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Super rice a huge success

(Shanghai Daily)

08:09, September 20, 2011

China has set a world record for rice production with its "super rice" achieving an output of more than 900 kilograms per mu (0.067 hectare).

The rice - DH2525 (Y two superior No. 2) - produced a harvest of 926.6kg per mu during its trial plantation in Longhui County in central China's Hunan Province, the provincial academy of agriculture told a press conference yesterday afternoon.

However, the rice cannot be deemed a success until it produces a targeted yield of more than 900kg per mu on at least 100 mu of farmland for two consecutive years, said the team's leader Cheng Shihua.

"We have another year to go," he said.

DH2525 was developed by Yuan Longping, who started developing hybrid rice in the 1960s. His research team reached a target yield of 700kg per mu and 800kg per mu in 1999 and 2005, setting world records both times.

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

Wang Huayong, the farmer who contracted the trial field, said it had yielded 841.6kg and 872kg of rice per mu over the past two years and finally exceeded 900kg this year.

"The seed was further upgraded, new manure was used, and we also received the guidance of Mr Yuan himself," Wang said.

Yuan, 81, visited the field in early September to check on growth. "He issued a clear instruction on water management," Wang said.

Li Guoxiang, an expert on agriculture with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the higher yield was of great significance for both China and the world at large.

Although China is basically self-sufficient in grain, more was needed for subsidiary food products and animal feed, Li said.

The super rice will also help increase rice production all over the world and lift people out of hunger, Li said.

By 2009, the rice was being grown in India, Vietnam and the US, among others.

Yuan believes yields could reach 1,000kg per mu. "I hope it can be realized by the time I am 90 years old," he said.


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