Location: Sugarcane ResearchTitle: Chemical treatments improve billet-planted cane growth and crop yields under temperate climatic conditions
|HOY, JEFFREY - LSU Agcenter
|GRAVOIS, KENNETH - LSU Agcenter
|WAGUESPACK, HERMAN - American Sugar Cane League
|WEBBER III, CHARLES - Retired ARS Employee
Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/8/2019
Publication Date: 12/13/2019
Citation: White Jr, P.M., Hoy, J.W., Gravois, K.A., Waguespack, H.L., Webber III, C.L. 2019. Chemical treatments improve billet-planted cane growth and crop yields under temperate climatic conditions. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 39:12-24.
Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane is produced on over 419,000 acres in south Louisiana over a short, 7-9-mo growing season, due to cool and wet winters. The Louisiana sugarcane industry is interested in shifting from planting whole stalks to billets (stalk pieces) as seed. However, the winter conditions often result in reduced yields for billet plantings. Therefore, grower’s need a new billet planting method that results in improved success. This project evaluated how treating these billet seed pieces with chemicals, including fungicides, insecticides, and a disinfectant, before planting them, influenced their growth and yield. Overall, fungicide and/or insecticide applied to billet seed cane produced more sugarcane stalks, when compared to billet seed pieces that were not treated with chemicals. The results indicate these chemical treatments have the potential to improve billet seed success under Louisiana’s temperate weather.
Technical Abstract: Sugarcane is produced on >170,000 ha in south Louisiana over a short, 7-9-mo growing season resulting from its temperate climatic conditions. The Louisiana sugarcane industry is interested in shifting from whole stalk to billet (stalk pieces) planting. However, both dry and cold, wet soil conditions can interact with fungal stalk rots to reduce billet-planted cane yields. Therefore, management practices are needed that improve billet planting success before the method will see broad producer adoption. The research evaluated seed treatment chemicals, including fungicides, insecticide (thiamethoxam), and a disinfectant on the growth and yield of billet-planted sugarcane in plant cane and first ratoon crops. Overall, fungicide and/or thiamethoxam applied to billet seed cane as a dip prior to planting produced higher stalk populations, between 6.3% and 34.5% greater cane yield, and between 6.1% and 59.4% greater sucrose yield, when compared to non-treated or disinfected billet seed cane. Yields for whole stalk seed cane were equal or lower than treated billets, while the stalk sucrose concentration was similar among treatments. Applied individually, different fungicides and thiamethoxam improved yields in some but not all experiments, whereas fungicide and thiamethoxam combinations consistently produced higher yields of cane and sucrose, regardless of the fungicide used. The results indicate these treatments have the potential to improve billet planting performance under temperate climatic conditions.