Project Leader and Principal
California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation, Biggs, CA
and Physiological Determinants of Yield and Quality
Peterson, UC Davis
Drying and Storage
Singh, UC Davis
What the rice research program is doing for you
In 1969 and in 1973 California rice growers voted overwhelmingly for the
Rice Research Program. Forty-four farmers have served on the Board so far -
without pay creating and conducting a remarkably productive research
program. They have had the dedicated help of many University of California,
USDA and Rice Station scientists and individual rice growers who have
voluntarily provided land, labor and equipment for field experiments. Within two years the
program increased annual rice income far in excess of its yearly $1.40 per
acre cost. The following pages chronicle the program's progress in reaching
our original research objectives. Except for varietal development, which was
given top priority, these objectives are all considered equally important to
Provide California rice growers with better short-, medium-, and long-grain
varieties which: a) are high yielding, b) resist blanking, c) are
earlier-maturing, d) have good seedling vigor, e) are short-statured and
lodging-resistant, with less straw to manage, f) have disease and insect
resistance to reduce needs for chemical pesticides, and g) have the grain
qualities preferred by consumers.
New short and tall rice varieties, given top priority in our research, are
now available. Experimental data indicate that they outyield old varieties
by 10 to 20 percent and produce 15 percent less straw. Any one of the five
new varieties, being planted as fast as seed becomes available, can increase
returns by $35 to $70 per acre.
||Smooth hull, 13% more yield than Colusa
||Smooth hull, 10 days earlier than CS-M3
||Short stature, cold-tolerant, 10-15% more yield than CS-M3 or Calrose, more
awns than Calrose
||Smooth hull, short stature, cold-tolerant and 10-15% more yield than CS-M3
||Smooth hull, short stature, 10-15% more yield than the best current early
Varieties expected to be available to seed growers in 1979 and 1980 include:
- a high -yielding, short-stature, very early medium-grain variety
with outstanding seedling vigor for colder areas;
- a short-stature pearl of S6 maturity with increased yield, more
resistance to lodging and blanking, and more uniform ripening than S6;
- a short-stature, medium-grain variety of M5 maturity with less
lodging, increased yield and more attractive grains than M5;
- a sweet rice otherwise similar to S6.
Progress also is being made in developing a long-grain variety for
California. The experimental 7213764 has been released for use as germplasm.
In 1978, it will be grown on approximately 2,000 acres.
The rice flower at pollination time. The six
tall structures are the anthers which produce the pollen. The
fluffy structure at the base is the pistil, which includes the
ovary, or female part. To produce a new variety or hybrid plant,
breeders have to carefully remove the anthers before they produce
pollen and then dust the pistil with pollen from the selected male
Calrose is 46 inches tall vs. Calrose 76 at 36 inches. Double
Dwarf 1 and D66 illustrate other heights of potential varieties.
Most new varietal releases, including M5, S6, M7 and M9 have
smooth hulls and leaves. Note differences in hull types. Smooth varieties are less wearing on
harvesting and rice handling equipment and less dusty to thresh and mill.
Thus, they reduce air pollution and improve working conditions.
H.D. Josiassen (left) of Richvale, and C.M. Wick, Butte County farm
advisor, examine the record on Josiassen's seed field of M9. Butte County
seed growers obtained dry weight yields of 7,000 to 9,000 pounds per acre
with the new varieties M7 and M9 in 1977.
UC's Imperial Valley Field Station at El Centro, isolated from
California's rice growing area, expedites the introduction, growing and
screening of more than 12,000 genetic lines of rice from all over the world.
UC's Dr. William H. Lehman (1.) and USDA's Dr. C. Roy Adair are making
nursery selections for breeding programs at UC Davis and Biggs.
Rice Station scientists (1. to r.) Drs.
Howard L. Carnahan, S.T. Tseng, and Carl W Johnson examine long
grain lines. The line 721 3764, although high yielding, did not
produce acceptable quality.
Note the varietal seedling vigor in this Yolo
County test, located in a cool rice growing district. UCD's plant
physiologist Dr. M.L. Peterson and Dr. Rutger collaborate on
experiments to find lines with improved vigor, cold tolerance and
USDA's Dr. J. Neil Rutger shows the range of
plant height now available in his mutation breeding program. His
basic genetic studies have expedited variety development by
breeders at the Rice Station.
Dr. M. L. Peterson and plant breeders have
made progress in solving the problem of blanking shown here.
Genetic resistance to blanking has been found and is being
incorporated in experimental varieties.
The research on blanking also has confirmed grower experience that
blanking can be reduced by raising the water depth 3 weeks before
heading. The new, short varieties Calrose 76 and M7 blank less
than other varieties. Because of their short plant height, their
developing panicles are protected longer by the warm paddy water.