29 May, 2018
Sugarcane growers in the Central Growing region, from Sarina to Proserpine, will have access to two new sugarcane varieties that have been developed by Sugar Research Australia (SRA).
SRA Leader for Crossing and Selection, Dr George Piperidis, said that the new varieties were called SRA12 and SRA13 and they had recently been approved for release in the region by a committee consisting of local growers and millers.
“New sugarcane varieties are a building block for the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of sugarcane growers and millers,” Dr Piperidis said. “These new varieties have been developed as a result of more than 12 years of work through the SRA plant breeding program and they have stood out among several thousand clones, through many years of trials, and have gained final approval by the local industry in the Central Region.
“These varieties have been developed to maximise profitability for cane growers and millers and to have a good balance of tonnes of cane, sugar content, along with resistance to diseases and ability to be processed through the mills.”
SRA12 and SRA13 have recently been approved for release by the Central Regional Variety Committee, which consists of growers, millers, and industry representatives.
Dr Piperidis said SRA13 had good resistance to sugarcane diseases Pachymetra root rot, leaf scald, and Fiji disease.
“In trials it yielded good tonnes per hectare and commercial cane sugar (CCS), and also showed acceptable milling characteristics,” he said.
He said SRA12 is considered highly resistant to Pachymetra root rot, and leaf scald, and produced good tonnes of cane in trials, although with CCS below the varieties that it was compared to in trials.
Canegrowers Mackay Chairman, Mr Kevin Borg, said that the varieties show a mix of positive traits with resistance to diseases and productivity, based on trial data.
“We have a high priority put on pachymetra resistant canes in our region,” Mr Borg said. “Having options such as SRA12, with resistance to pachymetra and then leaf scald, will help improve our management of these diseases. The real test always comes when growers get a variety in their own paddocks, so we look forward to seeing how they perform in years to come. The release of new varieties is always welcome as they are the future to increasing productivity.”
Senior Technologist with Wilmar Sugar, Dr Brian Edwards, was part of the Regional Variety Committee meeting.
“Factories are looking specifically for information about the varieties which will enable millers to decide that the factory can process the cane in a reasonable time, and can produce good quality sugar which can be sold on behalf of the growers and millers. This information was all available at the meeting and aided the decision making process,” Dr Edwards said.