Missouri releases first variety, a semi-dwarf medium grain

MM17 medium-grain rice

Researchers in Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council have released a new medium-grain variety, MM17, for the 2019 growing season.

Researchers in Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Agriculture along with the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council have released for the 2019 season a new rice variety bred for southeast Missouri.

Called MM17, it is a semi-dwarf, mid-season, medium-grain variety with excellent yield potential. It was developed by pedigree selection in Southeast’s Rice Research Greenhouse in Malden, Missouri, and at the Missouri Rice Research Farm in Glennonville, Missouri.

It is the result of Missouri rice breeding efforts over several years and represents the first released variety for the state.

Greg Yielding, director of emerging markets and special projects with the U.S. Rice Producers Association, and Dr. Mike Aide, agriculture professor at Southeast Missouri State University, say new rice varieties like MM17 create new market opportunities. They also support farm profitability by creating expanded sales and export enhancements.

MM17 is available from Tanner Seed Co. LLC in Bernie, Missouri.

Yielding says the new variety was grown in 2018 at the Missouri Rice Research Farm. The rice was harvested and bagged, with some of the seed reserved for breeder seed, which is now ready for sale to growers.

MM17 rice

MM17 has low amylose, which makes it sticky. It also is a medium grain with a more rounded kernel shape compared to the more elongated long-grain varieties.

MM17 is a cross between a short-grain variety developed in Italy and an experimental line from the Cooperative Uniform Regional Rice Nursery.

The regional rice nursery is a multi-state rice evaluation program where varieties are evaluated by breeders across a spectrum of soils, climates, disease and insect pressures.

The new variety was bred knowing Missouri rice producers value rice varieties with taste and appearance characteristics that create an eventful dining experience, Aide says.

MM17’s low amylose content, which is what makes “sticky rice” sticky, is ideal for medium-grain table rice and restaurateurs who serve traditional rice recipes, especially for sushi-type cuisine, he says.

Missouri is typically a long-grain rice-producing state where traditional elongated rice grain is grown, whereas MM17 is a medium grain rice having a more rounded shape. Palate approval is important in cultures where rice is routinely served, Aide says.

Southeast Missouri State University contributed this article.