Submitted to: International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2009
Publication Date: 8/17/2009
Publication URL: http://issct.intnet.mu
Citation: Tew, T.L., Hale, A.L., Pan, Y.-B., Richard Jr, E.P. 2009. Energy Cane Breeding and Selection in Louisiana - A Progress Report. Available on International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists website: http://issct.intnet.mu
Technical Abstract: In 2001, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service scientists at the Sugarcane Research Laboratory (SRL) in Houma, Louisiana, began assessing the energy potential of high-fiber sugarcanes (Saccharum spp.) in the Louisiana sugar belt. Test sites were selected geographically based on where interest in an energy cane industry appeared to be greatest. Six tests were harvested in 2008. Recognizing the importance of minimizing energy input while attempting to maximize energy output, these tests will be harvested at least through the third ratoon crop. In 2007, three sugarcane varieties were released in Louisiana for use as feedstocks for the production of bioenergy, all of which had fiber levels at or above 16%, disqualifying them for use in commercial sugar producing operations. A select group of high-fiber clones are now under evaluation in a broad region of the southern United States. Since 2001, our definition of energy cane and our approach toward integrating energy cane breeding and selection into an already-existing breeding program at the SRL has evolved considerably. While traditional sugarcane may constitute the ideal energy cane in some scenarios, Type I (sugar + fiber) and Type II (fiber only) energy canes could have a broad-based regional impact in the national drive for developing sustainable energy technology.