Rice, research and recognition highlight LSU field day

Don Groth Steve Linscombe
Dr. Don Groth, LSU plant pathologist (left), presents Dr. Steve Linscombe with a plaque showing the 33 rice varieties Linscombe took the lead in developing during his 35-year tenure.

At the June 28 Louisiana State University AgCenter rice field day, members of the Louisiana rice industry took the opportunity to recognize Dr. Steve Linscombe, who is retiring on Sept. 30 after 35 years of service.

For most of those years, Linscombe led rice breeding efforts at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station near Crowley. During his tenure, the station released 33 rice varieties. More recently, Linscombe also served as station director.

“This has been a very good place to work – the people at the station and the people who I’ve worked with throughout the years,” Linscombe says. “It has been an honor to work for the LSU AgCenter and for the rice center. I’ll miss it. I won’t miss walking in rice fields when it’s 100 degrees and 110 percent humidity.”

In recognition of his years of service, the university plans to name the station’s conference room after Linscombe.

“LSU policy is you can’t name a building after someone until they’re dead for two years,” Rogers Leonard, AgCenter associate vice president, said, laughing.

Earlier in the morning, AgCenter scientists updated attendees about their latest work during research plot tours. Following on the heels of the first commercially released Provisia variety, PVL01, Linscombe has five additional Provisia lines that are fairly advanced.

PVL Provisia lines
A few of the experimental Provisia rice lines in the pipeline.

The experimental PVL080 and PVL081 are both about three days earlier than CL111, a Clearfield variety developed by LSU.

Provisia rice has been developed using conventional techniques to withstand over-the-top applications of Provisia Herbicide, a quizalofop herbicide from BASF. PVL01 will be available in limited quantities for the 2018 planting season.

A Clearfield version of Jazzman II, an aromatic jasmine-type rice, also is in the works. The university currently has 7 acres of foundation seed in production.

“This is going to be a good variety for us,” Linscombe says. “It has very good aroma and better yield than Jazzman I or II and very good grain quality.”

Like its predecessors, CL Jazzman was developed using conventional breeding techniques to resist over-the-top applications of imidazolines herbicides.

Dr. Jim Oard has seven experimental hybrid lines that are likely two to three years from commercialization. Among those are four Provisia hybrids resistant to two times the typical Provisia herbicide rates, a Clearfield hybrid and a conventional long-grain hybrid.

Dr. Eric Webster, AgCenter weed scientist, continues to look at fine-tuning applications of Provisia Herbicide on Provisia rice. The label allows a maximum of 31 ounces during the season.

Although initial recommendations call for two shots of 15.5 ounces each, Webster is studying whether a reduced rate of 10 ounces might be better.

“I like it because it gives us an option of a third application for clean up,” he says. The third application also could be saved to clean up a the ratoon crop.

Webster also continues his work examining tankmix partners for Provisia and has seen quite a bit of antagonism with a handful of herbicides. Three he recommends avoiding are Provisia tankmixed with Grasp, Regiment or propanil.

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