Organic Rice Varieties?

Rice field near Eagle Lake in July 2021

 The title is a little misleading since there are no specific organic rice varieties – at least not yet!  There are several commercially available rice varieties that are planted by organic rice growers on a consistent basis simply because they have done well in an organic system.  According to most organic growers two varieties seem to be planted more than most – RiceTec XL723 and RT7401. 

RT7401 is a fairly new variety but is catching on quick while XL723 has been around several years and is known to produce in organic conditions.  In fact, RiceTec promotes both as working well in organic conditions. 

Dr. Qiming Shao, El Campo Research Facility (Photo Randy Ouzts)

Nutrien Ag Solutions Dyna-Gro Seed division introduced DG263L this past year and has had mixed results.  Talking to Dr. Qiming Shao with Nutrien Ag Solutions, he thinks DG263L should do well in an organic system and recommends it. It is 120-day maturity with 88 days to 50% maturity.

So, are there organic rice varieties? Not really, but there are some really good commercial varieties for organic rice growers to choose!

Just remember always check with your organic certifier about any inputs you want to use in your organic program.

Author: Bob Whitney, Regents Fellow & Extension Organic Specialist

Agriculturalist, extension educator and researcher, organic agriculture enthusiast and promoter, international program developer, Christian, husband, father and friend.

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