Bernie, Missouri, farmer Zack Tanner has seen a lot of positive developments in Horizon Ag Clearfield® rice varieties over the years, thanks to ongoing university breeding and industry efforts.
The latest rice variety releases available from Horizon Ag for the Clearfield Production System for rice, however, are particularly impressive with new varieties like CLL16, CLL17 and last year’s CLL15 pushing yield potential significantly higher while also offering advantages like increased blast resistance and high milling quality.
“I think this new generation of Clearfield varieties really lends itself to what farmers are looking for in the marketplace,” said Tanner. “The varieties provide very good, affordable options for higher-yielding rice. CLL16, for instance, has the potential to produce hybrid-type yields at a lower seed cost. And having increased blast resistance really helps them with farms west of the (Crowley’s) Ridge.”
Tanner, who also is president and co-owner of Tanner Seed Company, has had a chance to see the newest Horizon Ag Clearfield varieties up close in his seed production fields, taking note of their agronomic characteristics along with how to best manage them to get the most out of their higher performance potential.
“CLL16 is hands down my favorite Clearfield variety, ever,” said Tanner. “It had good vigor and tillered very well. It is a medium-season variety that made a very good yield, and the milling was great. We didn’t see any blast in it, it didn’t have any lodging and it does well at a low seeding rate.”
A long grain Clearfield rice variety developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, CLL16 has shown excellent rough rice yields, averaging higher than Diamond in university tests. Its performance consistency, high milling quality and industry-leading blast resistance make CLL16 the complete package for many rice farmers considering seed choices for planting next season.
Tanner said that his CLL16 conservatively cut 204 bushels per acre, dry, in 2020 without the levees being seeded. In 2019, Tanner’s CLL16 made over 240 dry bushels per acre.
“That consistency is really important to farmers,” he said. “It’s a typical Arkansas-plant type, which is a little taller in height, and it is absolutely a good fit in Missouri and Arkansas. We were very impressed with it.”
CLL17, an early-season, semi-dwarf long grain rice developed at the LSU Ag Center H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, also stood out in Tanner’s fields in 2020.
CLL17 really grew off rapidly, had great vigor and grew to green ring stage faster than other varieties,” he said. “One thing that stands out is it is an efficient user of nitrogen. You might be tempted to apply more N because the plants have a lighter color, but a study showed its sweet spot was 90 total pounds of N. I would caution against using too much nitrogen because you are not going to get it to be dark green.”
Although the variety is likely to be more popular further south, “it pressed a lot of buttons for being an attractive plant,” he added.
Horizon Ag and LSU report that CLL17 has consistently out-yielded CL153, the top-planted Louisiana variety in recent years, in multi-year trials. It has solid ratoon crop potential and also features outstanding resistance to blast. In addition, it has proven to provide excellent milling yield and very good grain quality. Horizon Ag expects CLL17 to eventually become the leading Clearfield variety planted in Louisiana, surpassing CL153, based on its performance.
Horizon Ag variety CLL15 was released in 2020 and was planted on a broad acreage across the northern Delta. Tanner had the variety on his farm two years prior to launch and said that based on how it yielded those two seasons he recommended it to many farmers in the area.
“It has a great plant type, a shorter stature but not too tall or short,” he said. “It tillers extremely well, stands well and mills very well, and our yield two consecutive years was in the mid-190s (bushels per acre). What I really like about CLL15, in addition to its yield potential and blast resistance, is that all the crop was on top and the combine did not have to harvest a lot of material. I had been planting both CL151 and CL153, and we felt CLL15 was a great improvement
over those varieties.”
Tanner added that another Horizon Ag variety released in 2020, Provisia® rice variety PVL02, is beginning to win a place on more acres in the region. PVL02, which was available in limited supply in its initial year, proved to be a significant step change over the first Provisia variety, PVL01, in terms of yield and overall performance. PVL02 will be the primary variety offered by Horizon Ag for the Provisia Rice System for 2021.
“We have more crop diversity and rotation options in this area, but you don’t have to go far to find where weedy rice and resistance are serious issues,” said Tanner. “The farmers who have planted Provisia rice here really like it. The difference in their Provisia fields and fields with weedy rice is like night and day. Provisia rice is another important tool for them.”