Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337942

Research Project: Integrated Crop, Soil, and Water Management Systems for Sustainable Production of Sugarcane for Bioenergy Feedstock

Location: Sugarcane Research

Title: Impact of sugarcane field residue and mill bagasse on seed germination

Author
item Webber Iii, Charles
item White, Paul
item Landrum, Derek
item Shrefler, James - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2017
Publication Date: 2/22/2017
Citation: Webber III, C.L., White, Jr, P.M., Landrum, D.S., Shrefler, J.W. 2017. Impact of sugarcane field residue and mill bagasse on seed germination [abstract]. Louisiana Agricultural Technology & Management Conference, February 15-17, 2017, Marksville, Louisiana.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Research indicates that sugarcane field residue and sugarcane mill bagasse may be allelopathic. Allelopathy is the chemical interaction between plants, which may result in the inhibition of plant growth and development. Previous research in Louisiana indicated that sugarcane field residue may inhibit the germination and growth of certain seeds, including weed seed. Other research investigating sugarcane bagasse as mulch for cucurbit production produced lower yields, which might be the result of allelopathy. Sugarcane mill bagasse is the fibrous material remaining after removing the sugar from sugarcane at the mill. Although, sugarcane mills use a portion of the bagasse produced each year for energy production, large bagasse mounds accumulate outside the mill. Research was conducted to determine the allelopathic impact of sugarcane field residue and sugarcane mill bagasse on vegetable seed germination. The experiment included 2 sources of sugarcane plant extracts (sugarcane field residue and sugar mill bagasse), 4 extract concentrations (0.0, 16.6, 33.3 and 66.7 g/L), 3 vegetable species [tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), Chinese kale (Brassica alboglabra), and cucumber (Cucumis sativus)], 20 seeds per treatment, and 5 replications. The extract solutions were prepared using field residue from the USDA, ARS, Sugarcane Research Unit, Ardoyne Farm, Schriever, LA. The bagasse was obtained from the Raceland Raw Sugar Corporation mill, Raceland, LA. Each of the extract solutions were added to separate Petri dishes which contained 20 vegetable seeds. The covered Petri dishes were then placed in a dark growth chamber at 26.6 °C. After 7 days, the seed germination percentage was determined for each treatment. The research demonstrated that the bagasse solutions did not reduce seed germination for kale or cucumber, but tomato germination was reduced by 13% at the highest bagasse extract concentration (66.7 g/L) compared to the control (0 g/L). However, the sugarcane field residue extracts did decrease seed germination for kale, cucumber, and tomato, especially at the highest concentrations (66.7 g/L), and in some cases (kale and cucumber) stifling radicle development almost completely. Future research should investigate the effect of these solutions over longer time periods, later in plant development, and their potential usefulness in weed control.