Location: Sugarcane Research Unit
Title: Report on the 2006 Borer Yield Reduction Evaluation Authors
Submitted to: Sugar Bulletin
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2007
Publication Date: May 20, 2007
Citation: White, W.H., Viator, R.P., Dufrene Jr, E.O., Dalley, C.D., Tew, T.L., Richard Jr, E.P. 2007. Report on the 2006 Borer Yield Reduction Evaluation. The Sugar Bulletin. 85(8):19-23. Technical Abstract: It is important that farmers and their crop consultants know how newly released varieties of sugarcane will respond to infestations of its key insect pest the sugarcane borer. In an effort to provide this information, varieties are routinely evaluated for their response to season-long infestations of the sugarcane borer in replicated field trials beginning three years before their release. Varieties are planted in a split-plot design where half of the plots are kept free of the borer by insecticide applications and the other half of the plots are left free of insecticide. Yield is collected in a manner that mirrors on farm/factory practices, e.g. chopper-harvester yields and pre-breaker/press measurements to determining sugar yields. Infestation intensity is determined by weekly counts of larvae found behind leaf sheaths. Damage intensity is quantified by determining percentage of internodes bored. This report summarizes results of the 2006 evaluation. Little difference was seen among varieties in the level of infestation, but significant differences were found among varieties in the level of damage. Some expressed very little damage while others were heavily damaged. Yield losses associated with insect infestations varied with intensity of damage. Some varieties were heavily damaged but expressed little reduction in yields. While some varieties, although heavily damaged and sustaining significant reduction in yields, still produced high sugar yields. Such information is essential to farmers or their crop consultants in making proper pest management decisions; information that will allow farmers to protect their crop while minimizing control costs and avoiding unnecessary yield loss. These savings can mean the difference in a farmer making a profit or going out of business.