A new rice variety to be released today with increased cold tolerance is expected to result in higher returns for rice growers in south-eastern NSW by “buffering” rice plants against the cold.
YRM69 is a medium-grain rice cultivar, bred in NSW in a collaborative project between the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Industry and Investment NSW and SunRice.
A “cold snap” at the time of pollination can severely affect crop yields and is one of the challenges facing rice growers in temperate areas of Australia.
Cold snaps can cause yield reductions of 40% or more by impacting on pollination, reducing the amount of grain produced.
“This new rice variety is one of the best and most looked forward to in a number of years,” said John de Majnik, RIRDC Senior Research Manager.
“There are high expectations for this variety to do well. In dry years when water is scarce and a premium commodity, irrigation farmers need a variety that is able to produce reliable yields despite fluctuations in temperatures.
“YRM69 has 2 degrees Celsius better cold tolerance than existing varieties and greater water use efficiency. In all other quality aspects such as percentage whole grain after milling, colour and cooking quality, YRM69 matches those of existing mid-season medium grain cultivars.
“YRM69 has commonly been producing between two and four more tonnes of rice per hectare than the current commercial varieties when temperature extremes have been present.