Clearfield rice varieties were planted on more than 200,000 acres in the United States in the 2003 season, according to Horizon Ag, LLC. Grower acceptance of the Clearfield system is extremely positive and seed demand will be quite high in 2004, a company report said.

“We anticipate Clearfield rice acreage to increase significantly in 2004,” said Randy Ouzts, Horizon Ag general manager. “Initial harvest indications are very promising, and yields with our new variety CL161 are exceeding expectations in many areas.”

The increased market demand is driven by consistent field performance for the past three years, Ouzts said. “More rice growers are seeing the value of the Clearfield Production System in controlling red rice. Mississippi, for example, saw some pretty bad red rice outbreaks where Clearfield was not used this season.”

New for 2003, CL161 offers improved varietal characteristics, and higher imidazolinone (imi) herbicide tolerance than prior releases. The early, short-stature long-grain variety provides good yield potential and higher Newpath herbicide tolerance than CL121 and CL141. The use of Newpath in conjunction with these imidazolinone-tolerant rice varieties allows growers to achieve maximum yield potential in red rice and other weedy situations.

“CL161 is unique due to its tolerance to two post applications of Newpath herbicide,” Ouzts said. “The expanded tolerance has allowed growers more flexibility to fit Newpath into their production practices.

“Harvest has begun in many areas and yields of CL161 appear to be close to other varieties such as Cocodrie and Jefferson. In many instances, this is on acreage that previously had heavy red rice infestations, and associated yield losses and quality issues.

“Louisiana growers have cut as much as 45 barrels of CL161 on land where they have historically cut 32 to 35 of other varieties. Growers are seeing the technology pay for itself several times over where heavy red rice is a factor.”

Clearfield rice is sold under a Stewardship Agreement. Growers who wish to plant Clearfield rice must attend a stewardship training session. Growers can contact local BASF representatives or Orygen seed retailers for dates and locations of 2004 preseason meetings.

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