Planting early-maturing and high-quality rice varieties is vital for the rainy days.

Dr. Norvie Manigbas, head of PhilRice’s Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division, said that after the onslaught of drought, the next challenge is to select the varieties suited for the rainy days.

Farmers are advised to plant varieties, which stand at most 100 cm with strong stems that can withstand 40-60 kph wind speed.

Some of these varieties are PSB Rc14, PSB Rc68, NSIC Rc9, and NSIC Rc222.

“There are also varieties released in 2011, which are good for dry conditions or for areas that normally experience delayed or almost no rainfall.

These Sahod Ulan varieties are NSIC Rc272, NSIC Rc274, NSIC Rc278, NSIC Rc284, NSIC Rc286, NSIC Rc288, NSIC Rc346, and NSIC Rc348,” Manigbas said.

Rainfed areas are also prone to flooding. The varieties suited for this condition are PSB Rc18 (Ala), which can withstand 5-7 days of complete submergence, NSIC Rc194 (Submarino 1), which can survive, grow, and develop even after 10-14 days of complete submergence, and PSB Rc68 (Sacobia), a submergence- tolerant and a drought-resistant variety. These varieties can recover when submerged during vegetative stage.

Additionally, PhilRice also emphasizes reduction of fertilizer application rates.

“While fertilizers are beneficial for plants, in high amounts, they may cause lodging. Fertilizers cannot be maximized, as there is a limited amount of sunlight during the rainy season. Depending on soil analysis results and recommended nutrient requirement rates, it is better to reduce fertilizer application rates by 20-30% in wet season,” Manigbas explained.

For more information on rice varieties for wet season, please contact the PhilRice Text Center at 0920-911-1398.

New PhilRice-bred varieties

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.