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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Research Project #440087

Research Project: Maximizing Sugarcane Seed Set through Increased Air-Layering

Location: Sugarcane Field Station

Project Number: 6030-21000-006-037-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2021
End Date: Mar 31, 2022

Sugarcane cultivar development-programs for the Florida and Louisiana sugarcane industries are highly dependent on the crossing of superior parental clones and maximizing the production of “true” seed (fuzz). Because of Canal Point's location, its environment is conducive to making a large number of genetically diverse crosses with relative ease. However, some efforts are still required to synchronize the flowering of individual varieties, and to create optimal conditions for flower development, pollination and seed maturation. These include optimizing and maximizing air-layers, the use of photo period houses, delay lights, temperature control in photoperiod houses, drip irrigation systems, and a heated crossing house with a misting system. Maintaining these systems is cost, time and labor consuming. The objective of research is to improve sugarcane true seed (fuzz) quality and quantity for the Louisiana sugarcane industry by enhancing air-layering and other related approaches.

The approaches include (1) use proper plastic materials for airlayering; (2) well manage technical laborers for quality of work to fill mess and plasma in plastic and create the good environment for rooting; (3) optimize watering frequency and time for improving roots; and (4) plan to investigate if airlayering plastic film colors affect flowering date and flower quality. We use these approaches based on our knowledge of genetics and crop physiology to ensure that the target crosses, diversification, and fuzz quality are top priorities and the Canal Point, Florida, staff will work to optimize airlayering and maximize the crosses for the Louisiana Sugarcane Industry.