Yuan Longping, renowned Chinese developer of hybrid rice, expressed his confidence Tuesday [13 September 2016] that a hybrid rice yield target projected for 2018 will be met this year. He said that several demonstration plots had showed potential to produce 16 tonnes of rice per ha…Full Article: Xinhua Sept 2016

Key Point

  • Approximately 65% of Chinese people depend on rice as a staple food.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In July 2016, Yuan Longping announced a new hybrid rice variety (Chaoyou 1000) was about to set a new yield record of 1,500 kg per mu (~22.5 MTs per ha). The new hybrid rice variety was grown and managed by the Zhuhai Modern Agriculture Center, Guandong Province.
  • In October 2015, Yuan Longping was removed as Director of Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center
  • In September 2015, Yuan Longping visited Cambodia to promote his super hybrid rice.
  • In April 2015, Anhui Province reported massive hybrid rice crop failures due to rice blast disease. However, there were reports of ineffective hybrid rice seed being sold. Packages of Chinese hybrid rice seed typically have the grade of disease resistance printed on the package. Some packages claim to have 5/6 grades, denoting a disease incidence rate of just 25%. However, inside the package a piece of paper shows that rice is grade 9, meaning that the rice can have a disease incidence rate as high as 100%.
  • In 2014, Yuan Longping and his team announced they had created a super hybrid with a yield of 15 MTs per ha on an experimental plot in Hunan Province.
  • In 2013, China had approved 96 varieties of super hybrid rice strains, with cultivation reportedly occurring on 4 million ha or roughly 24% of China’s rice paddy fields.
  • From 2000 to 2013, China’s paddy rice production increased from 188 million metric tons (MTs) to 204 million MTs while yields increased from 6.2 MTs per hectare (ha) to 6.6 MTs per ha.
  • From 2006 to 2008, Chinese rice yields rose from 6.15 MTs per ha to 6.5 MTs, with hybrid rice being grown on 18.6 million ha or roughly 63% of China’s rice paddy fields (Hunan province growing the most).
  • Hybrid rice, or rice that has been crossbred to combine the superior traits from separate parents, was pioneered by China in the 1970s. Hybrid rice helped to sustain the country’s explosive population growth during that decade (833 million in 1970 to 1 billion in 1980).
  • Established in 1999 and headquartered in Changsha, Hunan province, Long Ping High-Tech Agriculture produces and distributes specialized crop seeds. These include hybrid rice seeds, hybrid pepper, hybrid rape, hybrid corn, hybrid cotton, musk melon and vegetables. The company manages various subsidiaries including Hunan Longping High-tech Nongping Seeds, Hunan Xiangyan Seeds, Hunan Longping High-tech Cotton & Rape Seeds, Agrochemical Development Company, Hunan Nongwei Science and Technology, Hunan Kangyida Science and Technology, and Hunan Longke Agricultural Materials.

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