Location: Sugarcane Research
Project Number: 6052-12210-002-01-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2010
End Date: Jul 30, 2015
Determine if new soil micronutrient and plant hormone formulations increase sugarcane yields and enhance resistance to plant diseases.
Soil micronutrient tests will be initiated in plant-cane and 1st ratoon fields of HoCP 96-540 and L 99-226 to determine the influence of the micronutrient formulations on cane and sugar yields and also on the incidence of sugarcane diseases, particularly brown rust. Plots will be 3 rows by 15-m, and treatments will be arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with six replications. All foliar treatments will be applied with a conventional, three-row, tractor-mounted broadcast sprayer calibrated to deliver 185 L/ha. Application rates will vary from 1.2 to 9.4 l/ha depending on formulation applied. N, P, and K fertilizer will be applied at rates recommended for plant-cane on silt loam and silty clay-loam textured soils. Rust levels will be monitored through visual ratings and by taking leaf samples and quantifying percent rust lesions with Assess® image analysis software. Sugarcane growing in each plot will be harvested utilizing a chopper harvester and weigh wagon. Weights of harvested stalks will be used to determine gross cane yields and a sample of harvested stalk pieces (billets) will be subjected to pre-breaker/press analysis to determine theoretically recoverable sugar (TRS) levels and ultimately sugar yields (kg ha-1) as per standard procedure. The study will be repeated on adjacent fields. In the second study, selected soil micronutrient and plant hormone formulations will be soil-applied at rates of 1.2 and 2.5 l/ha as described above and incorporated in a first-ratoon field of HoCP 96-540 at sugarcane lay-by. All plots will be harvested to determine sugar and cane yields as outlined above. In the third study, a soil micronutrient and a plant hormone formulation will be soil surface applied at planting to a field of HoCP 96-540 at rates of 1.2, 2.5, 4.7, 9.4 l/ha. All plots will be harvested in the following year to determine yields as described above. In the final study, selected soil micronutrient formulations will be applied to a field of first-ratoon HoCP 96-540 in August to determine the utility of these compounds as ripeners. A commercial glyphosate based ripener will be included as a control. All plots will be harvested 35-40 days after ripener application with cane and sugar yields determined using methods described above.