Droopy rice suppresses weeds
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CTA. 1993. Droopy rice suppresses weeds. Spore 48. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49280
Rice farmers in West Africa may soon have rice varieties with droopy lower leaves and erect top ones.
Rice farmers in West Africa may soon have rice varieties with droopy lower leaves and erect top ones. This strange plant architecture will actually increase yields and suppress weeds. Generally the high yielding, improved rice varieties from Asia have not been suitable for West Africa. They succumb to diseases which are unique to the region, such as rice yellow mottle virus. The dwarf varieties cannot compete with the weed problem of the area and their yields are low under the poor West African conditions. For this reason plant breeders at the West African Rice Development Association (WARDA) in C\F4te d'lvoire, are developing varieties that are more appropriate. WARDA's breeding programme is producing encouraging results with some varieties doubling yields to 1.5t/ha with fertilizer applications as low as 20kg/ha. A major objective now is to produce varieties that will suppress weeds. West African varieties (Oryza glaberrima) develop a mass of leaves low down, known as droopiness. The Asian types (Oryza saliva) have a more erect habit, which leads to better yields. The aim is to develop varieties which combine the two traits A drawback has been that crosses between O. glaberrima and O. sativa are usually infertile. However, plant breeders have made a breakthrough with five fertile crosses which are now being assessed. WARDA 01 8P 255t, 01 Bouak\E9 COTE D'IVOARE