Erect panicle rice cultivars utilize solar energy effectively and have improved ecological growing conditions. Among such cultivars, Shennong265 has been grown successfully throughout Northern China. Nevertheless, no studies have yet examined the relationships between crop dry matter productivity, weather conditions, and nitrogen uptake of the erect panicle type rice cultivar in Japan. The objective of our study was to evaluate the productivity of erect panicle rice Shennong265 in Western Japan under varied conditions. Three rice cultivars, Shennong265, Nipponbare, and Takanari were grown in the field under different fertilizer and plant density conditions in Western Japan; using this information, we compared yield and growth characteristics of Shennong265 with those of Nipponbare and Takanari. Although Shennong265 had radiation use efficiency similar to that of the high yielding cultivar (Takanari) and much higher leaf nitrogen content than Takanari and Nipponbare, the average grain yield of Shennong265 grown under normal fertilizer and plant density conditions was approximately 6.9 t ha−1 as against 6.2 t ha−1 for Nipponbare and 9.6 t ha−1 for Takanari. These results suggest that, while Shennong265 has a high yield potential, the environmental conditions including climate, fertilizer, and planting period provided in this study were not suitable for achieving its maximum yield. The reduced performance of Shennong265 may be caused by insufficient fertilizer after heading and by shorter growth periods, as well as by the climate of Western Japan. Additional fertilizer application during the heading stage and earlier transplanting may be needed to obtain higher Shennong265 yields in Western Japan.
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