New sugarcane varieties approved for Far North Queensland sugarcane growers and millers

Date Posted

19 June, 2019

Posted by

Cathy Weis

Three new varieties of sugarcane have been approved for sugarcane growers and millers in Far North Queensland.

These varieties are named SRA25, SRA26 and SRA27 and are the result of extensive work through the SRA plant breeding program and more than a decade of development.

SRA Senior Plant Breeder (Northern Region), Dr Felicity Atkin, 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.

Dr Atkin said that, in SRA trials, SRA25 was competitive with Q200 and Q208 for cane yield but lower in commercial cane sugar (CCS).

“It has good disease resistance to most major diseases, being classified as resistant to Pachymetra and Leaf Scald, intermediate to smut, and susceptible to red rot,” Dr Atkin said.

“SRA26 has excellent disease resistance to all the industry’s major diseases, including smut, Pachymetra root rot, leaf scald and red rot. It performed strongly in comparison to the established commercial varieties Q200 and Q208 for yield and CCS across all sites and crop classes.”

The Far North Queensland region stretches from Tully to Mossman and also includes the Atherton Tableland.

Dr Atkin said that the varieties were recently approved for release at the FNQ 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,” she said.

Chair of the Northern RVC Mr Greg Shannon said that SRA25 and SRA26 should provide value to the Wet Tropics sugar industry due to their Pachymetra resistance.

Mr Shannon also runs the Tully Variety Management group through his role with Tully Sugar and he said that both these varieties will become part of the local testing preformed through this group to fine-tune recommendations to suit local conditions.

“The SRA Variety Guide will include information on SRA25 and SRA26, and this provides very good base information for variety management and we simply add to this by testing all new varieties for germination, CCS curve trends, and ratoonability under local conditions and we are really looking forward to seeing where these two new varieties fit for our region.”

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

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