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Title: Assessment of Sugarcane Growth and Yield across Genotypes Using Canopy Reflectance Measurements

item Zhao, Duli
item IREY, MICHAEL - Us Sugar Corporation
item HU, CHEN-JIAN - Us Sugar Corporation
item LABORDE, CHRIS - Us Sugar Corporation

Submitted to: International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2015
Publication Date: 8/24/2015
Citation: Zhao, D., Irey, M., Hu, C., Laborde, C. 2015. Assessment of Sugarcane Growth and Yield across Genotypes Using Canopy Reflectance Measurements. International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings. P.57.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Development of high-yielding sugarcane (a complex hybrid of Saccharum spp.) cultivars with resistance or tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses is critical for sustainable sugarcane production. Estimation of sugarcane yield potential based on growth and physiological traits during early growth stage is essential for breeders to screen new sugarcane varieties and is especially important for sugarcane growing on mineral (sand) soils in Florida. A field experiment was conducted on a sand soil at Townsite Farm of the U.S. Sugar Corporation near Clewiston, Florida in 2011–2013. The experiment investigated relationships between canopy reflectance, plant vigor and yield components [cane yield (TCH), commercial recoverable sucrose (CRS), and sucrose yield (TSH)] across 18 sugarcane genotypes. The plant vigor rating, which was an overall indicator of cane yield traits, was determined for individual plots using a scale from 1 (worst) to 9 (best). These genotypes had a wide range of differences in canopy structure and yield components. Measurements of canopy reflectance were taken throughout the growing seasons of the plant-cane, first-ratoon, and second-ratoon crops using a portable multispectral radiometer and the visual plant vigor rating data were collected at the same dates. The number of millable stalks per unit area, stalk length, stalk diameter, mean stalk weight, TCH, CRS, and TSH were determined at harvest. The vigor rating and canopy reflectance data were collected five times in each crop during tillering and grand growth. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was calculated based on reflectance values in red (centered 680 nm) and near infrared (NIR, 800 nm). Among yield components, the number of stalks and TCH most highly correlated with NDVI. Although stalks and TCH were highly and linearly (r = 0.66 – 0.83***) related to NDVI measured in April to August, the best time of measuring canopy reflectance for sugarcane yield assessment in Florida across genotypes was in May or during early grand growth. Therefore, measurements of NDVI during early grand growth of sugarcane could be useful for predicting plant growth and yield potential across genotypes and use as an agronomic management and research tool.