Research study confirms economic benefits of hybrid rice

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A duo of researchers has found that farmers growing hybrid rice often exhibit a significantly higher economic return than those planting conventional rice varieties.

Researchers Lawton Lanier Nalley, an associate professor of agricultural economics at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and his research assistant Nathaniel Lyman concluded that hybrid rice cultivars are found to have significant yield advantages over the best-performing conventional alternative.

“Evidenced by the price discount scenario, attempts to curb hybrid adoption to preserve the status quo will probably lead to large, statewide revenue losses,” the researchers wrote.

They also concluded that hybrid milling yields are the same, and in some cases better, than the milling yields of conventional varieties.

“The results presented here of the available experimental data on hybrid and corresponding conventional yields available in Arkansas suggest no reason to discount hybrid rice based on milling quality,” they wrote.

The pair compared the economic risks and returns of three popular hybrid rice varieties: XL723, Clearfield (CL) XL729, and CL XL745; and eight conventional varieties: Cheniere, CL 142-AR, CL151, Francis, Roy J, Taggart, Templeton, and Wells. They used experimental test plot data from 2006 to 2010.

Nalley and Lyman’s findings have been recently published in Agronomy Journal, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy.

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