With the high costs of fuel, fertilizer and irrigation this season, some risks can be managed with the Clearfield Production System, said Randy Ouzts, general manager of Horizon Ag, the marketers of Clearfield rice varieties CL161 and CL131.

“Growers can economically and efficiently manage weeds in rice and get a good, consistent yield and milling grade with Clearfield rice varieties,” he said. “Weed control can be among the highest costs associated with rice production. The Clearfield Production System takes the variable out of the equation for producers.”

Clearfield rice acreage has gone from a 50,000-acre launch in 2001 to more than 700,000 acres in 2005.

“We realize the tough economy producers are operating in this year, but if they are going to plant rice, Horizon Ag Clearfield rice varieties with proven high tolerance to Newpath and Clearpath herbicides are their best bet,” Ouzts said.

CL161 is an early-maturing, short-stature, long-grain variety from Horizon Ag that has provided good yields since 2003. CL131, the newest Clearfield variety from Horizon Ag, is an excellent companion to CL161. CL 131 is a very-early maturing semi-dwarf, long-grain rice variety with excellent yield and grain quality potential.

Average yield of CL131 has consistently ranged from 170 to 190 dry bushels in many areas. It has demonstrated outstanding potential as a ratoon variety and appears to be a little shorter than CL161, giving it more resistance against lodging.

CL131 is a true semi-dwarf and has a short, compact plant.

In Horizon Ag's 2005 commercial trials, CL131 generally matured two to five days earlier than CL161. Additionally, it was seen to be, on average, 4 to 5 inches shorter than CL161.

“CL161 has been available for three years, so growers have figured how to best manage CL161 for optimum yields,” Ouzts says. “With CL131, we have already seen significant improvements with first-year commercial yields, making it a perfect choice for growers who already utilize CL rice on their farm. Growers can effectively spread their harvest by planting both varieties, and have the confidence that by adding CL131 it will withstand significant weather without going down or losing milling quality.”

Prior to purchasing Clearfield rice, growers must sign a stewardship agreement and follow guidelines set by BASF and Horizon Ag to help protect and extend the technology. Details concerning stewardship can be accessed via retailers and Orygen Producer-Processors, as well as http://www.agproducts.basf-corp.com/.

For more information about Horizon Ag and its Orygen Seed Marketing System, go to www.orygen.net.