RiceTec continues to push the yield limits of commercial rice with the introduction of the new Clearfield hybrid, RT7311 CL, for the 2017 season. At the same time, the Houston, Texas-based firm is working to improve grain quality, a concern within the rice industry.
“We think today we have our arms wrapped around the formula that will help us move forward,” says Mike Gumina, global CEO of RiceTec AG.
The company also is promoting hybrids as part of overall sustainability since they require significantly less water and fertilizer per unit produced compared to conventional varieties, he says.
RiceTec showed off recent introductions as well as materials in the pipeline at its Aug. 3 field day near Harrisburg, Ark.
Several production practices touted for enhanced sustainability, including furrow-irrigated row rice and alternate wetting and drying (AWD), also were displayed.
New for 2017
RiceTec plans to launch RT7311 CL for the 2017 season. It was formerly trialed as CL XP766 and is a Clearfield version of XP753, says Whitney Jones, district sales manager.
The long-grain hybrid contains the Clearfield technology and is resistant to Newpath herbicide. In trials throughout the Mid-South, RT 7311 CL yielded an average of 16 percent more than CL XL745, the most widely planted Clearfield hybrid, says Austin Lewis, tech sales representative. RT7311 CL also has good milling, low chalk, strong blast resistance and excellent ratoon potential.
RiceTec also has a medium-grain hybrid in the works, XP368, which yields about 23 percent more than Jupiter, Jones says. It has shorter height than Jupiter and is about 10 days earlier than Jupiter.
Initial trials show it is susceptible to blast but probably not to the extent of Jupiter, Lewis says.
“The only thing we’re waiting on is whether Kellogg’s will accept it,” Jones says.
ACCase-herbicide tolerant hybrids in the works
In addition, breeders at RiceTec are working to develop hybrids with resistance to ACCase herbicides, such as the Assure or Fusilade, says Mason Wallace, tech sales manager. The first releases are expected in 2019 or 2020 and will be based on the genetics behind XP753 and CL XL745.
“This is an exciting new system,” Wallace says. “It’s going to be a great tool to extend the Clearfield system and it’s going to be a tool to kill grasses.”
But ACCase herbicides aren’t as flexible as the Clearfield system’s imazethapyr herbicides, which controlled a host of broeadleaf weeds as well as grasses. ACCase herbicides only control grasses, so growers will have to apply a broadleaf material. Initial trials show antagonism between ACCase herbicides and many other products, so tankmixing may be limited.
The system will involve two applications — one when weeds are in the one- to two-leaf stage followed by a second 10 to 14 days later, depending on rice growing conditions.
At the present, RiceTec has no plans to offer hybrids with stacked Clearfield and ACCase traits.
New naming system
The 2017 also will mark the launch of a new RiceTec hybrid naming system designed to provide users with more information, says Jeff Mosely, regional sales manager.
All hybrids will start with RT for RiceTec. Four digits will follow, with the first denoting grain type. Long-grain hybrids are 7’s and medium-grain hybrids will be 3’s.
The second digit signifies maturity classes. Short season will be 1 and 2’s, whereas medium-season hybrids will fall between 3 and 7. Long-season hybrids will be 8’s and 9’s.
The third digit signifies herbicide technology. So far, zero is conventional and 1 is Clearfield. The last digit is the number in the series.
RT7311 CL is the first to use the new naming system. Previous introductions, including CL XL745 and XP753, will retain their old names.
–Vicky Boyd, Editor