SRA’s varieties are central to helping make the Australian sugarcane industry more productive, sustainable and competitive.

We have developed our varieties using conventional sugarcane breeding and selection processes that apply plant molecular biology, transgenic technology and plant functional biology. Parents with valuable traits are used for cross-pollination and are selected from our vast germplasm collection. This collection includes Q-varieties, clones from previous crosses, ‘wild’ and foreign varieties. More than 2000 crosses are made annually at our Meringa breeding station, using parents grown in the field or in our three photoperiod facilities.

Our breeding objective is to maximise whole-of-industry profitability for sugar production. To achieve this, we have developed an optimal genetic evaluation system using a selection index based on genetic and economic values of all important traits. Each year, we plant about 100,000 new potential varieties as seedlings in the first stage of the program. With our world-class expertise in this area, we have released over 250 varieties in the past that have improved productivity, disease resistance and/or improved milling and sugar quality. We collaborate with growers, productivity boards and millers to encourage the adoption of our new varieties.

Tissue Culture

Tissue culture plantlets are produced from disease-free plants and grown under sterile conditions in the laboratory to ensure they remain disease-free. Their use has been shown to reduce the spread of serious diseases such as ratoon stunting disease, smut and Fiji leaf gall.

With the right care the survival rate of tissue-cultured plantlets is very high, creating uniform crops and allowing the commercial-scale planting of a new variety, sooner. Once you have identified the best varieties for planting on your farm, contact your local productivity services group to place orders for plantlets.

To help estimate how many tissue-cultured plantlets you should order use our calculator.

Ordering Deadlines

Stage Deadline for autumn planting Deadline for spring planting
Grower/Productivity Board places order to SRA 1 July 15 November
SRA delivers Mother Stock to Tissue Culture Company (TCC) 15 September 15 January
TCC supplies plantlets to Nursery for potting out/hardening 1 February 1 June (for Northern options)

15 June (for Southern nurseries)

Grower/Productivity Board receives established plantlets from Nursery Agreed date between Grower/Productivity
Board and Nursery (should be ready from 1 March)
Agreed date between Grower/Productivity Board and Nursery (should be ready
from August)