With Higher Input Costs, Proven Varieties Are Critical
By Scott McClure, Horizon Ag
All expectations are that 2022 will be particularly challenging for Louisiana rice farmers and their counterparts across the South, especially when it comes to managing through the explosion in fertilizer costs and supply concerns this season.
A recently published report from Texas A&M University’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) estimates that fertilizer costs will be 80% more for farmers this year based on current fertilizer spot market prices. It also states that rice farms will face the highest per-acre increase at $62.04 on fertilizer alone and that fertilizer costs will increase by $98,000 for rice farms, on average.
Considering the added cost pressures, it will be critical for farmers this season to rely on proven varieties they know will be strong, consistent performers on their farms and that they know how to best manage for top performance – high yields and grain quality that results in a premium at the mill.
There are advantages to planting proven Clearfield® and Provisia® varieties, varieties that farmers have seen perform on their own farms, in agronomic situations similar to theirs, and in multi-year university testing in Louisiana and throughout the region. These include Horizon Ag elite varieties like CLL16, CLL17 and PVL03 and long-time favorites like CL111.
Clearfield variety CLL17 performed very well in its first commercial season in 2021, with both the main crop and ratoon crop. Combine that performance with its higher nitrogen utilization efficiency and excellent genetic resistance to blast and Cercospora, and CLL17 should be a great fit for Coastal Region rice fields in 2022.
The evolution of CLL17 from development to release started with preliminary yield trials in 2015, leading to multiple location trials the following year and seed production in 2019. The expansion of CLL17 as a leading variety planted among rice fields in the state is a testament to the increased yield potential and is one reason it surpassed CL153 as the top variety planted in Louisiana in its first year of availability. CLL17 also has proven to provide excellent milling yield and very good grain quality.
In fields from the Missouri Bootheel to rice fields west of Houston, Texas, Clearfield variety CLL16 has consistently shown it can yield with or better than top-performing varietals and even hybrids. This is a variety yielding 200-plus bushels per acre consistently across a wide range of geographies while offering the advantages of a Clearfield variety at a lower seed cost than hybrids. CLL16 yielded a two-year mean of 210 bushels per acre in the 2020-21 Arkansas Rice Performance Trials.
Other benefits are its resistance to blast, strong performance in both flood and row rice situations and its great milling quality — all of which have contributed to CLL16’s reputation as “The Complete Package.”
New PVL03, the latest Horizon Ag Provisia variety, has proven yield potential rivaling and even exceeding that of many other top-performing rice lines. Louisiana trials in 2019 and 2020 showed PVL03 yielding almost 8,500 pounds per acre, outyielding Cheniere and putting it on par with high-yielding Clearfield varieties like CL153.
In the 2021 Arkansas Rice Commercial Trials across 11 locations in the state, PVL03 averaged 185 bushels per acre, with an average milling yield of 58-71, according to preliminary results. PVL03 has a much-improved disease package compared to its predecessors, thanks to Pi-ta and Pi-ks blast-resistance genes. It also has a gene for Cercospora resistance. Additionally, it has excellent stalk strength, which is a vast improvement relative to PVL02, an earlier Provisia rice variety.
All of these benefits come with the advantages of the Provisia Rice System and Provisia herbicide. The Provisia Rice System has already proven to be one of the most effective weed management tools available for Southern rice. Provisia varieties have very good tolerance to the Provisia herbicide; therefore, a safener isn’t required, unlike with the Max-Ace® and Highcard™ variety/herbicide tandem. The Provisia Rice System is a more robust system which is better for the overall industry. Best of all, farmers have seen Provisia work and are using it to completely turn around thousands of acres lost to weedy hybrid rice and resistance issues.
Another proven variety expected to claim its share of acreage in the state is CL111, a very early, semi-dwarf rice variety favored in South Louisiana over the past few years due to its excellent first-and second-crop yield potential and outstanding grain quality and milling. CL111 is Kellogg’s preferred long grain.
More information about Horizon Ag Clearfield and Provisia varieties is available at HorizonSeed.com. Also, you can join the conversation about proven, elite Clearfield and Provisia varieties on the Horizon Ag Facebook page at facebook.com/HorizonAgSeeds/.
CLL17 performed very well in its first commercial season in 2021, with both the main crop and ratoon crop.
CLL16 has consistently shown it can yield with or better than top-performing varietals and even hybrids.
New PVL03 has proven yield potential rivaling and even exceeding that of many other top-performing rice lines.
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