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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #273193

Title: Sugarcane

item Richard Jr, Edward

Submitted to: Technical Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2011
Publication Date: 8/9/2011
Citation: Richard Jr, E.P. 2011. Sugarcane. In: Perlack, R.D., and Stokes, B.J. (Leads). U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry. ORNL/TM-2011/224. Oak Ridge National Laboaratory, Oak Ridge, TN. Chapter 5.1.3. p. 97-101. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The 2005 Billion Ton Study is in need of updating and a focus change from strategic assessment to a comprehensive resource assessment to address issues raised since the 2005 publication and assist the bioenergy and bioproducts industries as they project biomass supplies into the future. With yield projections approaching 15 dry tons per year, sugarcane grown for bioenergy (energycane) is listed as a potential feedstock for much of the Southeastern U.S. Currently breeding programs produce yield gains of 1 to 2% per year through the development of new hybrids. Similar genetic gains with new hybrids having improved resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses will have to be maintained to insure that yields are sustained or enhanced in the non-traditional sugarcane growing areas. Recent efforts in sugarcane breeding in the U.S. have centered around the development of hybrid varieties adaptable to colder climates; thereby, potentially extending the geographic range of adaptability of this feedstock well into hardiness zone 8 and the more southern areas of Hardiness Zone 7 of the Southeast. With an expanded range of adaptability, it is conceivable that the area devoted to the production of energycane can be tripled. This type of expansion would also make this crop more attractive for biotech companies with proprietary genes to further enhance the level of stress tolerance and the crop’s adaptability to marginal lands where in addition to colder temperatures the availability of nutrients and water may be limiting.