19 June, 2019
A new sugarcane variety has been approved for growers and millers in the Herbert Region.
This new variety is called SRA24 and it is the result of extensive work through the SRA plant breeding program, via a process that tests and trials potential new varieties over a period of more than a decade.
SRA Introgression Breeder, Dr Fengduo Hu, said that SRA developed new varieties 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.
“SRA24 is resistant to key diseases such as smut, Pachymetra root rot and leaf scald,” Dr Hu said. “In SRA trials, it had average to above average yield when compared to a range of existing commercial varieties. It had average to below average commercial cane sugar (CCS) in comparison to these varieties, and has been noted to be a potential to mid to late CCS variety.”
He said growers would be able to access planting material of the new variety in 2020.
SRA24 was recently approved for release at the Herbert 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 out in the field,” Dr Hu said.
Herbert grower Mr Robert Lyon said that local growers were looking for a good resistance to diseases such as smut and Pachymetra from new varieties, as well as ratoonability.
“SRA14 was approved for release last year and is looking good in its very early stages, and we will see how it goes this year as we plant more of it. We look forward to learning more about SRA24 from next year onwards,” Mr Lyon said.
- More information on this variety, 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.