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New tools continue to provide U.S. rice farmers with an edge

U.S. rice producers may get their first look at Provisia Rice, a new technology that should help provide postemergence control of a broad range of grass weeds, including ALS-resistant grasses, weedy rice and red rice, in 2016.

That’s the plan from BASF, the company which has been shepherding the herbicide-tolerant rice through development since it was derived through natural selection and traditional breeding techniques several years ago.

“BASF is really excited about bringing a new herbicide-tolerant trait to rice, Provisia Rice,” said Nick Fassler, product manager for BASF. “We’re looking at a 2016 limited launch to get varieties out so we can start looking at those, testing them and increasing seed, and 2017 will be the full commercial launch of Provisia for BASF.”

Rice growers say the new technology is needed to help them be competitive in the world’s rice markets. Rice prices have not increased from the levels where they were years ago. The only way many producers have stayed in business is by increasing their yields.

Provisia rice will provide growers with a much-needed third herbicide category to help keep weeds like herbicide-resistant barnyardgrass and red rice, a close cousin of commercial rice, in check. The first two are conventional weed control and Clearfield rice or rice that is resistant to Newpath and Beyond herbicides.

ACCASE inhibitors

“The new Provisia trait will be tolerant to ACCASE inhibitors,” said Fassler, who was interviewed at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Little Rock, Ark. “Your ACCASE inhibitors would be gramaticide-type products, grass herbicides. You might be familiar with Poast, a product from BASF that has been on the market for years.”

For Provisia Rice, BASF will launch a new product that will be called Provisia which can be sprayed on that specific rice. “That will add some simplicity and help with control of specific weeds,” he said.

Provisia is a non-GMO trait that was found through selection and backcrossing into commercial rice varieties. BASF is working to establish export tolerances at acceptable levels, primarily with Canada. “That’s what we’re working toward in 2016 and 2017 to make sure we have approvals established.”

Because of stewardship concerns, BASF has developed Provisia as a standalone system; i.e, the Provisia trait will not be included in Clearfield rice or vice versa.

“You’ll have three unique offers in the rice market, conventional rice, the Clearfield system and then Provisia,” said Fassler. “We can rotate between those to control different types of red rice and off-types of rice, and Provisia bringing this new mode of action to the rice market will help with those difficult-to-control grasses as well.”

Fassler also discussed BASF’s new Limus nitrogen management system for rice and other crops, which will be available for sale in the U.S. for the 2015 growing season.

Reduced volatilization

Limus nitrogen management can be blended with urea and UAN fertilizers to protect against volatilization and nitrogen loss, providing more than three weeks of protection. The patented formulation behind Limus nitrogen management combines two active ingredients that are more effective than a single inhibitor on urease enzymes found in soil, resulting in a decrease of nitrogen loss.

“Growers can lose over 40 percent of surface-applied urea due to volatilization within weeks of application,” said Fassler, Product Manager. “This makes the window for growers to optimize protection of their fertilizer very critical.”

Reducing ammonia losses by more than 90 percent, Limus nitrogen management has demonstrated increased crop yields on average of 6 percent, according to 2013 replicated research, outperforming competitive products.

“From a grower’s standpoint, when you make that application you want to ensure it’s there and it stays on its intended target,” Fassler said.

For more on Limus nitrogen management, go to


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