says.
Based on trials at eight locations, CLL17 has shown a similar ratoon yield potential as CL153 and CL111, Famoso says.
Milling yields for CLL17 averaged roughly 62/70 across 41 trials compared to 63/71 for CL111, 62/71 for CL153 and 63/72 for Cheniere.
Although the new variety is a semi-dwarf, it stands at 39 inches, 1 inch taller than CL111 and 2 inches taller than CL153. At the same time, CLL17 reaches 50% heading at 81 days, one day earlier than CL153, two days earlier than Cheniere and two days later than CLL111.
As with other newer Clearfield releases, CLL17 contains two genes — Pi-ta and Pi-ks — for improved blast resistance. In addition, it is resistant to Cercospora, moderately susceptible to bacterial panicle blight and straighthead, and susceptible to sheath blight.
Barring unforeseen hiccups, Walker says Horizon Ag expects to have seed available to plant about 100,000 acres in 2021. How the availability of CLL17 affects existing Clearfield long-grain varieties depends on the market.
But Walker did say that he expects CL153 seed availability will be significantly reduced in 2021.
“CL151 and CL111 will probably be reduced a bit (in 2021), but those have been such a big part of acreage in Southwest Louisiana,” he says. “I don’t think it makes sense to have as many varieties as we could possibly have.
“It becomes very inefficient, so you have to make the call at some point. Just because 111, 151 or 153 comes off the market, we have full confidence that these new varieties are better bets for growers.”