|GILBERT, R - University Of Florida|
|KORNDORFER, P - Bp Biofuels North America, Llc|
|HELSEL, Z - Rutgers Agriculture Research & Extension Center|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The development of carbon-neutral energy sources has become one of the primary challenges of the twenty-first century. Energycanes are wide crosses of commercial sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) with Saccharum spontaneum clones which produce high-biomass plants with high fiber content and good cold and disease tolerance as well as excellent ratooning ability. Existing energy cane releases are limited and the released cultivar L79-1002 is susceptible to smut (Sporisorium scitaminea) for which there is no economic chemical control. A cooperative energy cane selection program has recently been established between USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station, the University of Florida and the Florida Sugar Cane League to produce high-yielding, disease-resistant energy cane germplasm. Energy cane yield trials were established at 4 sand soil locations: in 2008 at Tecan and Townsite in south Florida and in 2009 at Citra in central Florida and in 2010 at Lykes Brothers in south Florida. Eight new energy cane genotypes were compared to L79-1002 energy cane at Tecan, Citra and Lykes Bros. and also to Arundo donax (Tecan and Townsite) and elephantgrass (Tecan and Lykes Bros.). Biomass fresh yields for the energy canes ranged between 40.0-47.4 tons/acre in plant cane at Citra to 20.0-25.4 tons/acre in first ratoon at Tecan. The 8 new energy cane clones recorded similar yields to L79-1002 in plant cane and first ratoon crops at Tecan and the plant cane crop at Citra. Smut was recorded at extremely high levels on L79-1002 at Tecan. Our results indicate we now have 8 clones which have so far recorded similar or greater biomass yields to L79-1002 without susceptibility to smut disease.