A plant that produces a green crop of rice is being upgraded to one that can withstand drought conditions in Manitoba.
The new crop, called the Brown Rice Rice, will be harvested on a new crop rotation in the northern Manitoba community of Pembina in July.
The Pembineres Pest Management Centre and Plant Industry Association of Manitoba (PIAM) say the new crop will allow growers to make the switch to growing their rice more easily in drought conditions.
The province announced earlier this month that it will spend $8.7 million on drought relief projects in the province this year, which will help farmers and landowners adapt to a new climate.
The plant is being grown on the Pembinal First Nation reserve, located about 20 kilometres south of Winnipeg.
Pembina First Nation Coun.
Ken Dolan said the new plant is designed to withstand the extreme drought conditions that are expected in Manitoba in the future.
The plants roots are also made from organic matter.
The rice is grown in a different part of the reserve to allow farmers to have access to fresh water.
Dolan said he hopes the plant will help make it easier for farmers to harvest their rice and also help increase production.
“When you see the number of growers that are going to be able to make that switch and have the ability to harvest that rice, then I think that will be a good thing for the people of Pembroke, especially for the farmers, to see that,” Dolan told CBC News.
The rice crop is expected to be ready for harvest this summer.