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RiceTec stepping up research efforts with new hybrids and varietal lines for Rice Belt

RiceTec announced a new $150-million research effort aimed at new hybrids, new varieties and new herbicide-tolerant rice. The announcement came during the New Products Session at USA Rice Outlook Conference in St. Louis.

Based in Houston, Texas, RiceTec is also planning to add more scientists and technical service representatives to its field staff to help growers learn more about its products, according to Brian Ottis, marketing and client support manager at RiceTec.

RiceTec will introduce two new hybrids – XP760 and XP757 – on a limited basis in 2014. “XL760 builds on the advantages of XL723, similar yield, similar quality with the biggest improvement in grain retention so we reduce the risk at harvest of shattering due to inclement weather,” Ottis said in an interview following the New Products Session at the conference.

“We will also have XP757 available on an extremely limited basis this year. It is our first non-pubescent hybrid. There is always an association with hybrids and abrasiveness on equipment and itch associated with the dust. This is non-pubescent so that will not be an issue. We’re seeing improved grain length, improved grain clarity with 757, and we’re seeing yield that is increased over 723.”

Ottis said RiceTec has other hybrids in the pipeline that “will eliminate or dispel the rumors about quality in the hybrid platform,” he said. “We can produce quality in a hybrid platform as far as grain clarity. These hybrids have improved amylose content. They have extremely long grain length, a 3.2 length-to-grain-width ratio, which is highly desired by the mills and the export industry.”

RiceTec believes those products will fit not only in the broader commodity market but also in niche markets such as parboiling and RTS types. “So we’re really excited about those products, which will also be non-pubescent with good grain retention.”

Ottis said RiceTec scientists are also looking at proprietary herbicide tolerance traits they have discovered that have demonstrated resistance to new, multiple modes of action in rice.

“These will be new additions that will give growers the opportunity to rotate them with the Clearfield technology to mitigate outcrossing as well as herbicide resistance in weed populations with the ALS herbicies. As a weed scientist having the opportunity to look at some of these things is very exciting.”

RiceTec also is working with some varietal lines that offer improved quality over Chenniere and other high quality rice.

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