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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352620

Research Project: The Effects of Water-Driven Processes on Sugarcane Production Systems and Associated Ecosystem Services in Louisiana

Location: Sugarcane Research

Title: Crop yield increases observed with chemically-treated billet seedcane in Louisiana

Author
item White, Paul
item Webber Iii, Charles
item Hoy, Jeff - LSU Agcenter
item Gravois, Kenneth - LSU Agcenter
item Waguespack Jr, Herman - LSU Agcenter

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2018
Publication Date: 9/1/2018
Citation: White Jr, P.M., Webber III, C.L., Hoy, J.W., Gravois, K.A., Waguespack Jr, H.L. 2018. Crop yield increases observed with chemically-treated billet seedcane in Louisiana [abstract]. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 38:64.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Louisiana’s 2017 sugarcane crop, value at $989 million, generated over $2 billion in economic impact and created over 17,000 jobs. For sugarcane growers, planting whole-stalk seed cane, the standard practice in Louisiana, is more expensive, more labor intensive, and more time consuming than billet planting. However, risks associated with stalk rot, and reduced tolerance of adverse abiotic conditions resulting in poor stands, have delayed conversion from whole-stalk to billet planting at a commercial scale. Chemical seed treatment may improve billet seed cane performance and therefore mitigate certain risks. The objective of this research was to compare chemically-treated billet seed cane yields to yields observed for non-treated whole-stalk (WS) and billet (B) seed. In 2014 and 2015, 60-cm long billets of ‘HoCP 96-540’ were dip-treated with azoxystrobin (A), thiamethoxam (T), or both (AT) and planted in a silt loam soil at the USDA Ardoyne Farm in Schriever, LA. Azoxystrobin was applied as from Quadris® (2014) or Quadris Xtra® (2015), and thiamethoxam was applied as Platinum® (2014) or Cruiser® (2015). Plots were harvested in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Cane yield was determined from plot weights obtained from sugarcane harvested with a chopper harvester. Sucrose yields were obtained by multiplying cane yield by the theoretically recoverable sucrose concentration in juice extracted by the prebreaker and hydraulic-press method. Mean plant-cane through second ratoon yields (t ha-1) for the 2014 test were higher (P<0.05) for AT (111.0) and A (106.6) treatment plots, when compared to T (83.2), WS (80.7), and B (80.9) plots, which were similar. Sucrose yields (kg ha-1) were also higher (P<0.05) for AT (11,755) and A (11,808) plots, when compared to T (8,650), WS (8,571), and B (8,557) plots. For the 2015 test, plant-cane and first ratoon cane yields (t ha-1) were higher (P<0.05) for AT (120.0), A (108.4), and T (107.6) plots, when compared to B (83.8) plots. Cane yields for WS plots (92.7) were lower than AT but similar to A, T, and B plots. Sucrose yields (kg ha-1) were higher (P<0.05) for AT (12,684), A (11,216), and T (11,212) plots, when compared to B (8,746) plots; WS sucrose yield (9,436) was similar to A, T, and B, but lower when compared to AT. Dip-treating billets showed promise for improving billet planted-cane yields in Louisiana. Future work will focus on scaling up chemical seed treatment to facilitate larger plot tests and different application methods.