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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340102

Research Project: Integrated Weed and Insect Pest Management Systems for Sustainable Sugarcane Production

Location: Sugarcane Research

Title: Does fallow planted soybean and sweet sorghum reduce plant cane density?

item Spaunhorst, Douglas
item White, Paul

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/30/2017
Publication Date: 6/14/2017
Citation: Spaunhorst, D.J., White Jr, P.M. 2017. Does fallow planted soybean and sweet sorghum reduce plant cane density? Journal of American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 37:24.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sugarcane is planted to approximately 172,000 hectares in Louisiana annually and nearly 25% of a sugarcane growers’ land that is to be planted to sugarcane remains fallow 8 to 10 months each year. During the fallow period land is regraded to improve drainage, and weeds are controlled by herbicides and tillage, but the continuous cropping cycle is disrupted. Soybean and sweet sorghum are short-season crops that can be planted in these areas instead of leaving it fallow. Soybean and sweet sorghum emergence occurred within a week after planting and were harvested on September 29, 2016. Soybean plants were not harvested for grain yield due to seed rot. Sweet sorghum grain yield was 9,600 kg ha-1. Sugarcane varieties L 01-299, HoCP 96-540, HoCP 09-804, and HoCP 04-838 were whole stalk, hand-planted after soybean and sweet sorghum harvest and emerged 2 to 4 weeks after planting. Plant cane shoot densities varied among sugarcane varieties at 3 and 4 months after planting, with L 01-299 exhibiting 50 to 59% fewer shoots than all other varieties. Plant cane shoot densities also varied among fallow practices. The tillage fallow treatment had 20 to 58% more shoots than all other fallow practices at 3 months after planting; however, at 4 months after planting sugarcane shoot densities were similar among tillage and soybean fallow treatments. Results from the first year of this study suggest that sweet sorghum planted during the fallow period will reduce plant cane shoot density, while a soybean crop planted during the fallow period will not.