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Rice hybrid a plus for growers, millers


The weather was mighty harsh across much of the southern rice belt for the 2009 growing season.

Nevertheless, RiceTec Hybrid Rice of Alvin, Texas, proved its yield potential, even in a tough year. Beyond yield, the milling quality of the rice has been impressive.

Extreme heat, as witnessed in Texas, can negatively impact grain quality; nevertheless, RiceTec hybrids were milling well throughout the fall. According to bid sheets along the Texas Gulf Coast, the hybrids milled equal to or better than conventional varieties in many cases.

In the upper Mid-South, where late planting and excessive rain were challenges during 2009, high milling yields were reported. Growers across the region have noted higher cup weights and excellent milling quality from their RiceTec Hybrid Rice.

Key Points

• RiceTec hybrids did well in 2009 despite Texas heat.

• Hybrids show several advantages for rice millers.

• Rice hybrids exhibit good kernel dimension consistency.


“As a technology leader, RiceTec is constantly improving the yield and grain quality of our rice,” says Brian Ottis, RiceTec industry support manager. “Our goal is to supply hybrid rice seed that produces a grain product that meets the needs of all facets of the industry. We are working closely with universities, rice millers and growers to make sure that we bring the preferred products to the market and provide science-based solutions for the rice industry.”

Milling advantage

In fact, several lots of Clearfield XL729, XL745 and XL723 have produced milling yields up to 66% head rice and 73% milled rice. When combined with rough rice yields that RiceTec hybrids provide, milling yields like these can bring a substantial margin of profitability to growers, Ottis says.

RiceTec Hybrid Rice also has potential value to rice millers. Terry Siebenmorgen, director of the University of Arkansas Rice Processing Program at Fayetteville, has found that RiceTec hybrids can increase throughput for rice millers because hybrids to do not require the same milling duration as most conventional varieties to attain a desired degree of milling.

Research by Siebenmorgen and his staff shows RiceTec hybrids can be milled in less time than many commercial varieties. The research determined that RiceTec’s XL723 and Clearfield XL729 hybrids have a thinner bran layer and less total oil content, which allows them to be milled to a comparable degree as conventional varieties in less time. This characteristic has the ability to improve productivity for rice mills by increasing throughput and saving valuable energy — an important goal as the U.S. rice industry moves toward a higher level of sustainability.

This article published in the February, 2010 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.