High-yielding, drought-resistant rice variety for rainfed tractsl

A new drought-resistant variety with a high yielding potential of rice has been developed by Scientists at the Rice Research Station(RRS) of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University(TNAU) at Tirurkuppam, Tiruvallur district and released for commercial cultivation. 'TKM (R) 12', the new short-duration rice variety is ideally suited for growing in 'Samba season'. It is found to be moderately resistant to blast and brown spot diseases, and stem borer and leaf folder pests. It yields medium, slender white grains of good cooking quality and higher protein content(9.9%), according to the scientists. A derivative of a cross between TKM 9 and TKM 11, the drought-resistant variety is suitable for cultivating in uplands. It has an intermediate plant type when compared to its parent lines, and it has recorded an average yield of 3043 kg rice per hectare, which is 15% higher than that of TKM 11 and 14% more than that of PMK 2. It is a semi-tall and non-lodging variety coming to maturity in 115 to 120 days. The variety was extensively field tested at RRS, Tirurkuppam for three years. Under upland conditions, it registered its superiority over all the ruling varieties. Under favorable conditions, it recorded a high yield of 10,025 kg per hectare. It has withstood drought and showed quick recovery immediately after the rains. Its average straw yield potential of 3500 kg per hectare is considered a boon for the rainfed farmers. This variety is found suitable for rainfed direct seeding in July-August, and sowing in August-September in all recommended districts.

In the upland cultivation, any drought-tolerant variety with an ability for quick rejuvenation and high yield potential, will be the most preferred one, and this new variety endowed with these desirable features wills go a long way in fulfilling the long-felt needs of the rainfed farmers. It will also contribute significantly to stabilize the output of rainfed rice in these belts. .

(Courtesy-The Hindu)