“All of the seed we are selling this year had to be produced last season based on demand estimates for 2004,” says Jim Thompson, seed sales and marketing manager for RiceTec. “The demand for RiceTec hybrid rice seed this year is exceeding demand estimates, creating short supplies of our products.”

As of Jan. 12, RiceTec was sold out of XL8. Limited supplies of Clearfield XL8, XL7, XP710 and XP712 were still available.

“Our hybrid rice products continue to out-yield the varieties,” says Thompson. “In 2003, more producers were afforded the opportunity to plant products such as XL8, Clearfield XL8 and XP710 and XP712. The outstanding performance of these products has caused a rush to buy hybrid rice for planting in 2004.”

RiceTec’s 2004 hybrid rice seed includes Clearfield XL8, which has demonstrated a significant yield advantage over the leading rice varieties in both company and independent tests – Clearfield and traditional varieties alike. Clearfield XL8 can be planted in fields with high or low infestations of red rice and still offer a positive economic return.

It is adapted to all Mid-South- and Coastal-growing regions and “has excellent potential as a ratoon crop in the Coastal area,” said Thompson.

RiceTec still has a very small supply of XL7, an early-maturing hybrid offering high yield potential when planted early or late. This hybrid has demonstrated excellent economic returns when planted behind wheat.

XP710 was an advanced-stage experimental in 2003, and is available at introductory levels this year. A long-grain hybrid, XP710 has demonstrated extremely high yield potential in University, RiceTec and on-farm commercial trials. This new long grain topped Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas yield trials with record setting yield performance last year.

XP712 is a medium-grain hybrid in an advanced experimental stage that has high-yield potential. This product will be especially appealing to East Texas and Louisiana rice farmers who like to second crop their rice production. Available in modest quantities in 2004, this hybrid also topped Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas university trials for medium grains in 2003.

Both XP710 and XP712 have excellent disease tolerance and good straw strength. Milling yields are similar to Wells and Bengal, respectively.

RiceTec Inc. is an integrated rice company specializing in the breeding, development and marketing of high-value rice products. Headquartered in Alvin, Texas, the company operates the primary research center of RiceTec AG, an international rice technology venture.

RiceTec, Inc. is the first company to commercialize hybrid rice seed in the United States. It is also a leading producer and marketer of specialty rice products, which are sold under RiceSelect brands in over 20,000 supermarkets throughout North America. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.ricetec.com

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com