Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 18, 2013
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Citation: Todd, J.R., Glaz, B.S., Irey, M.S., Zhao, D., Hu, C., El-Hout, N. 2014. SUGARCANE GENOTYPE SELECTION ON A SAND SOIL WITH AND WITHOUT ADDED MILL MUD. Agronomy Journal. 106(1):315-323. Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane is an important crop in south Florida. About 320,000 acres of sugarcane are grown on organic (muck) soils and 80,000 acres on sand soils. All of the muck soils are in use, so any expansion would be on sand soils. In the past sugarcane cultivars for both muck and sand soils were selected in early selection stages only on a muck soil, but recently all selections are being performed on both soil types. To determine if highly selected genotypes were appropriately selected for either muck or sand soils, 30 sugarcane genotypes and one Erianthus genotype (as a potential biofuels source) were grown on sand soil with and without added mill mud and compared to a check cultivar (CP 89-2143). We hypothesized that adding mill mud to a sand soil would make the resulting soil environment simulate a muck soil because mill mud is a byproduct of the sugarcane milling process and in Florida is primarily muck soil. The results confirmed other research that found the addition of mill mud to sand soil increases cane and sucrose yield and decreases commercially recoverable sucrose (CRS). The results also confirmed that one genotype CP 01-2390 performed well on sand soil as previously predicted, but several other genotypes did not yield as expected on their adapted soil, which casts doubt on past genotype selection methods. This result confirms previous research that more locations in later selection stages improve sugarcane genotype selection on sand soils. Another important finding was that selection for high stalk number may be a means of increasing cane yield on sand soils. The Erianthus genotype was well adapted to the sand soil, suggesting that this species may contribute to improving biomass and therefore bioenergy crops on these soils.
Technical Abstract: Long-term results for identifying high yielding sugarcane Saccharum spp.) cultivars have been better for Histosols (muck soils) than sand soils in Florida. We examined whether genotype selection could be improved by comparing genotypes on a sand soil with and without added mill mud (in Florida, mill mud is primarily muck soil). One Erianthus and 31 sugarcane genotypes were planted in 2007 with mill mud at 0 or 1510 m3 ha-1 in main plots and genotypes as subplots in a 3-yr field experiment on a Margate sand soil (Siliceous, hyperthermic Mollic Psammaquent). Commercial recoverable sucrose (CRS) (g kg-1), and cane and sucrose yields (Mg ha-1) were determined during the next 3 yr. Mill mud reduced CRS from 127 to 111 g kg-1 but increased cane and sucrose yields from 89 to 150 and 10 to 17 Mg ha-1, respectively. Compared with the check of CP 89-2143, 6, 11, and 10 genotypes were differentially affected by soil treatment (P = 0.10) for CRS, cane yield, and sucrose yield, respectively. CP 01-2390 was the most adapted sand genotype; its cane yields on sand with and without mill mud were 147 and 141 Mg ha-1, respectively. Based on significant differences, cane yields were well predicted for five genotypes and poorly predicted for five other genotypes. Multiple locations are needed for sugarcane genotype selection on sand soils. Using a sand soil with and without added mill mud can be a useful supplemental, rather than singular approach for improving sugarcane genotype selection in Florida.