24 March, 2016
Sugarcane growers preparing for spring planting are being urged to use the free online resource QCANESelect TM to help choose the right varieties for their farm.
Sugar Research Australia (SRA) has developed this free online resource that is aimed to optimise sugarcane production by helping growers choose varieties according to soil types, the productivity zone, and other factors such as management.
SRA CEO Neil Fisher said QCANESelect was a useful tool that could help to maximise productivity from variety selection and therefore provide benefit for growers and millers.
QCANESelect can be found on the SRA website at http://tools.sugarresearch.com.au/QCANESelect and it provides interactive, up-to-date advice and information on varieties for individual situations.
“It simplifies the process of choosing a variety,” Mr Fisher said. “Growers can define the characteristics and concerns for their farm such as soil type or disease concerns and receive information on varieties that are available and meet their individual requirements.
“QCANESelect provides a wealth of reports on the actual performance of varieties from mill data, and we encourage everyone to make the most of this free online resource. Growers can develop a whole farm plan for varieties to help them calculate the amounts of clean seed they need to obtain this year for planting in one or two years’ time.”
An SRA survey of growers earlier this year discovered that 91% of growers have heard of QCANESelect and 66% are using it. “There is an opportunity for the one third of growers who are not using to make the most of this valuable tool.”
Grower Mark Savina farms on the northern edge of Cairns in Far North Queensland and uses QCANESelect each year when choosing varieties for his farm.
“I find QCANESelect provides useful detail around how a variety may perform in relation to Pachymetra root rot or ratoon stunting disease, which is information that I need,” he said. “It provides not just information on cane yield in tonnes per hectare, but also a lot of intricacies on performance across a range of factors for your situation.”
Mr Savina operates several lease farms as part of a business partnership, and said he found QCANESelect useful for choosing varieties for these properties, where historical farming knowledge was much less than the usual family farm.
“We have soil maps for these farms, so it is very helpful in that situation for example when matching a variety to a soil type,” Mr Savina said.
“I also find it interesting being able to look at varieties that we don’t have and see how they perform in other regions.”
Media contact: SRA Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815.