Double-cropping hybrid rice sets new record for yield


Yuan Longping, known as the father of hybrid Chinese rice, has set a new world record by achieving an annual yield of 1,537.78 kilograms of rice per mu (0.067 hectare) in a pilot field in Xingning, South China's Guangdong Province, local authorities announced on Saturday.

The yield of the second crop of rice was 705.68 kilograms of rice per mu. Together with the 832.1 kilograms per mu from the first crop in July, the double-cropping super rice has set a record-high annual output of 1,537.78 kilograms per mu, reported the Guangdong-based Nanfang Daily on Sunday.

The project was jointly launched in 2015 by Yuan-directed China National Hybrid Rice R&D Center in Central China's Hunan Province, South China Agricultural University and Guangdong agricultural authorities.

The project aims to achieve the goal of an annual output of 1,500 kilograms of rice per mu in three years.

The record-high yield in Xingning is the only key scientific project focused on double-cropping rice among Yuan's 38 super rice demonstration fields across the country, according to the Nanfang Daily.

The annual yield of double-cropping rice is equal to that produced over three seasons in the past, marking a big breakthrough, Luo Xiwen, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.

Rice plants are prone to be affected by insects and diseases due to the high temperature and rainfall in Guangdong, which makes the increase in production very difficult, Luo said.

"This is the fifth generation of hybrid rice technology," Yuan told Xinhua. "The quality of the rice is as good as Japan's renowned Koshihikari rice."

However, Lu Baorong, a biology professor at Fudan University, told the Global Times that it has been very difficult to use the technology on a large scale due to the high cost involved in strictly controlling the rice growing conditions.

Lu also doubted the comparability of the two different groups of rice varieties - the super rice in Guangdong belongs to indica group while the Koshihikari rice is of japonica type.


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