Mission and Funding
The primary mission of the CCRRF is development of improved rice varieties and agronomic management systems for the benefit of the California rice industry. Plant breeding research is designed to develop rice varieties of all grain types and market classes that will sustain high and stable grain yield and quality with minimum adverse environmental impact. Important breeding objectives include the incorporation of disease resistance, insect tolerance, seedling vigor, cold tolerance, early maturity, semidwarf plant type, lodging resistance, and high milling yield into future rice varieties. Improved milling yield, grain appearance, and cooking characteristics relative to consumer preference are major components of RES breeding research. Production and maintenance of foundation seed of currently grown rice varieties is an additional activity at RES. A secondary and important objective is support of UC and USDA research by providing land, resources, and management for agronomic, weed, insect, disease, and other disciplinary research.
Rice improvement research before 1969 was conducted at RES by a small CCRRF staff and cooperating UC and USDA scientists. An extensive rice variety improvement program was initiated at RES in 1969 when California rice growers voted to adopt a marketing order for rice research with self-assessment to fund an accelerated rice research program. The rice marketing order established the California Rice Research Board (CRRB) to develop research priorities and administer funds from grower assessments.
Rice variety development research is primarily funded by CRRB that manages funds received from all California rice producers through California Rice Research Program (CRRP) assessments. The CRRB acts under the authority of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The CRRB finances approximately 80% of the RES annual budget and 20% is derived from the sale of foundation rice seed to seed growers. RES does not receive any federal or state funding but does receive some grants from agribusinesses and the Rice Research Trust. The Rice Research Trust is a tax exempt trust established in 1962 to receive tax deductible contributions for support of rice research.