The members of the National Cooperative Test (NCT) approved more than 20 inbred and hybrid varieties in 2014 developed by public and private rice breeding institutions.

According to PhilRice plant breeder Dr. Oliver Manangkil, among the newly-released varieties, 1 hybrid (Mestiso 55) and 2 inbreds (Tubigan 28 and Tubigan 30) were developed by PhilRice.

NSIC Rc354 or Tubigan 28 is an early-maturing variety (112 days) with higher resistance to common rice pest and diseases such as bacterial leaf blight (BLB), blast (B), green leafhopper (GLH), white stemborer (WSB) and yellow stemborer (YSB).

It has an average yield of 5.3 t/ha across season and 5 t/ha in wet season (WS).

NSIC Rc358 or Tubigan 30 has an average maximum yield of 9t/h. It is early-maturing at 114 days with an intermediate amylose content of 19.7% with long (6.8 mm) and slender grain (3.2mm); premium milling recovery (72.4%), fair brown rice (78.6%) and grade 1 (54.6%) head rice recovery.

The hybrid NSIC Rc368H or Mestiso 55 boasts a maximum yield of 10 t/ha. It has intermediate amylose content of 18.9% with long (7.3 mm) and slender grain (3.3mm), premium milling recovery (70.4%), fair brown rice (77.5%) and grade 1 (52.2%) head rice recovery resulting in very good grains and eating quality.

The PhilRice-bred varieties are recommended to be planted in irrigated lowland areas. Other varieties approved by NCT were developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and private companies such as Syngenta, Bioseed, Advanta, and Long Ping.

According to Dr. Norvie Manigbas, head of the Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division, the newly-released varieties are location-specific.

“This means that the yield and other major characteristics of each of the varieties are fully expressed in a particular location; thus, better performance,” Manigbas said.

NCT is a nationwide testing scheme that identifies superior varieties that confers resistance to  current insect and disease problems, climatic stresses, and new market demands. It is the last post-breeding stage before a rice line  is approved for commercial cultivation.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute