SRA unveils new sugarcane varieties for FNQ growers and millers

Date Posted

10 June, 2016

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Sugarcane growers and millers in Far North Queensland (FNQ) will soon have access to four new sugarcane varieties that have now been approved for release for the region.

These new varieties include the brand-new varieties SRA6 and SRA7, as well as varieties that have been approved in other regions but are now released for FNQ, SRA1 and SRA3.

“The SRA breeding program is about delivering the best possible varieties for each region and these are some of the varieties that have stood out among several thousand clones, years of trials, and final approval by the local industry,” SRA Leader for Crossing and Selection Dr George Piperidis said.
“These varieties have been developed to maximize profitability for sugarcane growers and millers, striking the right balance between tonnes of cane, sugar content, optimum resistance to diseases, and ability to be processed within the mill.”

The new varieties have just been approved for release by the Far North Queensland Variety Approval Committee (VAC).

This committee is made up of growers, millers, and industry representatives, and they determine the varieties that they want released in their region.
“The FNQ VAC has identified these varieties as having the greatest potential for grower and miller profitability and approved their release,” Dr Piperidis said.

“Both SRA6 and SRA7 are locally-bred Northern varieties. They have above-average tonnes of cane per hectare (TCH) and below-average sugar content (CCS), with their productivity in tonnes of sugar per hectare (TSH) better than the major commercial varieties grown in the Far North.”
Cane Productivity Manager with Tully Sugar Limited (TSL), Greg Shannon, welcomed the new varieties.

“Here in Tully we have been running an industry group known as the ‘Tully Variety Management’ group since 2012,” Mr Shannon said. “Apart from TSL, Tully Cane Productivity Services, and SRA, we have 31 growers involved in this group which trials and observes new varieties as they come into the system.”
Across seven major trial sites covering the bulk of the region’s soil types, this group looks at:

  •  Germination
  •  CCS curve trends from 10-14 months of crop age
  •  Herbicide reactions (commercial)
  •  Field characteristics such as lodging and free trashing.

“Up to now, the majority of varieties we are working with have been blanket approved and we test them for several seasons to find the best local recommendation for them to fit into our system,” Mr Shannon said. “With SRA6 and SRA7 however, both being locally bred varieties, we are hopeful they will find a place in our system quickly. In addition SRA6 is Pachymetra resistant and we know, from our recent surveys, that Pachymetra is a major issue for us. Thankfully many of the new SRA varieties are Pachymetra resistant.”

Five new SRA canes have been approved for release to the Australian sugarcane industry in 2016. More information about all sugarcane varieties is available via SRA’s online tool QCANESelect or growers can contact their local productivity services organisation.

Media contact: SRA Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815

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