The Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center organized experts to test output of saline-alkali tolerant rice on Tuesday. (Photo/Courtesy of the Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center)
The output of salt-tolerant rice, or better known as "seawater rice" initiated by China's "Father of Hybrid Rice" —the late Yuan Longping reached a new high, with the average yield of the salt tolerant conventional rice surpassing 691.8 kilograms per mu (0.06 hectares).
The Global Times learnt from the Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center that the Qingdao-based test field of salt tolerant conventional rice variety that survives under 4‰ sodium chloride (NaCl) for the whole growth duration has yield 691.8 kilograms per mu, exceeding its previous average output.
The test planting field was 0.34‰ in salinity, and its pH value was 7.9. The tested rice and the control varieties were irrigated with 4‰ salt water during their whole growth period. Two tested rice plots respectively yielded 608.9 kilograms per mu and 691.8 kilograms per mu, the center said.
Wan Jili, director of the technology R&D department of the center, told the Global Times on Thursday that reaching 691.8 kilograms per mu is quite an achievement for salt tolerant conventional rice variety. Great potential lies ahead.
In 2017, a hybrid saline-alkali tolerant rice that was irrigated with 6‰ salt water yielded 620.95 kilograms per mu. Because the hybrid rice generally yields more than conventional rice, so the newly-tested salt tolerant conventional rice variety that survives under 4‰ NaCl can reach such high output is quite significant, Wan noted.
Developed by China's "Father of Hybrid Rice" — the late Yuan Longping, the"seawater rice" is a major breakthrough in China's efforts to expand rice output. Yuan's goal was to improve 100 million mu of wasted soil by planting saline-alkali tolerant rice.
In recent years, the team continues to make breakthroughs in salt-tolerant rice output, with its yield in 2019 reaching 295.9 kilograms per mu, in 2021 it rose to 590.6 kilograms per mu, and then in 2022 the maximum yield of salt tolerant conventional rice variety that survives under 4‰ NaCl reached 691.8 kilograms per mu.
In the past 10 years, China's saline-alkali tolerant rice has achieved a leap, starting from scratch to reaching the currently large-scale plantation.
By the end of 2021, China's saline-alkali tolerant rice planting area has reached 600,000 mu, distributed in more than 10 provinces such as Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, East China's Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In 2022, China's saline-alkali tolerant rice planting area will exceed 1 million mu, according to the center.