China’s “super rice” has set a new world record for its yield.
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Researchers say this latest breed of the hybrid rice produces a record 13.9 metric tons per hectare, compared to the national average of 6.3 tons per hectare for all of China’s rice paddies.
Yuan Longping, known as China’s “father of hybrid rice,” created the new breed.
Yuan has been making super rice since the 1970s, and vows to create an even better strain capable of 15 tons per hectare.
“Everybody knows that rice is a main food source. It is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population and more than 60% of China’s population. Therefore, it is of great importance to improve rice output and guarantee China’s food security.”
China grows the most rice in the world, and is self sufficient, with the 29 million hectares farmed every year.
The country’s National Hybrid Rice R&D Centre says super rice can be found in half of China’s rice fields, and its output makes up over 60% of the country’s total rice production.
But more grains are still needed for food products and animal feed.
Apart from rice hybrids, genetically modified (GM) rice has been introduced as well, although it has not been fully approved for commercial farming yet.
Farmer, Bian Dexiang, says GM technology has improved his output.
“This technology saves water and fertilizer and improves the yield. We only need to apply fertilizer once during its whole growth. The total output this year is the highest in history. Each hectare yields more than 500 kilograms.”
But GM food remains controversial due to the yet unknown health effects of genetic modification, and uneven yield improvement results.
Bottom line: China’s “super rice” set a new world record for its yield of 13.9 metric tons per hectare, more than double the national average of 6.3 tons per hectare.