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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sugarcane Emergence after Long Duration under Water

Author
item Glaz, Barry

Submitted to: Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2003
Publication Date: May 1, 2003
Citation: Glaz, B.S. 2003. Sugarcane emergence after long duration under water. Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida Proceedings. 62:51-57.

Interpretive Summary: Increasing water storage in the Everglades Agricultural Area of Florida would improve conservation of the region's organic soils but reduce yields of the major crop, sugarcane. Sugarcane growers in Florida normally apply a soil insecticide at planting to limit wireworm damage to planted stalk sections. This study evaluated the effects on shoot emergence of flooding sugarcane stalk sections for durations of sufficient length to control wireworms. It was found that emergence was not reduced by flooding upper portions of stalks for up to 21 days in one of three experiments. Emergence from upper portions of stalks from one of three genotypes was excellent following floods of up to 63 days. Otherwise, sugarcane emergence was often reduced when flooded for 21 or more days at planting. Benefits of soil conservation, carbon credits, and water storage should be quantified to determine if further research on this proposed flooding practice has economic merit. These flood treatments could save about $47 per hectare in insecticide costs, and reduce worker and environmental exposure to harmful chemicals. If positive solutions to these issues are determined, work would then be needed to resolve logistical obstacles to applying floods at planting in commercial fields.

Technical Abstract: Increasing water storage in the Everglades Agricultural Area of Florida would improve conservation of the region's organic soils but reduce yields of the major crop, sugarcane. Growers in Florida normally apply a soil insecticide when planting sugarcane to limit wireworm damage to buds of planted stalk sections. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sugarcane emergence after being submerged for durations that would substantially reduce wireworm populations. Stalk sections were flooded for 21, 42, and 63 days in four outdoor experiments. In three experiments, the control was 4 days flood at planting, in the fourth experiment, the control treatment was not flooded at planting. Flooding up to 42 days did not affect emergence from upper portions of stalks in one experiment. In another experiment, flooding for up to 63 days was favorable for emergence for upper stalk portions for one of three genotypes. Otherwise, sugarcane emergence was often significantly reduced when flooded for 21 or more days at planting. Benefits of soil conservation, carbon credits, and water storage should be quantified to determine if further research on this proposed flooding practice has economic merit.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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