New CL131 continues the high performance legacy of the Clearfield lines by delivering high yields and stability — even in the face of wind storms churned by Hurricane Katrina. CL131's yields are running extremely well this season, consistently ranging from 175 to 190 dry bushels in many areas, according to Randy Ouzts, Horizon Ag LLC General Manager. “Many CL131 fields are yielding more than 180 bushels per acre,” he says.
“On a cost basis, CL131's excellent yield potential allows a Clearfield hybrid grower to consider CL131 as an alternative in some of his production acres. CL131 offers high yield potential, but not the high seed cost of hybrid rice.”
In many areas, CL131 was the only variety left standing after heavy winds — some gusting up to 75 miles per hour, Ouzts says. “CL131 showed limited lodging. Additionally, the heads of some other varieties were stripped by winds so much that yields have been reduced as much as 30 percent to 40 percent. This semi-dwarf is a short, compact plant, and the way the heads lay within the leaves, the wind just didn't seem to bother it as much as in other varieties. CL131 stood up and held up, and we've not had any reports of shattering problems compared to others where post-hurricane weather has been an issue.”
Mill quality from this year's crop is still coming in. “However, what we've seen is what we had projected,” Ouzts says. “The first millings of CL131 appear to be roughly equivalent to those of CL161. The low- to mid-60s seem to be the standard. Like CL161, CL131 is a higher quality package rice and millers will quickly recognize this.”
CL131 is a superior companion variety to CL161. In some areas like around Stuttgart, Ark., some CL 161 growers are cutting 200 bushels per acre. “CL161 has been available for three years, so growers have figured how to best manage CL161 for optimum yields,” Ouzts says.
CL131 matures four to five days earlier than CL161. Additionally, it is 4-to 5- inches shorter than CL161.
Arkansas seed grower John Greer was very pleased with his CL131 this year. He had two fields of CL131 for a total of 181 acres. “One field yielded eight bushels better than the other. When I averaged them together, the dry weight was 183.5 bushels,” says Greer, who farms near Jonesboro.
“I was pleased with CL131, particularly in a season with overall lower yields because of weather. It's not uncommon for some area growers to be off 15 to 25 bushels per acre this year. The early growing season was cool and very dry. This was the first year that I've ever flushed the entire crop three times, and I flushed 365 acres a fourth time.
“CL131 had good seedling vigor and wasn't bothered by sheath blight to the point that it needed treatment. I did apply a preventative kernel smut treatment on it.”
This season, Greer drilled 55 pounds of CL131 per acre. Including seeding the levees, he planted 58 to 60 pounds per acre. He used an average of 185 units of nitrogen on the variety, and point applied his phosphorus and potassium according to grid samples.
Greer also farmed three fields of CL161 that totaled 174 acres. Yields varied from field to field but the total 174 acreage averaged 171.3 bushels per acre this season. “Like our CL131, I don't know the milling on CL161 yet,” he says. “In the past, however, CL161 has shown very good milling.
“Both varieties withstood the high winds, and didn't lodge. I think every grain of CL131 will sell in 2006. CL161 also will sell well.”
Clearfield rice acreage has skyrocketed from a 50,000-acre launch in 2001 to more than 700,000 acres — predominantly planted to CL161 — in 2005. Ouzts says, “Grower acceptance of the Clearfield technology, Newpath herbicide and our varieties has been overwhelming. Our acreage will probably increase by 20 percent next season. We expect an ample planting seed supply of CL131 and CL161.”
Prior to purchasing Clearfield rice, growers must sign a stewardship agreement. Growers who wish to plant Clearfield rice must follow stewardship guidelines as set by BASF and Horizon Ag. Details concerning stewardship can be accessed via retailers and Orygen Producer-Processors, as well as www.newpath.basf-corp.com 
Horizon Ag developed its Orygen Seed Marketing System to coordinate the production and distribution of advanced seed lines for technology providers and public university breeding systems through quality rice seed producers, processors and seed retailers.
For more information about Horizon Ag and its Orygen Seed Marketing System, go to www.orygen.net