New sugarcane varieties approved for Central Region sugarcane growers and millers

Date Posted

19 June, 2019

Posted by

Cathy Weis

Two new varieties of sugarcane have been approved for growers and millers in the Central Region.

These varieties are named SRA21 and SRA22 and are the result of extensive development through the SRA plant breeding program and more than a decade of development.

SRA Leader for Crossing and Selection, Dr George Piperidis, said that these varieties had been developed to maximise profitability for sugarcane growers and millers by optimising characteristics such as tonnes of cane, sugar content, resistance to diseases, and ability to be processed within the mill.

“SRA21 will be distributed to growers in 2019, and SRA22 in 2020. Both varieties are also available for ordering through tissue culture,” Dr Piperidis said.

“In trials, SRA21 had equal tonnes of cane per hectare (TCH) and commercial cane sugar (CCS) compared to the average of the commercial standards, while SRA22 had higher TCH and CCS than the standards.

“SRA22 has good resistance to Pachymetra root rot and sugarcane smut, while SRA21 has good resistance to smut and is resistant-intermediate to Pachymetra. Both SRA21 and SRA22 have acceptable milling characteristics.”

The Central Region encompasses Mackay, Sarina and Proserpine.

Dr Piperidis said that the varieties were recently approved for release by the Central Regional Variety Committee (RVC), which consists of representatives of growers, millers and productivity services organisations.

“The RVC makes the decision on potential new varieties in the final stages of the breeding pipeline and, most importantly, whether a variety is released to be grown commercially in the field,” Dr Piperidis said.

Cane grower Mr Frank Perna is Chair of the local RVC and he said that from early data the varieties looked promising, with both SRA21 and SRA22 having good productivity traits.

“In the Central Region, as well as productivity characteristics, we need our varieties to be resistant to Pachymetra, which is the case for these varieties. So we look forward to them making their way through to commercial production, where we can assess how they perform,” Mr Perna said.

  • More information on these varieties will be published in the SRA 2019/20 Variety Guide for the Central region, which will soon be available for growers and millers


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