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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NEW AND IMPROVED CULTURAL PRACTICES FOR SUSTAINABLE SUGARCANE PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Location: Sugarcane Research Unit

Title: Sugar and energy cane date of planting effects on cane, sucrose, and fiber yields

Authors
item Viator, Ryan
item Richard Jr, Edward

Submitted to: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 3, 2012
Publication Date: March 7, 2012
Citation: Viator, R.P., Richard Jr, E.P. 2012. Sugar and energy cane date of planting effects on cane, sucrose, and fiber yields. Biomass and Bioenergy. 40:82-85.

Interpretive Summary: Production practices may change depending if sugar cane is grown primarily for sucrose (sugar cane) or as a biofuels feedstock (energy cane). Research was conducted to determine if planting date affects yields of both sugar and energy canes. Three sugar cane varieties and one energy cane variety were compared at the planting dates of August 1, September 1, and October 1. Averaged across both sugar and energy cane varieties in plant-cane, the August planting date produced more cane, sucrose, and dry biomass than the September and October plantings. The September planting had higher cane and sucrose yields than the October planting, but there were no differences between the dry biomass yields for these planting dates. Growers should attempt to plant both sugar and energy cane in August to maximize yields. However, if plantings are delayed into September for both sugar and energy cane, it is best to plant sugar cane first, instead of energy cane, during this time period because sucrose yield continued to decline with an October planting while dry biomass yields were consistent with September and October plantings.

Technical Abstract: Energy cane is believed to have more vigor than sugar cane because energy cane contains a higher percentage of alleles from Saccharum spontaneum relative to Saccharum officinarum. This research was conducted to determine if planting date affects yields of both sugar and energy canes. Three sugar cane varieties (HoCP 96-540, L 99-233, and L 99-226) and one energy cane variety (L 79-1002) were compared at the planting dates of August 1, September 1, and October 1. Cane yields, sucrose concentration, sucrose yields, stalk height, and stalk population were compared in plant-cane, first-, and second- ratoon production years. There was no variety by planting date interactions for cane and sucrose yield indicating that all varieties (both sugar and energy cane) responded similarly to planting dates. Averaged across varieties in plant-cane, the August planting date produced 11.6 and18.1 Mg ha-1 more cane and 1600 and 2300 kg ha-1 more sucrose than the September and October plantings, respectively. The August planting increased dry biomass yields by 2.4 Mg ha-1 relative to the average of the September and October planting dates. This increase in yield was due to an increase in stalk height and population for the August planting. Moreover, the September planting date produced 6.5 Mg ha-1 more cane and 700 kg ha-1 more sucrose than the October planting date, but there were no differences between the dry biomass yields for the September and October planting dates. Planting date effects had no carryover into first- and second-ratoon yields. Our data suggest that growers should attempt to plant both sugar and energy cane in August to maximize yields. However, if plantings are delayed into September for both sugar and energy cane, it is best to plant sugar cane first, instead of energy cane, during this time period because sucrose yield continued to decline with an October planting while dry biomass yields were consistent with September and October plantings.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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