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New Rice Varieties ReleasedNew Rice Varieties Released

December 23, 2011

2 Min Read
New Rice Varieties Released

AUSTIN, TexasThe LSU AgCenter released two new rice varieties: a long-grain variety and an aromatic.

The new long-grain variety is named Mermentau; the new aromatic rice is called Della 2.

In addition, seed will be available for a new Clearfield variety, CL152, that will have improved quality and better lodging resistance than CL151, although slightly lower yield, according to an LSU press release.

The new rice varieties were announced at the USA Rice Federation Outlook Conference. During the conference, challenges facing the rice industry were presented.

For example, Louisiana rice acreage slipped to 412,000 this year, but yields were approximately 6,500 pounds per acre, making for a near-record harvest. That said, the acreage could decline more in Louisiana in 2012 if farmers in southwest Louisiana dont get adequate rainfall this winter and spring to flush salt water out of the coastal areas.

Jackie Loewer, a rice farmer from Branch, La., and USA Rice Federation chairman, said the grain quality issue must be addressed because quality is improving in other countries. At one time, our rice was the standard for quality," she said. Rice from Southeast Asia and South American, for example, is becoming competitive with American rice.

Also at issue is the future for Texas rice next year. Texas growers face a possible acreage reduction because of a drought that has cut water allocations by the Lower Colorado River Authority. The three largest rice-growing counties affected by the cuts have half of the Texas rice acreage, at 180,000 acres this year, said Texas A&M economist Larry Falconer. The water cuts would mean 62,000 acres of rice land would be without water in 2012, and that would result in the lowest Texas rice acreage since 1901.

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