Sugarcane growers and millers in the Wide Bay region will soon have access to two new sugarcane varieties that have been approved for release for the region.
These include the brand new variety SRA4, as well as the variety Q247, which had previously been blanket-approved across the industry but has now been released for the Southern region. Q247 is recommended only in Bundaberg and Maryborough.
“The SRA breeding program is about delivering the best possible varieties for each region and these varieties 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 said.
“All SRA varieties have been developed to maximise 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.”
In SRA trials, SRA4 has produced moderate tonnes and moderate sugar (CCS), with good productivity across ratoons. It is resistant to Pachymetra root rot. Q247 has shown moderate tonnes and moderate to high CCS, it is suited to early harvest, and is rated resistant to Pachymetra.
These new varieties have just been approved for release by the Southern 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.
Bundaberg sugarcane grower Tony Castro took part in the recent VAC meeting and said that SRA4 and Q247 had impressive trial results.
“These varieties that we approved showed good resistance to pests and diseases, good yields in terms of tonnes and CCS, and good early to mid-season maturity,” Mr Castro said. “We already have a number of good varieties for later in the season, but we are looking for varieties that are good early- and mid-season.”
He added that Pachymetra root rot resistance was very positive as it allowed for improved management of this disease.
“We also appreciate the work that SRA is doing assessing varieties through Final Assessment Trials into further ratoons, to give a better indication of how new varieties may perform across a crop cycle.”
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.