Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Sugarcane is the major crop in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA)of Florida. Restoring the natural hydrology in the EAA would help control oxidation of its organic soils and contribute to Everglades restoration. However, the floods associated with these changes would reduce sugarcane yields. A challenge for researchers is to further develop the appreciable flood tolerance of sugarcane and to learn to move water among fields such that an EAA basin that is only partially flooded at any given time could store and deliver water to linked regions as it did before drainage. The objective of this presentation is to report on results of promising developmental research that seeks to profitably raise water tables or apply short-duration floods to sugarcane. Three of nine cultivars yielded well at summer water tables of 15 and 38 cm below the soil surface. One cultivar had a 25% yield loss at the 15-cm water table. Flooding at planting for up to 12 d improved emergence if stalks were not covered with soil in the furrow, and compared to an insecticide, flooding at planting for up to 21 d in containers controlled wireworms. In the plant-cane crop, flooding for 21 d and then draining for 20 d before harvest did not affect yields. Field practices will need to be developed to apply biologically successful practices.