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The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the country`s lead agency in rice science and development, recently released eight new early maturing varieties, providing farmers with more options on suitable and better varieties to plant.

Thelma F. Padolina, division head of the Institute`s Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division said the National Seed Industry Council (NSIC) approved the release of the eight early maturing varieties after demonstrating good performance on field trials.

Developed for irrigated and rainfed lowland and saline-prone areas, the new PhilRice-bred varieties, which mature from 108 to 118 days, include six inbreds, a hybrid, and an inbred glutinous rice.

The varieties released for the irrigated lowland are Tubigan 22 (NSIC Rc240), Malagkit 5 (NSIC Rc21 SR), and Mestiso 29 (NSIC Rc244H); Sahod Ulan 2 (NSIC 2011 Rc272) and Sahod Ulan 10 (NSIC Rc288) for the rainfed lowland; and Salinas 6 (NSIC Rc290), Salinas 7 (NSIC Rc292), and Salinas 8 (NSIC Rc294) for the saline-prone areas.

Maturing in 108 days when direct-seeded and 115 days when transplanted, Tubigan 22 registered a high yield of about 18 percent than the check variety, PSB Rc82. Multi-location adaptability trials also showed that Tubigan 22 could yield about 6 t/ha and has a yield potential of about 11 t/ha and 8 t/ha under transplanted and direct-seeded conditions, respectively. It is resistant to blast, sheath blight, bacterial leaf blight, and white stem borer.

On the other hand, Malagkit 5, a glutinous rice variety that matures in 122 days, has moderate resistance to whiteheads, brown planthopper, green leaf hopper, and yellow stem borer. A good-yielding variety with 7 t/ha maximum harvest, it is slightly aromatic when cooked.

Mestiso 29, PhilRice`s hybrid that demonstrated high yield in dry and wet seasons, showed an average yield of 7 t/ha. With a maximum yield of 11 t/ha and 113 maturity days, the variety exhibited resistance to white and yellow stem borers, brown planthopper, and green leafhopper.

In the rainfed lowland and drought-prone areas, Sahod Ulan 2 yielded an advantage of about 30 percent over the check variety, PSB Rc14. Averaging at 3 t/ha, Sahod Ulan 2 matures in 110 days and is resistant to blast, bacterial leaf and sheath blights, white and yellow stem borers, and green leafhopper.

Another variety, Sahod Ulan 10, registered an average yield of 3 t/ha, giving it an advantage of 5.4 percent over check variety, UPL R17. On-station trial results showed that the newly released variety is resistant to blast, bacterial leaf blight, and stem borer and matures in 118 days.

Among the PhilRice-bred varieties for saline-prone and coastal areas with moderate salinity level, Salinas 6 exhibited the highest average yield of about 4 t/ha. In favorable conditions, the variety could yield up to 6.5 t/ha. It also matures in 113 days and is resistant to blast, bacterial leaf blight, stem borer, brown planthopper, and green leafhopper.

Meanwhile, Salinas 7 registered an average yield of about 3 t/ha and matures in 111 days. The long and slender-grained variety is also resistant to blast and the only new variety that is resistant to tungro.

On the other hand, Salinas 8 produced the least average yield among the three PhilRice-bred varieties for saline-prone areas. With an average yield of about 3 t/ha, it matures in 117 days and is resistant to bacterial leaf blight and stem borer.

Milling potentials and sensory tests also show that the varieties have premium to excellent milling and head rice recovery and good eating quality.

The seeds of the newly approved rice varieties are available in PhilRice`s branch stations and from selected National Rice Seed Production Network partners for the production of registered and certified seeds. The newly released varieties are among the 32 released varieties developed by the International Rice Research Institute, University of the Philippines in Los Baños, and private companies.

Padolina added that the varieties for adverse environment underwent rigid screenings during on-farm trials before they were recommended to NSIC for approval. She further said that adaptation to the target environment and farmers` preference were among the criteria for approval.

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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