China breaks record in double-cropping rice output, achieving yield of 1,500 kg per mu

▲Yuan Longping (2nd R) , the “father of hybrid rice”, inspects a demonstration field with other experts at Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, Oct. 22, 2019. The third-generation hybrid rice developed by Yuan Longping, the “father of hybrid rice,” and his team underwent its first public yield monitoring from Monday to Tuesday and achieved high output. The final yield of the tested variety, G3-1S/P19, came to 1,046.3 kg per mu (about 667 square meters), based on two plots of land in Qingzhu Village under the city of Hengyang in Hunan. (Xinhua/Chen Zeguo)

China’s third-generation hybrid rice has broken the world record to become the highest-yielding double-cropping rice, with an output of 1,500 kilograms per mu (about 0.067 hectares), CCTV News reported on Monday. 

The latest breakthrough is of great importance to safeguarding food security in China, as the average yield sees a 10-20 percent, or 100 kg per mu, increase compared with the current hybrid rice, the developer of the rice, Chinese agronomist Yuan Longping said. 

The testing was broadcasted live on Monday morning on China’s twitter-like Sina Weibo, as farmers and scientists harvested the trail farmland in Hengnan county of Central China’s Hunan Province, calculating the result of the output.

The testing results were released around noon, suggesting that the average yield per mu of the late-cropping rice is 911.7 kg. 

Combined with the early-cropping rice output of 619 kg per mu tested in July, the double-cropping rice broke the world record with an output of 1,530.7 kg to become the highest-yielding hybrid rice in the world. 

At an on-site interview by CCTV News, Yuan said that the result is of great importance to safeguarding China’s food security. With an annual yield of 1,500 kg per mu, it can feed 5 persons per mu a year.

The newly-developed hybrid rice could bear more seeds than the previous one, Yuan noted. What’s more, for each year of the crop, there are around 400 seeds, more than initially expected. 

The topic attracted 150 million views as of press time, with netizens giving a “thumbs up” for the efforts and contributions that Yuan Longping — the 91-year-old “Father of Hybrid Rice” — has made in safeguarding China’s food security over the decades. 

In 2019, another project achieved a double-cropping rice yield of 1,365 kg per mu in Hunan Province, setting a new high for double-cropping rice output in the middle and lower reaches of China’s Yangtze River.

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