New Ozark, Taurus and ARoma 22 rice varieties introduced at Rice Field Day

⋅ Written by John Lovett ⋅
U systems of the Department of Agriculture

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — In addition to several new long-grain rice varieties, the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station’s rice breeding program has one new medium-grain variety and two new aromatic lines.

ARKANSAS-BRED — Rice breeder Xueyang Sha discusses varieties on Aug. 5, 2022, Rice Field Day at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart, Arkansas. (U Agriculture System Division photo by Mary Hightower)

During the 2022 Rice Field Day, hosted by the University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture at the Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart on August 5, more than 250 participants heard from experimental station rice breeders Xueyan Sha and Cristian De Guzman about the development of several new varieties, such as Ozark , a new short-maturing long-grain rice, and Taurus, a new high-yielding medium-grain rice. The experiment station is a research unit of the Department of Agriculture.

Aroma 22, a new traditional aromatic jasmine-type rice from the Department of Agriculture, was highlighted along with two new aromatic lines in development. Sensory tests show that ARoma 22 provides more aromatics and color consistency compared to its predecessor and meets several qualities sought by consumers of imported Asian aromatic rice.

John Carlin, director of the Arkansas Crops Variety Improvement Program, said the aromatic program has begun to move toward breeding for quality, and two promising lines in the program will be evaluated for improved quality and agronomic traits.

ARoma 22 averaged 167 bushels per acre with high milling yield in five rice improvement trials in Arkansas. The new aromatic rice reaches 50 percent yield in 88 days with “excellent” straw strength, according to data collected from the Arkansas Uniform Rice Regional Nursery and reported in 2020 research. It is moderately susceptible to blight, bacterial panicle burn, and false soot.

Rice breeder Christian De Guzman says
IMPROVEMENT — Rice breeder Christian De Guzman talks about improving a rice variety during the Department of Agriculture’s Rice Field Day on Aug. 5, 2022. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Fred Miller)


Seed material for Ozark, Agriculture’s newest traditional long grain division, is showing a 10-bushel-per-acre yield advantage over its predecessors, Diamond and LaKast, Sha said. Ozark’s continued yield potential is complemented by good grind and grain quality, as well as good straw strength, he added.

About 12 acres of Ozark seed stock were grown this year at the pilot station for an expected 2023 seed merchant release, Sha said.

Seed base for Clearfield® cultivars CLL16 and CLL18 continue to be grown by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station in cooperation with BASF/Horizon Ag. Both are short-maturing, long-grain varieties, with CLL16 entering the public market only last year. CLL18 is expected to become publicly available in 2023 through Horizon Ag.

CLL18 the non-hybrid Clearfield was the most productive® of rice in the 2020 and 2021 Arkansas Rice Performance Trials conducted by the Department of Agriculture averaged 221 bushels of rough rice per acre.

The average milling yield for CLL18 during the two-year Arkansas rice improvement trials in 2020-2021 was 59 percent whole kernel and 69 percent whole milled rice. The grade averaged 50 percent in 87 days.

CLL18 has a plant height of 37 inches with the grain weight, grain size and lodging resistance of Diamond and an early maturity similar to CLL15.

Although moderately resistant to narrow brown leaf spot, CLL18 is moderately susceptible to common rice blister, panicle blight, panicle blight, and false soot.

CLL16 has the same rice yield potential as Diamond, about 205 bushels per acre, with low chalk, good milling and Pi-ta blast resistance gene, Sha said.

Milling yield for CLL16 averaged 63 percent whole kernel and 69 percent total milled rice for samples from statewide Arkansas rice performance trials. CLL16 is a very resistant cultivar with an early maturity averaging 86 days to 50 percent, similar to CL172 and Wells, and about four days earlier than Roy J. A standard height plant with a 36-inch canopy similar to Diamond.

Clearfield® rice was developed at Louisiana State University from a breeding line of rice with a naturally occurring genetic mutation that was tolerant to the imidazoline family of herbicides, said Bob Scott, director of the Rice Research and Extension Center.

Medium grain

Taurus is a semi-extractive conventional variety with a 20-bushel-per-acre yield advantage over its predecessors.

Taurus offered an average yield potential of 232 bushels per acre in 2021 in the Arkansas Rice Variety Trial, said Sha, senior rice breeder for the Agricultural Experiment Station.

Sha said Taurus was bred for Mid-South conditions and could be adapted anywhere Jupiter or Titan grow. A cross between four other common varieties, Taurus has a thicker core than Jupiter and eclipsed the newest medium-grain varieties, Lynx and Titan, in 2021 testing at six locations. Taurus produced the highest average yield in a Clay County field at 249 bushels per acre.

Arkansas Rice Update

Jarrod Hardtke stands in front of the rice test plots
AGRONOMY – August 5, 2022 Rice agronomist Jarrod Hardke will provide an update to attendees on August 5, 2022, Rice Field Day at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart, Arkansas. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Mary Hightower)

Jarrod Hardtke, a professor and rice extension agronomist with the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service, said farmers planted about 1.15 million acres of rice in Arkansas this year.

“The harvest looks very good so far,” Hardke said on August 8. — Despite the fact that planting was generally later, the summer heat changed things very quickly. Harvest is expected to begin soon, although the bulk of the acres are still a few weeks away before we really get into full swing.”

Hardtke also noted that while 2022 was a difficult season and yields are unlikely to challenge the record yields in 2021, he remains “very optimistic” about yields.

“The harvesters, as always, will tell the story,” Hardtke said.

To learn more about the Department of Agriculture’s research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Department of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk. To learn about Arkansas extension programs, contact your local Cooperative Extension agent or visit

About the Department of Agriculture

The mission of the University of Arkansas Systemic Division of Agriculture is to strengthen agriculture, communities and families by connecting sound research with the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Grant Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work under the national land-grant educational system.

The Department of Agriculture is one of 20 organizations within the University of Arkansas system. It has offices in all 75 Arkansas counties and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers all of its extension and research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, familial or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status and is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.
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John Lovett can be reached at (479) 763-5929 or New Ozark, Taurus and ARoma 22 rice varieties introduced at Rice Field Day

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