Wild rice research at the NCROC focuses on wild rice breeding and conservation. Research addresses the many agronomic challenges related to the continued improvement of the cultivated wild rice industry in Minnesota.
Current wild rice research focuses on:
- Variety development - Research emphasizes selection for shattering resistance, increased yield, stem sturdiness, removing seed dormancy, resistance to fungal brown spot and spot blotch, reduced plant height, seed size, and other key agronomic traits that facilitate cultivation.
- Soil fertility - Fertility trials are designed to improve nitrogen use efficiency for various cultivated wild rice varieties. This research is critical to the development and refinement of current best management practices for the application of nitrogen to wild rice to maximize yield with minimal nitrogen loss.
- Seed storage - Research focuses on factors affecting viability of wild rice seed in storage. Some improvements in short- and medium-term storage have been made; however, a big challenge is long-term storage of breeding lines that are still susceptible to loss due to degradation.