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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #260117


Location: Sugarcane Research

Title: Herbicides as stimulators regulators and ripeners

item Viator, Ryan
item Dalley, Caleb
item Richard Jr, Edward

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2010
Publication Date: 10/15/2010
Citation: Viator, R.P., Dalley, C.D., Richard Jr, E.P. 2010. Herbicides as stimulators, regulators, and ripeners. Brazilian Symposium of Ecophysiology, Maturation, and Ripeners of Sugarcane Proceedings. 1:89-92.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The use of low doses of herbicide as plant growth regulators to increase sugar concentrations (ripen) in sugarcane prior to harvest plays an important role in the profitable and sustainable production of sugarcane in the U.S. as well as in other sugarcane industries around the world. Several studies conducted at the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma, LA evaluating the application of the herbicide, glyphosate to ripen sugarcane were reviewed. A 10 to 15% increase in sucrose levels with glyphosate occurs best with early-season applications because the cane is still immature, and the environmental conditions and cane growth are optimal for glyphosate absorption. To take full advantage of glyphosate as a ripener for enhancing sugar levels at harvest and reduce the impact of the application on the subsequent ratoon crop, growers should not apply glyphosate beyond mid-October. Moreover, it is recommended that Louisiana producers not apply glyphosate as a ripener where post-harvest straw cannot be removed prior to the start of the next production year of a crop cycle, as this has been shown to increase carryover injury in the subsequent crop. Rate studies demonstrated that growers should avoid using higher rates in the hopes of eliciting a ripening response in varieties that don’t respond to the standard rate because of the large carryover effect on yield of the subsequent ratoon crop. Treatment to harvest intervals should not be extended beyond 50 DAT because of possible yield reduction in the following ratoon as well as the fact that the continued growth in the non-treated cane along with natural ripening negates the sugar yields associated with the glyphosate application. Alternative ripener studies reveal that varieties respond differently to alternative products, while glyphosate ripens a majority of sugarcane varieties.