For the last three years, a line in Arkansas’ rice breeding program has stood out in the Arkansas Rice Performance Trials (ARPT). To say there’s a lot of excitement around 13AR1084 is an understatement.
A second release in a Clearfield line, CL172, was released to BASF and was in a seed increase during 2015. CL172 will be available to producers next year.
In mid-November, university researcher Karen Moldenhauer spoke to Delta Farm Press on what producers can expect from the varieties and how the breeding program operates. Among her comments:
“This has very high yield potential. I think it’s going to say, ‘Hey, I’m good, check me out. This is where you’re getting your next yield bump.’
“Its mean, over the Arkansas trial locations for the last three years, has ranged from 169 bushels to 261 bushels. This year, the yields weren’t as high as they have been in the past – but that was true of most crops.
“In 2013, 1084 yielded 203 bushels per acre on average. Roy J, at the same time, yielded 189 bushels with RiceTec XL753 yielded 223 bushels. So, 1084 yields are falling between the hybrids and the highest yielding pure line varieties we have.
“In 2014, 1084 yielded 206 bushels per acre. Roy J was at 193 and RiceTec was at 246 bushels.
“In 2015, which was a rocky year for many crops, 1084 yielded 187 bushels with Roy J at 168 and RiceTec XL753 at 212.
“So, 1084 is at that 10- to 15-bushel bump that we always look for when comparing it to the other pure line varieties we have out. For the three year average 1084 was at 199 bushels, Roy J was 183 bushels and XL753 was at 227 bushels. We think 1084 has really, really good yield potential and will have great demand.
“It’s about 41 inches in height – the same as Wells and Roy J. In 2013/2014, it milled a 62/69 with LaKast at 62/71, Roy J at 63/71 and the RiceTec hybrid at 58/71. 1084’s milling will definitely be okay and it’ll be a day or two later than LaKast, four or five days earlier than Roy J.
“LaKast was in seed growers’ hands last year. This year, it was released for the first time as registered seed. In 2015, LaKast yielded 162 bushels and the year earlier it yielded 193 bushels – the same as Roy J. In 2013, it yielded 184 bushels.”
Parents of 1084?
“It’s a Francis by Roy J. I’m sure a lot of producers are familiar with those.
“As far as disease, 1084 will be similar to other varieties we’ve released. That means it’ll be rated susceptible for things like sheath blight, blast. It’ll probably be moderately susceptible to bacterial panicle blight.
“The amylose for 1084 will be at 23 percent. That’s right where the mills want it.
“A final decision for 1084 will be made sometime this winter and it’ll likely go to seed growers in 2016. We had a foundation seed field of it this year. Registered seed should be on the market in 2017 and certified seed available in 2018.”
“It is a very short statured semi-dwarf – 37 inches -- and yields right at the CL111 level with very good quality. It has very low chalk, a nice, clear kernel. It has typical long-grain cooking quality. We rate it susceptible to bacterial panicle blight and, in Louisiana, it’s rated moderately susceptible. It is also, like Francis and Wells, susceptible to sheath blight. Like Drew or Katy, it’s resistant to the Arkansas blast races.
“CL172 has excellent milling in all the tests and has low chalk. It has very good standability and doesn’t easily lodge, much better than CL151.”
On the process of producing new varieties…
“We make anywhere from 150 to 200 – some years even 300 – crosses every year. That means I pick parents to cross. Then, we take the seed from the crosses in the greenhouses in the wintertime.
“That leads to the F2, or grandchildren, seed that is the most variable generation. That seed is planted in the field in a manner I call ‘space plants’ because individual seeds are planted about 12 inches apart. That way I can go out and look at the plants.
“We use plots – say 60 feet by 5 feet – and plant nine or 10 grams (approximately 300 seeds) of seed. I then make selections of the plant types that look best. The attraction might be the grain, the way the panicle looks, whether it has erect leaves, the plant color – a bunch of things.
“Then, the plants I choose will be shipped to Puerto Rico for the F3 generation to be grown in winter. We’re currently getting our seed ready to ship this week. I don’t select in Puerto Rico but use it just as a generational advance. We go down there, pick a panicle off each row and bring them back.
“The following season, the F4 generation is grown here. If a plant does really well – 1084, for example – seed will go to a preliminary test. That isn’t a strict yield test but will provide me with an idea of what the plot will look like. While I do get yield data off the plot it isn’t ‘true’ because there’s no replication. I’ll also get disease and milling information from the plot.
“The ones that are selected go to the Stuttgart Initial Test, which is grown here and at the Pine Tree Research Station. That’s a two- or three-rep test at each location.
“The year that 1084 was at this step it did extremely well: 260 bushels at Pine Tree and 220 bushels in Stuttgart. I said, ‘Oh, I like that one! We’re putting that one in the ARPT.’ It just stood out immediately.
“The cross for 1084 was made in 2008 and by 2013 it was put into the yield test. By 2015, it was ready for foundation seed. I’m very confident it will be released but we haven’t come up with a name or done the paperwork yet.
“Out of the 200 or 300 crosses annually, some just isn’t any good for anything. Most go nowhere. We probably release a variety each year. Other crosses have a characteristic – maybe yield or milling quality – that are desirable and we use those for crosses or parents.
“I probably had 15,000 panicle rows out there and select 7 to 8 percent advance to next year’s preliminary test. The numbers going forward only drop from there.”