A study carried out in China revealed that farmers mixing rice varieties in the paddies were rewarded with bigger harvests than single rice variety plantings. Scientists from Oregon State University co-ordinated farmers in five townships in China to switch from planting a single variety of sticky rice to alternating rows of sticky rice with hybrid varieties. The total area of farms involved amounted to 8,255 acres. Results showed that alternating rows of different varieties thwarted the spread of rice blast planting, a fungus which reduces yields and is generally controlled by chemicals, in the sticky rice by 94 per cent and increased yields by 89 per cent. Details of the study were published in a recent copy of Nature.