[Image: Jazzman-2 research plot at the Rice Research Station]
One of the main goals of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station is the development and release of new improved rice varieties for the Louisiana rice industry. This endeavor has been quite successful as 44 new varieties were released in the first 100 years of the station’s history (1909-2009). This number has increased by three as the AgCenter has recently approved the release of three new varieties for seed and commercial production in 2011. The three include a new jasmine type, a Clearfield long grain and a non-Clearfield medium grain.
Jazzman-2 (experimental designation: LA2149) is the latest jasmine-type variety developed for the purpose of sustaining and enhancing the initial success achieved by the release of original Jazzman. Jazzman-2 comes with enhanced specialty characteristics that include a very strong aroma, a slender kernel, and a less sticky cooking texture more similar to that of imported premium Thai Jasmine. Jazzman-2 has been extensively evaluated in different yield trials across Louisiana, as well as in southern U.S. In those trials, Jazzman-2 showed good yield potential that is similar to or slightly less than original Jazzman. The head rice milling yield of Jazzman-2 is comparable to or slightly better than Jazzman. On average, Jazzman-2 is 4 days earlier and 4 inches shorter than Jazzman. The new variety appears to be susceptible to sheath blight, bacterial panicle blight, and straighthead disorder. Jazzman-2 will compliment the original Jazzman by offering more choices to rice growers, processers, and consumers with its earliness, short-stature, and enhanced specialty attributes. Released in 2008, Jazzman was grown on over 4,500 acres in Louisiana in 2010 which is unprecedented for a specialty variety. A significant acreage increase is expected in 2011. With this newest release, Louisiana rice industry should be able to further expand the domestic Jasmine niche market. This variety was developed by Dr. Xueyan Sha and his co-workers.
The new Clearfield long grain will be released as CL152 (experimental designation LA2051). The Clearfield system is a technology that was developed from mutation breeding research that was conducted at the research station and allows for the control of red rice, a noxious weed that is very closely related to commercial rice types. The Clearfield varieties contain a gene that makes them resistant to herbicides that will kill red rice (as well as non-Clearfield commercial rice plants). This technology is very widely used in today’s rice production and in 2010 over 70% of Louisiana’s rice acreage was seeded to Clearfield varieties and hybrids. The predominant Clearfield variety grown over the previous two years is CL151. This variety has excellent yield potential but can lodge prior to harvest. In addition, CL151 sometimes has a tendency to show some chalk in the milled grains. CL152 should be a substantial improvement in both of these characteristics. While it is relatively the same height as CL151, it has shown greater resistance to lodging. The new variety has shown slightly lower yield potential than CL151, but has consistently milled out somewhat higher head rice yields. Cl152 has shown similar reaction to sheath blight and blast disease, but has also shown somewhat better resistance to narrow brown leaf spot (Cercospora) and bacterial panicle blight diseases; as well as better resistance to straighthead disorder. The new variety is similar to CL151 in days from seedling emergence to harvest maturity. CL152 has typical southern long grain cereal chemistry quality and cooking characteristics.
The new medium grain variety will be released with the name Caffey (experimental designation LA2162). This is in honor of Dr. H. Rouse Caffey, retired chancellor of the LSU AgCenter who also served as director of the Rice Research Station from 1962-1970. Dr. Caffey’s work at the Rice Station was instrumental in paving the way for this facility to become one of the top research centers of its kind. The new medium grain variety has shown very good yield potential and in testing has consistently out yielded Jupiter and Neptune, the predominantly grown medium grains. Caffey also has shown excellent milling and grain characteristics including very high head rice milling yields and a very bold and uniform grain which is typically favored by medium grain customers. The new variety is approximately two days earlier than Jupiter and Neptune. While similar in plant height, Caffey will be intermediate in lodging resistance, less susceptible than Jupiter but less resistant than Neptune. Caffey has typical southern medium grain cereal chemistry quality and cooking characteristics. This variety was developed through the joint efforts of Dr. Brooks Blanche (former rice breeder and current research agronomist at the Dean Lee Research Station) and Dr. Xueyan Sha.
The development and release of these varieties is only possible because of the dedication and hard work of numerous individuals at the Rice Research Station. Very important here is the seed increase and purification of each of these varieties by Mr. Larry White, director of the Foundation Seed Program. A limited amount of foundation seed of Jazzman-2 and Caffey will be available from the Rice Research Station.
Permission granted by B. Leonareds (LA Farm & Ranch) on December 15, 2010, to republish article on www.lsuagcenter.com.