Location: Sugarcane Field StationTitle: The USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station in Canal Point, Florida: 100 Years of Scientific Research and Sugarcane Cultivar Development
Submitted to: Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2020
Publication Date: 3/17/2020
Citation: Zhao, D. 2020. The USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station in Canal Point, Florida: 100 Years of Scientific Research and Sugarcane Cultivar Development. Sugar Journal. Volume 82 Number 10 Pg. 13-21
Interpretive Summary: This article provides a brief overview of the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station at Canal Point, Florida when it has reached its 100th year anniversary. Overall, the Sugarcane Field Station has high reputation worldwide in sugarcane variety development and related research. The CP sugarcane breeding and variety selection program has a long history. It is a three-way cooperative program, including the USDA-ARS, the University of Florida, and the Florida Sugar Cane League. With support from the USDA-ARS area office and the national program office as well as the local and regional sugarcane industry, the team of scientists and all support staff in the CP program has been working closely and is very productive in research and cultivar development, although challenges always exist. The primary research priority for the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station is to retain its current mission of breeding superior varieties and/or elite germplasm for Florida, Louisiana, and Texas growers using agronomic, genetic, and molecular approaches with new technologies. The CP varieties also have important impact on sugarcane production in many other countries in the world.
Technical Abstract: The mission of the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Sugarcane Field Station in Canal Point (CP) is to develop high-yielding, disease resistant/tolerant sugarcane cultivars. Additionally, scientists conduct research on sugarcane agronomy, genetics, molecular biology, pathology, and physiology that has resulted in improved production efficiency and sustainability. The Sugarcane Field Station has reached 100 years of research and cultivar development since it was established in 1920. The station mainly provided fresh seed cane and/or true seed (fuzz) to Louisiana sugarcane production and had a small impact until the 1960s when the Florida sugarcane industry expanded. During the 1970s, CP-cultivars developed by the cooperative program among the USDA-ARS, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and the Florida Sugar Cane League, expanded in the Florida sugarcane industry. Currently, the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station produces true seed for cultivar development programs in Florida and Louisiana, and fresh materials for Texas. Sugarcane cultivars developed in programs in the three states from true seed and/or fresh materials from crosses made at the Canal Point facility occupy most hectarage of sugarcane production. The CP cultivars have important impacts on sugarcane production not only in the United States, but also worldwide. CP-cultivars are also grown in many foreign countries and occupy a major hectarage in several Central American countries.