Semi-dwarf IR36 is a hybrid rice variety developed by Gurdev Khush. By cross-breeding IR8 with 13 parent varieties from six nations, Dr. Khush developed IR36, a semi-dwarf variety that proved highly resistant to a number of the major insect pests and diseases that raised farmers’ rice yields and drove down prices of the staple food for Asian families. IR36 matures rapidly – 105 days compared to 130 days for IR8 and 150–170 days for traditional types – and produces the slender grain preferred in many countries. The combination of these characteristics soon made IR36 one of the most widely planted food crop varieties worldwide in just a few years.
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