New hybrid rice withstand pests PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 August 2012 14:12

SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija — Newly commercialized hybrid rice varieties bred by Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB), withstood tungro infestations in some parts of the country where they were tested for adaptability.

PhilRice executive director Eufemio T. Rasco said that Mestiso 19 (NSIC Rc202H) and Mestiso 20 (NSIC Rc204H) exhibited resistance to tungro in a series of adaptability trials conducted in Cagayan, Leyte, Aurora, and Palawan during this year’s dry season.

Rasco said that Ernesto Andaya, farmer-cooperator in Taytay, Palawan, attested that the varieties had survived infestations, which occurred in the demonstration fields.

Tungro, which means degenerated growth, causes stunted rice plant and less tillers and reduces yield by 80-100 percent.

He also said that adaptability trials attested that Mestiso 19 showed consistent good performance in both wet and dry seasons in Mindanao than in some parts in Visayas.

With its resistance to some pests, he said, Mestiso 19 can be planted in wet season.

Mestiso 19 could yield as high as 10.7 ton per hectare (t/ha) and matures in 110 days. Aside from tungro, it has intermediate reaction to blast and brown planthopper. However, it is susceptible to bacterial leaf blight, he said.

Mestiso 20, on the other hand, registered maximum yield of 11.7 t/ha and matures in 111 days. It is moderately resistant to green leafhopper and brown planthopper and has intermediate reaction to blast, he said.

The adaptability tests of the newly-released inbred and hybrid rice varieties are conducted in 69 areas in the country.

PhilRice spearheaded the trials in collaboration with the local government units and the municipal agricultural offices.