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.