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Rediff.com  » Business » China sets new world record with hybrid rice yield

China sets new world record with hybrid rice yield

September 19, 2011 18:02 IST
Super Rice, the newly-developed hybrid rice breed by Chinese scientists, has set a new world record in output, officials said.

The rice breed, DH2525, produced a harvest of 926.6 kg per mu (0.067 hectare), during its trial plantation in Longhui County in central China's Hunan Province, according to officials at the provincial academy of agriculture.

To ensure the accuracy of the yield, a team of experts under the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) randomly selected three out of the 107.9 mu trial field's 18 plots and supervised the harvest.

However, the breeding cannot be deemed a success until the new breed produces the targeted yield of over 900 kg per mu on at least 100 mu of farmland for two consecutive years, Xinhua news agency quoted the team's leader Cheng Shihua as saying.

"We have another year to go," he said. DH2525 was developed by Yuan Longping, known as the "father of hybrid rice," who started developing hybrid rice in the 1960s. His research team reached the target unit yield of 700 kg per mu and 800 kg per mu in 1999 and 2005,

respectively, setting world records both times.

With skills honed by his team over several decades, Chinese farmers are estimated to have harvested 300 billion kilogrammes more in aggregate output. Their hybrid rice, therefore, has become known as super rice.

Eighty-one-year-old Yuan visited the field in early September and checked the growth.

Li Guoxiang, an expert on agriculture with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the higher yield target was of great significance for China, the world's most populated country and the world at large.

Although China is basically self-sufficient in producing grain to support its population of 1.3 billion, more grains are needed for subsidiary food products and animal feed, Li said.

By 2009, super rice had been planted in India, Vietnam, and the United States, among others, and covered a total of 3 million hectares. The average unit yield had increased by 15 per cent.

Yuan believes the yield could eventually increase further to 1,000 kg per mu. "I hope it can be realized when I am 90 years old," said Yuan.

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