SRA unveils three new varieties to benefit growers and millers

Date Posted

12 May, 2015

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Sugar Research Australia (SRA) has released three new sugarcane varieties that are aimed at delivering significant benefits to Australian cane growers and millers.

Executive Manager for SRA Development, Dr Peter Allsopp, said these new varieties are named SRA1, SRA2, and SRA3.

SRA1 (QS05-2595) and SRA2 (QS03-2717) are being released for the southern region, which includes the Bundaberg, Isis, Maryborough, Rocky Point, and the New South Wales growing regions. SRA3 (QN02-777) is being released in the Herbert.

“These varieties have been developed to target the best outcome for these regions, aiming for the right balance in a range of traits that deliver cane and sugar, respond to soil type, and show suitable resistance to local diseases,” Dr Allsopp said.

“The varieties have been developed in consultation with Variety Approval Committees (VACs) in all regions of Queensland and NSW. These committees consist of growers and millers working with SRA, and the local VACs have identified these three new varieties as offering the greatest potential benefit for increasing grower and miller productivity,” Dr Allsopp said.

CANEGROWERS senior vice-chairman Allan Dingle said that growers were looking forward to the new varieties. “We need to be always looking to improve our productivity and sustainability, and having new varieties is a big part of that. The faster that we can get access to new and better varieties, the better for all of us,” Mr Dingle said.

Dr Allsopp said the new varieties also marked the beginning of new naming method that provides recognition to SRA for its work in developing new varieties for growers and millers.

“These are the first varieties to be released since SRA was formed in 2013, and future varieties will continue to be named under this new convention of having an SRA prefix followed by a number. The naming convention sets out a clear path that will be simple and easy to understand for growers and millers into the future,” Dr Allsopp said.

The three new varieties still need to be approved by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) this year before they are available for growers for planting. This process is expected to be complete within the next few months.

Dr Allsopp said that SRA had also worked closely with the VACs to target potential varieties for release in 2016.

“SRA is continuing to work with growers and millers to respond to their needs when it comes to the development and release of new varieties, with many more varieties continuing through the development pipeline for all cane growing districts,” Dr Allsopp said.

In addition to the three new varieties, seven current Blanket Approved Q canes have been endorsed by other regional VACs for commercial planting and ratooning will be released in additional regions. These releases have already been approved by DAF. The varieties involved are Q242A, Q245A, Q247A, Q249A, Q252A and Q253A in the northern coastal region and Q252A in the central region.

Dr Allsopp said that the VACs also approved the maximum propagation of 13 advanced clones for possible release in 2016.

These include three varieties in the Northern region, two in the Herbert region, two in the Burdekin region, one in the Central region, one in the Southern region and four in New South Wales (one for 1-year production and three for 2-year production). Two of these varieties in the Burdekin region and one in the Central region may be considered for release as SRA varieties later this year when more data becomes available.

Media contact: SRA Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815.

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