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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Sugarcane Field Station

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop new biomass-energy cultivars that are high-yielding and have adequate pest and disease resistance, and cold tolerance specifically adapted for areas outside the present EAA sugarcane production area.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Parental clones will be selected based on superior biomass yield with suitable fiber composition and content, suitable cold tolerance and pest and disease resistance. Crosses will be made to maximize and combine desirable traits and minimize undesirable traits based on sex of tassel, and availability of tassels. From these crosses the true seed will be germinated to produce approximately 8-10,000 sugarcane seedlings per year by scientists at the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station. Seedlings will be transplanted to the field to select superior clones at Canal Point. From these seedlings approximately, 500-750 clones, which have superior vigor, and are free of diseases and growth defects, will be selected per year. These selected clones will be planted in Stage I plots at up to three locations of non-organic soils outside the present EAA at the decision of the Biomass-Energy Cultivar Committee. The committee will appoint one of its members to manage the test at each location. The Biomass-Energy Cultivar Committee will select from the Stage I clones, a set of 50-75 clones which have superior vigor, high stalk numbers and have no noticeable pest, disease, and growth defects to be advanced to Stage II trials at the same location. Eight stalks will be planted in un-replicated 2-row, 3-m plots at the same location and maintained and managed by a member appointed by the Biomass-Energy Cultivar Committee. The Stage II clones will be selected for agronomic vigor, growth characteristics, fiber and sugar content and composition, adequate disease and pest resistance, estimates of yield (based on stalk counts of the plot and the weight of a standard number of stalks) and other parameters determined by the Biomass-Energy Cultivar Committee. From the Stage II clones the top 10 to 20 clones will be advanced for yield testing in replicated yield trials at locations determined by the Biomass-Energy Cultivar Committee. The Stage III trials will be planted using three replications in two rows plots, 5 m long. The clones in the yield trials will be rated for agronomic traits and yield estimates, as indicated previously. Based on their plant crop yields, other agronomic characteristics, disease susceptibility, and visual observation of the growth superior clones will be selected for increasing in vegetative plots by the Sugarcane Energy Variety Committee. These clones will also be tested by ARS for their reaction to the major sugarcane diseases in Florida using standard procedures. Additional yield trials may be established by the Biomass-Energy Cultivar Committee. Superior clones will be selected for seedcane increase by either vegetative or by micro-propagation managed and coordinated by the FSCL and jointly released by the three cooperating agencies.

3. Progress Report:
This research relates to inhouse objective 2: Develop better agronomic practices for the Florida sugarcane industry. There were 61 bio-energy crosses made during the 2011/2012 crossing season. A total 2251 grams of fuzz (true seed) was produced with 142,525 viable seeds produced. There were an average of 2336 seeds per cross. Approximately 10,000seedlings from 70 crosses were transplanted for subsequent selection of vigorous grown on sand soils. Various numbers of clones were advanced in the program from previously installed trials: Stage I trials consisting of 432 US 10 series clones (single row 8 ft) were planted with two replications at two locations. Stage II trials consisting of 33 US 09 series clones (two rows 15 ft plots) were planted with 2 replications at two locations. Stage III trials consisting of 6 US 08 series clones (four row 25 ft plots) were planted with 4 replications were planted at two locations. In addition to the regular energy cane development program, sixty energy cane selections were made from the cold tolerant collection of 280 clones at the Sugarcane Field station and planted at two locations: one in South Florida and one in North Florida for evaluation on sand soils.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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