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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323469

Title: The long and short of it: Sugarcane planting systems (whole stalks, billets, and single nodes)

item Webber Iii, Charles
item White, Paul
item HOY, JEFFREY - LSU Agcenter
item GRAVOIS, KENNETH - LSU Agcenter
item VIATOR, SONNY - LSU Agcenter
item WAGUESPACK, HERMAN - American Sugar Cane League
item VIATOR, RYAN - Calvin Viator & Associates
item SHREFLER, JAMES - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Louisiana sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) producers use vegetative cuttings to plant their 100,000 plus acres of their sugarcane crop rotation each year. Researchers with USDA-ARS, LSU AgCenter, American Sugar Cane League, private industry, and producers have conducted cooperative and independent research to determine the best methods to maximize sugarcane yields using various types of stalk cuttings (whole stalk, billets, and single nodal buds). Whole stalks (4 to 8 or more nodal buds) have been the typical planting method for the last 200 years. Healthy first year cane is harvested with a whole stalk harvester. The harvester cuts the stalks at the base and above the highest mature (hard) node. These whole stalks are then transferred to planting wagons where they will be either mechanical or manually planted. Billets are shorter stem pieces containing, typically, 2 - 4 nodes (buds). A slightly modified sugarcane combine harvester is used to harvest healthy, first year cane into approximately 24 inch stem lengths (2 - 4 nodes). These billets are then mechanically planted. Cooperative and independent research is investigating various billet planting systems (row spacings, chemical treatments, fertility, planting rates, etc.). Research has also investigated the use of single nodal buds for planting sugarcane. The single eye buds are cut from healthy first year cane, treated with protective chemicals, and then mechanically planted. Research and economics have revealed the advantages and disadvantages of each of the planting systems. Research will continue to explore methods to reduce the disadvantages and maximize the advantages to these planting systems to adjust to the changing needs within the Louisiana sugarcane industry.