Louisiana Rice: Big Changes in Varieties On-Tap for 2021

    Rice variety trial. Photo: Mary Hightower, University of Arkansas

    There are a handful of new rice varieties and rice hybrids that will be available in 2021 that will change the landscape of the rice grown in Louisiana. There are also a few rice varieties and hybrids that will virtually disappear in the coming season. I will do my best to cover the biggest variety and hybrid changes for 2021 in each rice class below.

    Conventional long-grain rice variety offerings for 2021 will still have its two cornerstone varieties Cheniere and Mermentau. These two conventional long-grain varieties made up 17% of the total acres in Louisiana in 2020 and over 98% of the Louisiana acres in the conventional long-grain (non-hybrid) class.

    Both varieties have good to excellent grain quality, milling and yield potential. Both are early maturing and have a good ratoon potential. Cheniere is moderately susceptible to blast while Mermentau is susceptible.

    There will be a new conventional long-grain inbred variety from the Nutrien breeding program that will be available in 2021. The Dyna-Gro variety will be called DG-263L.

    This variety has shown a tremendous yield potential in early testing. It was the top yielding non-hybrid variety when averaged across all locations in Dr. Famoso’s variety trials in 2020. In fact, the mean yield of DG-263L was less than a bushel lower than that of the hybrid CLXL745.

    The variety does not contain the Pita gene but has shown good blast resistance in limited testing. It is moderately resistant to bacterial panicle blight and susceptible to sheath blight. Milling was lower for DG-263L than Cheniere and Mermentau in limited LSU testing.

    Available Clearfield long grains for 2021 will once again include the high quality CL111 and high yielding CL151 varieties that we are all familiar with. CL153 was grown on 19.5% of the total acres in Louisiana in 2020; however, it will not be available on a widespread basis in 2021.

    Replacing CL153 will be CLL17, which was developed by the LSU rice breeding program. CLL17 is a couple days earlier in maturity and a couple inches taller than CL153. It has shown a good yield potential and also contains the Pita gene for good blast resistance. The variety is moderately susceptible to lodging.

    The nitrogen (N) fertilizer recommendation for CLL17 is between 90 and 130 pounds of N per acre, similar to the N fertilizer programs recommended for CL151 and Jupiter. CLL15 and CLL16 are two other Clearfield long-grain varieties developed by the Arkansas rice breeding program which have also shown good yield potential.

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    The Provisia long-grain variety PVL02 will once again be available in 2021. PVL02 has shown an improved yield potential and disease package over the initial Provisia variety release, PVL01. PVL02 matures 11 days earlier than PVL01.

    Ratoon yields from the 2020 cropping season indicated that the variety has a very good yield potential, something that PVL01 lacked. PVL02 is moderately susceptible to blast and sheath blight. The smaller grain size of PVL01 has improved whole milling.

    PVL03, a new Provisia long-grain variety developed by the LSU rice breeding program, will be available on a very limited basis in 2021. The new Provisia variety will have greatly improved blast resistance due to the inclusion of the Pita gene. It will also have improved yield potential.

    Grain length will be longer than that of PVL02 but shorter than PVL01. The variety has shown good milling and grain quality in testing. PVL01 will not be available in 2021.

    RiceTec will offer non-herbicide tolerant hybrids XP753, RT 7301, RT 7401, and RT 7501 for the 2021 season in Louisiana. If you are looking for IMI resistance, the Full Page line-up will include RT7321 FP and RT7521 FP.

    These hybrids have a yield potential advantage over the non-hybrid lines and have very good resistance to blast. The blast resistance makes rice hybrids well suited for furrow irrigated rice which is increasing in acreage in Louisiana at a rapid pace.

    Medium-grain rice varieties will once again include the non-herbicide tolerant varieties, Jupiter and Titan, which made up the bulk of the medium-grain acres in Louisiana in 2020. CLM04 will be the only Clearfield available medium-grain variety in 2021. All three varieties have a good yield potential.

    CLM04 and Jupiter are both susceptible to blast while Titan is moderately susceptible. Varieties susceptible to blast should be avoided in a furrow irrigated rice production system.

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