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Publication #SSAGR-285

Performance of CP Sugarcane Cultivars Grown in Different Locations in Florida1

Hardev S. Sandhu, Robert A. Gilbert, James M. Shine, Jr., and Ronald W. Rice2

Introduction

The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) is a 700,000=acre agricultural region south of Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Sugarcane is grown on approximately 413,000 acres in the EAA. Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is harvested at different locations throughout the EAA, and growers must factor in the effect of sugarcane genotype (G) and environment (E) on potential yield performance when scheduling their harvests. “Environment” is defined to include the effects of soil type, climate and management factors at different locations. The vast majority of research addressing the effects of environment on sugarcane yields has focused on G x E interaction effects. Although numerous studies have reported significant G x E interactions and recommended sugarcane selection in differing environments (Arceneaux and Hebert 1943; Glaz et al. 1985; Milligan et al. 1990; Bull et al. 1992; Mirzawan et al. 1994; Bissessur et al. 2000), other studies have concluded that the number of locations in sugarcane breeding programs could be reduced (Gravois and Milligan, 1992; Milligan 1994; Jackson and McRae 1998; De Sousa-Vieira and Milligan 1999).

While G x E interactions have been studied primarily as a tool to help breeders make informed decisions regarding the design of sugarcane breeding programs, less information has been published in the scientific literature on G x E interactions and their impact on yield performance within recently released commercial sugarcane cultivars. Improving our understanding of the significance of environment, genotype, and G x E interaction in recently released cultivars would help growers make confident cultivar-selection choices for their growing environments and would also help breeders verify the success of their sugarcane breeding program. In addition, since breeding programs often lack the resources to allow replanting of the same cultivars in the same environment (Brown and Glaz 2001), multi-site data sets in which environment, crop age, and year are not confounded are often limited or simply not available.

The following discussion reports the results of a series of experiments (Gilbert et al. 2006) that were designed to compare and contrast relative sugarcane cultivar performance at different locations throughout the EAA.

Methodology

The data for this analysis were collected from a series of experiments conducted in the EAA of south Florida at five locations (Figure 1), including the University of Florida/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC), Hundley Farm (HU), Lakeview Farm (LV), Sundance Farm (SU), and Hillsboro Farm (HB). The sites represented diversities in soil depth and expected minimum temperatures that occur during freezes throughout the sugarcane production region on organic soils. Soil types included a Torry muck (euic, hyperthermic Typic Haplosaprist) for the Lakeview location and Lauderhill muck (euic, hyperthermic Lithic Haplosaprist) for the remaining four sites (Rice et al. 2005). Harvest data were collected from October to March during four consecutive seasons (1998/1999 to 2001/2002).

Figure 1. 

General vicinity of experimental variety trials for evaluation of perforrmance by location in the Everglades Agricultural Area


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Cultivars were selected for this study based on either their recent release date or their economic importance as documented in the most recent sugarcane variety census (Glaz 2006). The first two digits in the cultivar name represent the year the clone was named, usually 7––10 years prior to cultivar release. A brief description of the cultivars included in this study can be found at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sc069. Cultivars are ordered by release date in tables and figures throughout this article. For more information on this study, please see Gilbert et al. (2004) and Gilbert et al. (2006).

Overall Ranks

Using combined data from all study sites, Table 1 presents the overall cultivar ranking for sucrose concentration (lb. sucrose/ton; SPT), cane yield (tons cane/acre; TCA), and sucrose yield (tons sucrose/acre; TSA) for each cultivar. Ranking was based on yield, from highest (1) to lowest (13). CP89-2143 was notable for the highest rank in SPT, TCA, and TSA. According to latest variety census (Rice et al. 2011), CP89-2143 was ranked second based on planted acreage (25.5% of total acreage) in EAA; however, increased susceptibility for orange rust may reduce its acreage in the future. CP88-1762 and CP72-2086 also had high ranks ranging from 2 to 5 in SPT, TCA, and TSA. CP88-1762 has the highest acreage (27.1% of total acreage) planted in EAA; however, CP72-2086 dropped down to < 1% acreage in 2011. In contrast, CP85-1382 and CP88-1508 fared poorly in all three ranking categories (rank = 8) when compared to other CP clones. It is not surprising that growers have lost interest in these two clones, which are absent from the latest census. Although CP80-1743 reflects average rankings of either 5 or 6 for SPT, TCA, and TSA, it is still ranked third for acreage (8.8% of total acreage) in EAA. However, it is difficult to obtain accurate yield data from small plots using CP 80-1743, because it is extremely susceptible to rodent damage in small plots, whereas rodent damage is not nearly as severe in commercial fields.

Some clones are characterized by high sucrose concentrations (SPT) and low cane tonnage (TCA), or vice versa. Growers prefer to plant clones with high SPT as transport and milling costs are reduced. Cultivars like CP78-1628 with high SPT (rank = 2) and low TCA (rank = 8) are more profitable and are more likely to be adopted by growers than low sucrose concentration, high cane tonnage clones like CP88-1834 (SPT rank = 13; TCA rank = 4) or CP89-2377 (SPT rank = 12; TCA rank = 2).

Performance at Different Locations

Table 2 presents performance ranks for sucrose concentration (SPT), cane tonnage (TCA), and sucrose yields (TSA) for each genotype at each of the five sites included in this study. CP70-1133 tended to have higher relative SPT (rank = 7) and TSA (rank = 7) at EREC than other sites, whereas CP72-1210 recorded poor TSA yields (rank > 8) at all locations. CP72-2086 recorded higher relative TSA yields at the EREC (rank = 5) and Sundance (rank = 4) sites compared to the Hillsboro (rank = 11) site. CP78-1628 recorded relatively high performance (ranks < 6) for all yield traits at all locations, whereas CP80-1743 was notable for good relative sucrose yield performance at EREC (TSA rank = 2), but poor performance at Lakeview (TSA rank = 11). CP80-1827 had low sucrose yields (TSA rank > 4 at all locations, and CP84-1198 recorded high relative sucrose yields at the Hundley site (TSA rank = 3), as did CP85-1382 (TSA rank = 5). CP88-1508 recorded poor relative sucrose yields (TSA rank > 8) across all locations, whereas CP88-1762 demonstrated high relative yields (TSA ranks ranging from 1 to 6) across the five locations. CP88-1834 was notable for poor sucrose concentration (SPT rank > 10) at all locations, but high TCA (rank = 1) and TSA (rank = 2) at the Lakeview site. CP89-2143 was a clear standout, with superior SPT and TSA (rank =1) at four of five sites, and very high SPT and TSA performance (rank = 2) at one of the five farm sites. Finally, CP89-2377 tended to have lower sucrose concentration performance (SPT rank > 6) but higher cane tonnage performance (TCA rank < 7).

Our results highlight the influence of environment on sugarcane yields in a visually homogenous region. The EAA sugarcane production area is characterized by flat basin topography, well-drained organic soils with high N mineralization rates, and high to very high organic matter contents (Bottcher and Izuno 1994). Unlike other sugarcane production areas in the world, rainfall is not normally considered a limiting factor to sugarcane production in the EAA due to the excellent water-holding capacity of the organic soils and generally abundant water supply from Lake Okeechobee (Alvarez et al. 1982). Sucrose yields averaged over the same cultivars, growing season, crop age, and time of harvest varied greatly from 2% to 46% among locations. In contrast to the results of Julien and Delaveau (1977) in Mauritius, this study supports arguments for multi-locational evaluation of sugarcane germplasm in Florida both during the breeding program and following cultivar release. South Africa has had a released variety trial program in place since 1966 (Redshaw 2000) to recommend cultivars to growers in different agroclimatic zones. Released variety trials make inherent sense in South Africa where 23 bioresource regions have been identified in Kwa-Zulu Natal province, where sugarcane production areas range from loamy sandy soils in warm coastal areas to clayey soils in cooler highlands. Our study in the EAA of south Florida indicates that a similar approach to released variety trials may also be useful in more homogenous regions.

Sugarcane germplasm is released after numerous years of replicated on-farm trials, yet considerable variation in cultivar relative performance may occur following cultivar release. Many breeding programs do not have the resources available to assess cultivar performance following release. Relative performance of new cultivars compared to industry standards is often obtained ad hoc from mill managers and industry professionals without replicated tests. Ellis et al. (2004) compared variety trials to commercial production in Australia, and reported that differences in cultivar ranking between data sets were due to uneven deployment of cultivars in commercial fields. They concluded that variety trials could not be enhanced to evaluate uneven deployment effects. However, in South Africa post-release variety trials have been used to recommend varieties to growers (Redshaw 2000). Our study indicates that a systematic agronomic evaluation of released sugarcane cultivars is valuable in determining relative cultivar performance and identifying recommendation domains most suited for different cultivars.

When the rankings of genotypes at different sites were compared, the cultivar rankings at the Lakeview site did not correlate well with the other locations in this study. Significant G x E interactions indicated that the Lakeview site was located in a different agroecological zone than the other sites. Differences in soil depth, mineral content, and air temperature may contribute to G x E interactions in the EAA. Lakeview is < 1 km from Lake Okeechobee in a “warmland” area, with soils containing appreciably greater mineral content than the other sites included in this study. Early breeding strategies in the EAA recognized the importance of selection for both “warmland” sites and “coldland” sites farther from Lake Okeechobee (Bourne 1972). Cultivars F31-962, F31-436, and CL41-223 occupied over 50% of the EAA acreage in the 1940s–1960s, but faded from prominence as sugarcane acreage spread farther from the lake. Rates of leaf appearance vs. thermal time differ among sugarcane cultivars (Bonnett 1998; Sinclair et al. 2004). Differing cultivar growth rates at different cumulative thermal time may be part of the mechanism involved in the G x E interaction of warmland vs. coldland sites. Although the CP program breeds new cultivars in a warmland environment adjacent to Lake Okeechobee, all cultivars are tested in multiple coldland areas and one warmland environment before cultivar release.

Conclusions

This data set indicates that a significant G x E interaction still exists in many recently released cultivars, with the recommendation domain of CP88-1508 and CP88-1834 closer to Lake Okeechobee than CP72-2086 or CP80-1743. CP89-2143 had a remarkably high, stable sucrose concentration and sucrose yield across all locations. Growers in the EAA interested in improving sucrose concentration of their sugarcane crop may plant CP89-2143 however, its susceptibility to orange rust reduced its tonnage in recent years.

References

Alvarez, J.A., D.R. Crane, T.H. Spreen and G. Kidder. 1982. A yield prediction model for Florida sugarcane. Agric. Syst. 9:161-179.

Arceneaux, G. and L.P. Hebert. 1943. A statistical analysis of varietal yields of sugarcane obtained over a period of years. Agron. J. 35:148-160.

Bissessur, D., R.A.E. Tilney-Bassett, L.C.Y. Lim Shin Chong, R. Domaingue, and M.H.R. Julien. 2000. Family x environment and genotype x environment interactions for sugarcane across two contrasting marginal environments in Mauritius. Expl. Agric. 36: 101-114.

Bonnett, G.D. 1998. Rate of leaf appearance in sugarcane, including a comparison of a range of varieties. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 25:829-834.

Bottcher, A.B. and F.T. Izuno. 1994. Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA): Water, soil, crop and environmental management. University Press of Florida. Gainesville, FL.

Bourne, B.A. 1972. Significant developments in the early phases of the Florida cane sugar industry. Sugar y Azucar 67:19-23.

Brown, J.S. and B. Glaz. 2001. Analysis of resource allocation in final stage sugarcane cultivar selection. Crop Sci. 41: 57-62.

Bull, J.K., D.M. Hogarth and K.E. Basford. 1992. Impact of genotype x environment interaction on response to selection in sugarcane. Aust. J. Exp. Agr. 32:731-737.

De Sousa-Vieira, O. and S.B. Milligan. 1999. Intrarow plant spacing and family x environment interaction effects on sugarcane family evaluation. Crop Sci. 39:358-364.

Ellis, R.N., K.E. Basford, J.K. Leslie, D.M. Hogarth and M. Cooper. 2004. A methodology for analysis of sugarcane productivity trends 2. Comparing variety trials with commercial productivity. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 55:109-116.

Gilbert, R.A., J.M. Shine, Jr., J.D. Miller and R.W. Rice. 2004. Sucrose accumulation and harvest schedule recommendations for CP sugarcane cultivars. Crop Management. Online. Crop Management. doi:10.1094/CM-2004-0402-01-RS.

Gilbert, R.A., J.M. Shine Jr., J.D. Miller, R.W. Rice and C.R. Rainbolt. 2006. The effect of genotype, environment and time of harvest on sugarcane yields in Florida, USA. 95:156-170.

Glaz, B. 2006. Sugarcane variety census: Florida 2005. Sugar Journal. July, 2006:12-19.

Glaz, B., J.D. Miller and M.S. Kang. 1985. Evaluation of cultivar-testing environments in sugarcane. Theor. Appl. Genet. 71:22-25.

Gravois, K.A. and S.B. Milligan. 1992. Genetic relationships between fiber and sugarcane yield components. Crop Sci. 32: 62-67.

Jackson, P.A. and T.A. McRae. 1998. Gains from selection of broadly adapted and specifically adapted sugarcane families. Field Crops Res. 59:151-162.

Julien, M.H.R. and P. Delaveau. 1977. The effects of time of harvest on the partitioning of dry matter in three sugarcane varieties grown in contrasting environments. Proc. Intl. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol. 16: 1755-1769.

Milligan, S.B. 1994. Test site allocation within and among stages of a sugarcane breeding program. Crop Sci. 34:1184-1190.

Milligan, S.B., K.A. Gravois, K.P. Bischoff and F.A. Martin. 1990. Crop effects on broad-sense heritabilities and genetic variances of sugarcane yield components. Crop Sci. 30: 344-349.

Mirzawan, P.D.N., M. Cooper, I.H. DeLacy and D.M. Hogarth. 1994. Retrospective analysis of the relationships among the test environments of the southern Queensland sugarcane breeding programme. Theor. Appl. Genet. 88:707-716.

Redshaw, K. 2000. Agronomic evaluation of released varieties in South Africa. Intl. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol. Agron. Workshop, 2-6 Dec., 2000, Florida, USA. Online abstract. http://issct.org/past-workshops/agroabs.html

Rice, R.W., R.A. Gilbert, and S.H. Daroub. 2005. Application of the soil taxonomy key to the organic soils of the Everglades Agricultural Area. Univ. Florida EDIS SS-AGR-246, 10 pages. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/l/IR00001582/00001

Rice, R.W., L. Baucum, and B. Glaz. 2011. Sugarcane Variety Census: Florida 2010. Sugar Journal. 74: 13-19.

Sinclair, T.R., R.A. Gilbert, R.E. Perdomo and J.M. Shine, Jr. 2004. Sugarcane leaf area development under field conditions in Florida, USA. Field Crops Res. 88:171-178.

Tables

Table 1. 

Sugarcane sucrose concentration (SPT), cane yield (TCA), sucrose yield (TSA), and cultivar performance ranksa for combined data from all experimental sites in Florida. The census rankb indicates cultivar popularity (in terms of total plant cane and ratoon crop acreage) as documented in the 2010 Florida sugarcane variety census (Rice et al. 2011).

Cultivarc

SPT

TCA

TSA

SPT rank

TCA rank

TSA rank

Census rank

EAA acreage

 

lb. sucrose/ton

tons cane/acre

tons sucrose/acre

       

%

CP70-1133

253

45.1

5.7

10

10

11

not listed

< 1

CP72-1210

260

41.9

5.4

6

13

13

not listed

< 1

CP72-2086

266

50.9

6.8

3

5

4

not listed

<1

CP78-1628

269

47.4

6.4

2

8

7

4

8.5

CP80-1743

260

50.2

6.5

5

6

5

3

8.8

CP80-1827

259

45.9

6.0

7

9

9

not listed

< 1

CP84-1198

257

49.7

6.4

9

7

6

not listed

<1

CP85-1382

251

43.8

5.5

11

12

12

not listed

< 1

CP88-1508

259

44.9

5.8

8

11

10

not listed

< 1

CP88-1762

265

54.6

7.2

4

3

2

1

27.1

CP88-1834

242

52.5

6.3

13

4

8

not listed

< 1

CP89-2143

284

56.5

8.0

1

1

1

2

25.5

CP89-2377

247

55.8

6.9

12

2

3

not listed

< 1

a SPT, TCA, and TSA ranks: 1 = highest performer; 13 = lowest performer.

b Census rank: 1 = highest acreage, 6 = lowest acreage; not listed = < 1% of total sugarcane acreage

c Cultivars are sorted in ascending order by year of introduction (i.e., CP70-1133 is a cultivar named in 1970).

Table 2. 

Cultivar rankings within each site for sucrose concentration (SPT), cane yield (TCA) and sucrose yield (TSA). Sites (see Figure 1) are Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC), Hillsboro Farm (HB), Hundley Farm (HU), Lakeview Farm (LV), and Sundance Farm (SU).

 

SPT ranksa

TCA ranks

TSA ranks

Cultivar

EREC

HB

HU

LV

SU

EREC

HB

HU

LV

SU

EREC

HB

HU

LV

SU

CP70-1133

7

11

7

13

n.i.

9

8

12

12

n.i.

7

10

12

12

n.i.

CP72-1210

8

6

3

3

6

10

10

11

13

8

11

9

10

13

8

CP72-2086

2

7

5

6

5

7

12

7

6

3

5

11

8

7

4

CP78-1628

3

1

n.i.

4

2

3

3

n.i.

5

6

4

3

n.i.

5

5

CP80-1743

12

4

2

9

4

1

7

9

11

4

2

4

6

11

3

CP80-1827

4

8

9

5

n.i.

11

9

10

8

n.i.

10

12

11

8

n.i.

CP84-1198

10

9

11

2

8

8

5

1

7

5

9

5

3

6

6

CP85-1382

9

10

10

7

9

12

13

5

9

9

12

13

5

9

9

CP88-1508

6

5

8

11

n.i.

13

11

8

10

n.i.

13

8

9

10

n.i.

CP88-1762

5

3

4

8

3

4

2

6

3

1

6

2

2

4

1

CP88-1834

13

13

12

10

10

6

4

2

1

10

8

7

7

2

10

CP89-2143

1

2

1

1

1

5

1

4

4

2

1

1

1

1

2

CP89-2377

11

12

6

12

7

2

6

3

2

7

3

6

4

3

7

n.i. = “not included.” The cultivar was not planted at the specific site.

a SPT, TCA, and TSA ranks: 1 = highest performer; 13 = lowest performer.

Footnotes

1.

This document is SS AGR 285, a publication of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Published October 2007. Revised February 2014. This publication is also part of the Florida Sugarcane Handbook, an electronic publication of the Agronomy Department. For more information, contact the editor of the Sugarcane Handbook, Hardev S. Sandhu (hsandhu@ufl.edu). Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Hardev S. Sandhu, assistant professor, Agronomy Department, Everglades Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, FL: Robert A. Gilbert, associate professor, Agronomy Department, Everglades Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, FL: James M. Shine, Jr., agricultural research manager, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, Belle Glade, FL; Ronald W. Rice, Extension agent III, UF-IFAS Palm Beach County Extension Service, Belle Glade, FL; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


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