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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #436493

Research Project: Determining the Suitability of California Heirloom Rice Varieties for the Production of Premium Quality Sake

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Project Number: 2032-21000-023-08-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 29, 2019
End Date: Apr 28, 2023

Objective:
Overall objective is to determine if California heirloom rice varieties (e.g., Caloro, Colusa) are suitable for the production of premium quality sake.

Approach:
The California heirloom rice varieties Caloro and Colusa will be grown in the ARS PI's rice nursery to produce seeds for use in 1) small-scale sake production including drying/curing of rice seeds, milling of rice grains, and processing and fermentation of milled rice grains by cooperator; 2) establishing a seed source for future use by California rice producers; and 3) provide a source of germplasm for use by ARS PI to serve as a foundation for genetic enhancement by incorporating additional traits beneficial for sake production identified from induced rice mutant germplasm. Due to limited seed availability of these California heirloom varieties, a dry seeding-based production system will be employed. Other modifications for standard modern California rice production practices may be employed due to characteristics of these heirloom varieties (e.g. lower nitrogen fertilizer rates to reduce lodging). Cooperator will assist in the harvest of rice and will be responsible for all aspects of post-harvest production including drying/curing of rice, milling of rice kernels suitable for sake production, production of sake, and evaluation of sake quality. Cooperator will provide in-kind contributions to this project including labor, the funds to have third parties perform post-harvest activities of drying/curing and milling the rice, and will contribute by performing the sake brewing in their facilities.