SRA unveils new sugarcane variety for Herbert growers and millers

Date Posted

10 June, 2016

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Sugarcane growers and millers in the Herbert region will soon have access to a new sugarcane variety, SRA5, which has now been approved for release for the region.

The new variety has recently been approved for release by the Herbert Variety Approval Committee (VAC) and is suited to niche environments and certain conditions.

This committee is made up of growers, millers, and industry representatives, and they determine the varieties that they want released in their region.
SRA Leader for Crossing and Selection, Dr George Piperidis, said that SRA5 was most suited to poor soils and extreme environments such as regions prone to extended water-logging.

“In our trials, SRA5 has produced above-average tonnes with good vigour, although with very low CCS and high fibre,” Dr Piperidis said. “Because of this, it is not expected to be a dominant variety for the region, but it could fill an important niche role.”

Herbert grower Joe Girgenti farms at the southern end of the district near Mutarnee and said that he saw potential for SRA5 in certain environments.
He has grown small amounts of the variety over several years as part of SRA’s Final Assessment Trials.

“Growers put our eyes on this variety and decided we want to go ahead with it,” Mr Girgenti said. “My observation is that it ratoons well, produces very good tonnes, and stands up tall. The lower CCS means that it will not be for everyone, but if it ratoons well and can save on our replanting costs then it could fill an important niche here in the Herbert.”

Dr Piperidis said that Herbert Cane Productivity Services Limited (HCPSL) would establish nitrogen and ripener trials to see if SRA5 could be managed to produce more CCS.

“SRA has already held a walk and talk day that included discussions around this variety, and more information about the variety will continue to be communicated to growers in the region.

“Growers with an interest in this variety are encouraged to contact HCPSL. More information will also be available via the online tool, QCANESelect.”
Growers in the Herbert have also expressed enthusiasm for recently released varieties. Victoria Estate farmer Chris Bosworth is particularly pleased with SRA3 and Q252 in his seed plot this year.

“Q252 is a new variety for this district, and it seems that on nice creek-bank soil that you can’t fault it,” Mr Bosworth said. “I will definitely be planting out more of this variety. I am also dipping my toe in the water with SRA3.”

He said while he was pleased with how these two varieties were looking, he will follow the advice of HCPSL and plant Q252 and SRA3 with Sinker when smut is present in planting material, given that both varieties have Intermediate resistance to smut.

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.

CAPTION1: Grower Joe Girgenti checking out the new variety SRA5 on his property near Mutarnee.

CAPTION2: Victoria Estate grower Chris Bosworth is pleased with how the varieties Q252 and SRA3 are looking within his seed plot this year.

Media contact: SRA Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815

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