Horizon Ag Field Day Shows How Elite Varieties Are Redefining Variety Yield Expectations

September 9, 2022

HARRISBURG, ARKANSAS (Sept. 9, 2022) – From elite Clearfield® varieties redefining yield expectations versus hybrids to how the Provisia® Rice System is the most effective herbicide system for controlling weedy rice, the large gathering of rice farmers and consultants who attended the recent Horizon Ag Arkansas Field Day here heard firsthand how CLL16, new CLL18 and PVL03 enable farmers to make higher yielding, better quality rice.

Horizon Ag CLL16, an Arkansas-bred variety that has been a standout since its commercial release last season, was the center of attention, as attendees viewed field plots and listened to farmer experiences with a variety that has established itself as “the complete package” due to its consistent, high-end performance and agronomics.

Bernie, Missouri, farmer Zack Tanner told field day attendees that CLL16 has become his “go-to” variety on his fields not under contract for seed production. “We’ve had some great yields with CLL16 over the four years we’ve planted it,” said Tanner. “Even when I’m thinking about furrow irrigated rice, it’s a variety I like to plant because of its consistency, blast tolerance, height, vigor and yield.”

Nolan Evans, a Weiner, Arkansas farmer, said he grew CLL16 last season for the first time after confirming its potential with University of Arkansas rice specialist Jarrod Hardke. “He said it was a good variety, so, instead of planting a few acres in it, I planted half my farm in CLL16,” said Evans. “I really like it and probably have a little over a third of my farm in CLL16 this year.”

One of the unique benefits of CLL16 is that it is broadly adapted to perform across the southern rice region. From the Missouri bootheel to the west of Houston, Texas, CLL16 has consistently shown that it can yield with or better than top-performing varietals and even hybrids. 

“This is a variety yielding 200-plus bushels per acre consistently across a wide range of geographies while offering the advantages of a Clearfield variety at a lower seed cost than hybrids,” said Dr. Tim Walker, Horizon Ag general manager. “You’ve heard us say that CLL16 is the complete package. We can always make improvements, and we continually strive to be better, but CLL16 is truly as close to the complete package as we’ve seen in a pure-line variety. It’s got high yield potential, good milling package quality, rice export quality, good disease tolerance, good standability, good early season vigor and herbicide tolerance.”

When it comes to “continually striving to get better,” there is also a lot of excitement about the yield potential of new Horizon Ag variety CLL18, which will have a limited launch in 2023. CLL18, a University of Arkansas bred variety, consistently outyielded CLL16 by about 5% in Arkansas trials, according to Hardke. CLL18 does not offer the level of blast resistance of CLL16, however, and should be planted in areas not prone to blast.

Tanner, who has CLL18 at a very low seeding rate in seed production fields this season, says the variety looks “really good, with prominent heads. It seems like it has excellent vigor. I planted it on May 11 and was at 30%-50% heading on August 8. It’s a showy rice, with a good, dark color and the ability to make a very large panicle.”

Dr. Walker says that in addition to “taking it up a notch in terms of yield potential, CLL18 should fit well with CLL16. “CLL18 is a little earlier maturity, so we can start planting CLL18 early and then follow with CLL16 and stretch out harvest,” he says.

Provisia Rice System and PVL03

In the Provisia Rice System, PVL03 had another strong year, showing it offers a significant improvement over early Provisia lines. In many fields, it rivals the top-performing Clearfield varieties in yield potential while enabling farmers to achieve outstanding control of weedy rice and resistant red rice and grasses. Considering PVL03’s potential, Dr. Walker says that farmers can add the Provisia system to a recommended rotation system that includes Clearfield rice, with the goal of keeping both systems effective for years to come.

Many South Louisiana farmers no longer have that option because, after years of planting Clearfield rice, they face severe resistance issues with outcrosses and hybrid volunteer rice, Dr. Walker says.  Moving forward, he says that practicing good stewardship of both Provisia and Clearfield rice is essential.

“There is another ACCase technology system out there that is not the same as the Provisia Rice System,” says Walker. “That system has a safener in the herbicide because the trait in the variety is not as strong as what we have with the Provisia Rice System. When you safen a herbicide, you safen its efficacy. It’s essential that we get control and prevent escapes to keep this important technology.

To that end, Horizon Ag is participating in the Provisia Working Group, made up of university, retailers and industry leaders like LSU and BASF. With outcrosses already being seen in Provisia rice, the Working Group will develop and provide recommendations for growers to best manage the system in the coming seasons. “Instead of avoiding this issue, our goal is to come together and be part of the solution,” says Dr. Walker. 

More information about Provisia rice and Horizon Ag elite Provisia and Clearfield® varieties is available at www.horizonseed.com.

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