Traditional rice varieties, known as “Tall” varieties, naturally produce plant growth regulators called gibberellins (GA), which help rice seeds germinate and their plants grow to full genetic potential. But Tall varieties are also susceptible to lodging. Unfortunately, the preferable semi-dwarf rice varieties lack natural gibberellins to aid development, causing poor seed germination and slow stand establishment.
Release®, a gibberellic acid-based seed treatment, improves germination and has become a critical element for growing many of today’s semi-dwarf rice choices. Release-treated seed will emerge 2 to 10 days sooner than untreated seed, depending on temperature and soil conditions. With an earlier stand, growers can put a permanent flood on earlier, reducing both weed and red rice pressure. In addition, the stand will be denser and more uniform because Release increases the percentage of rice seed that germinates.
Another advantage of Release-treated seed is that its increased vigor allows deeper planting than with untreated seed. Planting seeds deeper increases the amount of moisture available and the probability of germination. Earlier, more vigorous growth also means that the rice can outcompete and stay ahead of weeds, reducing the need for herbicides.
ProGibb®, another GA product, increases panicle exertion for enhanced uniformity and higher yield. With ProGibb, you’ll give your seed heads the extra boost needed to exceed expectations at harvest time. When applied at panicle exertion, ProGibb maximizes seed head emergence, which leads to:
• Increased grain fill
• Uniform grain maturity
• Higher yield
Release-treated seed is used in most of the world’s production areas where rice is drill seeded, but not in areas where growers seed by air, such as California. Drill seeding is done in parts of Southeast Asia as well as the Southeastern U.S. Release should only be applied by qualified seed conditioners. In general, one gram of GA3 per 45kg (100 lbs) of seed is recommended, as higher rates may cause excessive plant heights at shallow seeding depths and greater sensitivity to herbicides.