Performance of Foreign Sugarcane Germplasm on Florida Sandlands1

H. S. Sandhu, M. P. Singh, R. A. Gilbert, J. D. Miller, J. C. Comstock, B. Glaz, and S. J. Edme 2

Introduction

This article was first published in the 2007 Proceedings of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists.

In Florida, sugarcane is grown on both organic (70%) and mineral "sandland" soils (30%; VanWeelden et al. 2019). The Canal Point (CP) breeding program has been very successful in producing sugarcane cultivars for organic soils in Florida. However, the CP program historically tested new clones on mineral soils only during the latter part of selection stages until the recent start of a new sandland breeding program in which all stages of new clones are tested in mineral soils. Studies on historical data have shown no/minimal yield gains on sandy soils (Edme et al. 2005). Consequently, growers on sandland soils have expressed interest in testing germplasm ("foreign cane") released from programs specifically targeting mineral soils. This EDIS document summarizes field studies established to test foreign cane on Florida sandlands. A set of three experiments was established to evaluate 50 foreign cane genotypes from 11 countries for yield and disease resistance.

Methodology

In experiment 1, 50 clones were planted on a sandy soil at Hilliard Brothers Farms in two replicates on November 13, 1997, in two-row-wide plots with 4.5 m row length (Table 1). This experiment included 21 clones from the United States (CP, TCP, LCP, US, L), ten clones from China (Yuetang, CGS), five from Colombia (CC, EPC) three from New Guinea (NG), three from Taiwan (ROC), two from the Dominican Republic (CR), two from India (IND, Green German), and one each from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines. In all experiments, sugarcane yields were recorded 12 months after planting by established methods (Gilbert et al. 2006). Field observations of disease were recorded in the spring of each year.

Following plant-cane harvest in experiment 1, 23 high-yielding clones were selected to advance to experiment 2 (Table 2). These clones were planted in single-replicate plots at three mineral soil locations in November 1998 in six-row-wide plots with 3.0 m row length. Field disease observations were recorded in May 1999 and final plant-cane yield data were recorded in November 1999.

Following plant cane harvest of experiment 2, eight high-yielding clones were selected to replant at the same three mineral soil locations with six replicates per location in experiment 3 in November 1999 in three-row-wide plots with 10.6 m row length (Table 3). Field disease and yield data were collected for both the plant-cane (P) and first-ratoon (R) crops in experiment 3. In all experiments, the economic index used by the CP breeding program (Deren et al. 1995) was calculated to rank clones. In experiment 3, clones were ranked based on the sum of plant-cane and first-ratoon economic indices (Table 3).

Results and Discussion

The Yuetang clones in experiment 1 (Table 1) were notable for their large stalk weight and low plant population. Yields of 'Yuetang 85-1253' were 15 tons/acre of cane more than the second-ranked cultivar. Six Yuetang clones were in the top 13 for cane yield. The large stalk size recorded for the Chinese clones may be indicative of their selection for ease of manual harvesting in China. Economic indices of 11 of 13 clones with CP parentage were in the upper half, with none ranking lower than number 32. 'LCP 86-454' was notable for high plant population and low stalk weight. Clones originating from the United States tended to have high sucrose concentrations, with 12 of the top 14 sucrose concentration values recorded for these clones. Based on economic index and phenotype, 23 clones (italicized and bold in Table 1) were selected for further evaluation in experiment 2. These included 14 clones from the United States, five from China, and one each from Argentina, Colombia, India, and New Guinea.

The six most profitable clones in experiment 2 all had at least one CP parent (Table 2). Brown rust (caused by Syd.) was observed in 14 of 23 clones in the field. Rust is a disease with significant economic impact on sugarcane in Florida and is of particular concern for growers on mineral soils. 'LCP 85-384' and 'LCP 86-454' were notable for their high plant populations and low stalk weight, while the Yuetang clones exhibited the opposite growth pattern. Clones with US origins again had the highest sucrose contents on Florida mineral soils. The top ten sucrose concentration values were recorded for these clones. Four of the Yuetang clones were in the top ten in terms of cane yield; however, their low sucrose content reduced their economic index relative to CP clones. The seven clones selected for inclusion with commercial check 'CP 78-1628' in experiment 3 are italicized and bold in Table 2.

Genotypes included in experiment 3 (Table 3) were 'CP 68-350' (used in Texas and Argentina), 'CP 78-1628' (check, #1 Florida cultivar on sand), 'CP 73-1547' (check, previous #2 Florida cultivar on sand), 'LCP 85-384' (#1 cultivar in Louisiana), 'LCP 86-454' (Louisiana cultivar), 'TCP 88-3461' (promising genotype in Texas), 'US 90-0026' (borer-resistant) and 'TCP 87-3388' (early-sugar cultivar). 'CP 68-350' produced significantly greater tonnage than the LCP, TCP and US clones in both plant-cane and first-ratoon crops. 'TCP 87-3388' was notable for poor tonnage in both crops. The three CP clones selected in Florida ranked higher in tonnage, sucrose yield and economic index than the five foreign canes in both the plant-cane and first-ratoon crops. Rust was observed in the field on the three CP clones as well as on 'US 90-0026' and 'TCP 87-3388.' However, no rust was observed in any plot of 'LCP 85-384,' LCP 86-454,' and 'TCP 88-3461' during both experiments 2 and 3 (Tables 2 and 3). So, these clones could potentially be used as parental material in the CP breeding program to improve disease resistance.

Conclusion

The foreign cane cultivars tested were inferior to the CP clones for various yield parameters when grown on mineral soils of Florida. One possible explanation is that Florida mineral soils cropped to sugarcane are generally classified as Entisols or Spodosols with extremely high sand contents (> 90% sand) and low (< 3%) organic matter, whereas the foreign canes tested were selected in mineral soils with higher clay contents. Thus, increased selection efforts of CP germplasm on sandy soils may be a more effective strategy than testing of commercial foreign canes on sandland. However, foreign cane should continue to be imported for use as parental material in the basic breeding program to improve sugarcane biomass yields and disease resistance.

References

Deren, C.W., Alvarez, J. and Glaz, B. 1995. "Use of economic criteria for selecting clones in a sugarcane breeding program". Proc. Int. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol. 21: 437–447.

Edme, S.J., Miller, J.D., Glaz, B., Tai, P.Y.P., and Comstock, J.C. 2005. "Genetic contributions to yield gains in the Florida sugarcane industry across 33 years". Crop Sci. 45 (1): 92–97.

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

VanWeelden, M. T., S. Swanson, W. Davidson, M. Baltazar and R. Rice. 2019. "Sugarcane variety census: Florida 2018". Sugar Journal. 82(2): 12–19.

Tables

Table 1. 

Yield and economic index data for 50 clones recorded in 1998 plant cane (Experiment 1).

RANK

VARIETY

COUNTRY

of origin

STNO

STWT

SPT

TCA

TSA

ECON. INDEX

   

Stalks/acre

lb/stalk

Sucrose lb/ton

Cane ton/acre

Sucrose ton/acre

$/acre

1

'FAM 79-432'

Argentina

41961

3.33

202

71

7.2

1055

2

'CP 68-0350'

USA

29172

3.65

230

54

6.3

1052

3

'YUETANG 85-1253'

China

30609

5.58

182

86

7.8

974

4

'CP 70-1133'

USA

44260

3.04

196

68

6.7

923

5

'L 90-191'

USA

47709

2.05

227

50

5.6

873

6

'LCP 85-384'

USA

34345

3.38

206

59

6.1

870

7

'YUETANG 81-4364'

China

25292

4.18

206

53

5.5

756

8

'NG 51-065'

New Guinea

30178

3.25

212

49

5.2

739

9

U'S 90-0026'

USA

41818

2.37

210

50

5.2

729

10

'HOCP 85-845'

USA

39518

2.23

218

45

4.9

702

11

'US 93-0017'

USA

34201

2.38

225

41

4.6

683

12

'TCP 88-3461'

USA

35351

2.54

215

45

4.8

679

13

'CP 72-1210'

USA

31040

2.57

226

40

4.6

674

14

'CP 87-1248'

USA

33626

2.21

231

39

4.5

673

15

'TCP 89-3498'

USA

37219

2.33

211

44

4.6

622

16

'YUETANG 63-237'

China

30752

3.55

190

55

5.2

619

17

'YUETANG 59-065'

China

25723

4.28

183

57

5.2

565

18

'GREEN GERMAN'

India

30321

2.61

219

38

4.1

551

19

'CC 84-010'

Colombia

30034

2.73

203

42

4.3

545

20

'MEX 54-81'

Mexico

43111

1.89

204

41

4.2

510

21

'YUETANG 71-359'

China

33626

3.58

175

60

5.2

505

22

'US 90-0021'

USA

42105

1.84

210

38

4.0

481

23

'LCP 86-454'

USA

48284

1.94

196

48

4.5

474

24

'CP 70-0321'

USA

37075

2.21

197

41

4.1

460

25

'CP 78-1628'

USA

32046

2.63

197

42

4.1

459

26

'TCP 87-3388'

USA

27016

2.60

208

36

3.7

439

27

'NG 96-16'

New Guinea

38369

2.22

183

43

4.1

418

28

'CP 91-0547'

USA

39662

2.13

185

43

4.0

414

29

'ROC 12'

Taiwan

27878

2.96

192

41

3.9

403

30

'ROC 07'

Taiwan

34345

3.20

170

55

4.7

398

31

'CC 82-28'

Colombia

46560

2.21

174

52

4.5

391

32

'CP 92-624'

USA

26441

2.40

211

32

3.4

381

33

'EPC 38-122'

Colombia

43398

2.29

170

50

4.3

359

34

'ROC 03'

Taiwan

29459

2.72

186

40

3.7

336

35

'CR 087220'

Dominican Rep.

19687

3.37

194

34

3.3

320

36

'YUETANG 79-177'

China

26729

3.06

178

41

3.7

302

37

'YUETANG 54-143'

China

25435

2.86

178

37

3.4

296

38

'YUETANG 83-271'

China

20550

3.90

175

41

3.6

280

39

'P-MAG-84-03'

Phillipines

24573

2.31

202

29

2.9

269

40

'US 93-0016'

USA

31327

2.37

178

38

3.3

246

41

'IND 82-241'

India

19544

3.81

175

38

3.3

237

42

'CGS 10 #4'

China

28309

3.34

155

48

3.7

173

43

'CC 84-57'

Colombia

32046

1.75

185

28

2.6

164

44

'YUETANG 71-374'

China

35638

2.78

150

50

3.8

160

45

'US 90-1081'

USA

20837

2.61

180

28

2.5

121

46

'RB 735220'

Brazil

36644

2.50

146

46

3.4

94

47

'CR 87-1001'

Dominican Rep.

32046

2.40

143

39

2.8

3

48

'CC 83-07'

Colombia

24861

2.25

156

29

2.2

0

49

'US 90-1104'

USA

37794

1.81

141

35

2.5

-23

50

'NG 77-75CP'

New Guinea

30178

1.91

124

29

1.8

-162

 

LSD 0.05

 

15700

0.57

32

25

2.5

526

STNO = stalk number, STWT = stalk weight, SPT = sucrose concentration, TCA = cane yield, TSA = sucrose yield.

Table 2. 

Yield, economic index, and disease incidence data for 23 clones recorded in 1999 plant cane (Experiment 2).

RANK

VARIETY

STNO

STWT

SPT

TCA

TSA

ECON. INDEX

DISEASE

   

Stalks/acre

lb/stalk

Surcose lb/ton

Cane ton/acre

Sucrose ton/acre

$/ha

 

1

'CP 73-1547'

27156

3.76

194

52

5.1

621

 

2

'CP 68-0350'

39520

2.89

186

58

5.4

617

R2x1, R3x1

3

'CP 70-1133'

36175

2.64

198

46

4.7

593

R1x1

4

'TCP 88-3461'

33722

3.03

192

53

5.0

592

 

5

'LCP 85-384'

44252

1.89

204

41

4.2

507

 

6

'TCP 87-3388'

32706

2.74

195

44

4.3

467

R2x1

7

'YUETANG 63-237'

30253

3.28

179

49

4.4

420

R3x2

8

'US 90-0026'

34416

3.06

178

51

4.5

413

R2x1

9

'HOCP 85-845'

34094

2.13

193

35

3.5

365

R2x1

10

'CP 87-1248'

31219

2.50

191

39

3.7

361

 

11

'US 93-0017'

30724

2.29

199

35

3.5

358

R1x1

12

'CC 84-010'

31740

2.57

185

40

3.7

343

R3x2

13

'L 90-191'

36646

1.76

206

31

3.2

341

 

14

'GREEN GERMAN'

33648

2.50

177

41

3.7

304

R2x2

15

'LCP 86-454'

46804

1.62

182

38

3.5

288

 

16

'YUETANG 71-359'

33474

2.73

169

44

3.8

284

 

17

'YUETANG 81-4364'

26487

3.77

170

50

4.1

274

R4x1

18

'TCP 89-3498'

33400

1.96

177

32

3.0

219

 

19

'YUETANG 85-1253'

28494

3.60

152

50

3.9

193

R2x1

20

'NG 51-065'

25025

3.39

160

42

3.3

155

R3x1

21

'FAM 79-432'

25521

2.68

172

34

2.9

149

 

22

'CP 70-0321'

30204

1.77

176

26

2.3

97

R3x1

23

'YUETANG 59-065'

19574

2.98

167

29

2.4

62

R2x1, R3x1

 

LSD0.05

7209

0.68

29

14

1.6

348

 

STNO = stalk number, STWT = stalk weight, SPT = sucrose concentration, TCA = cane yield, TSA = sucrose yield.

Disease ratings: R = rust, 4 = most severe rating, x 1 indicates number of plots (out of 3)

Table 3. 

Yield, economic index, and disease incidence data recorded in 2000 (plant cane) and 2001 (first ratoon) for eight clones (Experiment 3).

RANK

VARIETY

CROP

STNO

STWT

SPT

TCA

TSA

EI

DISEASE

1

'CP 68-350'

P

33900

3.1

231

52

6.0

990

R3x1, R2x2, R1x4, SMx1

1

'CP 68-350'

R

39188

2.3

236

45

5.4

909

R1x1, SMx1

1

'CP 68-350'

AVG/SUM

36544

2.7

234

48

5.7

1899

 

2

'CP 78-1628(CHECK')

P

38211

2.5

248

46

5.7

1006

R2x4, R1x1

2

'CP 78-1628(CHECK)'

R

42349

1.9

252

40

5.1

876

 

2

'CP 78-1628(CHECK)'

AVG/SUM

40280

2.2

250

43

5.4

1882

 

3

'CP 73-1547(CHECK)'

P

27442

3.3

233

45

5.3

840

R3x3, R2x2, R1x4

3

'CP 73-1547(CHECK)'

R

29675

2.8

259

40

5.3

947

R1x2

3

'CP 73-1547(CHECK)'

AVG/SUM

28559

3.1

246

43

5.3

1787

 

4

'LCP 85-384'

P

45827

1.9

227

43

4.9

745

 

4

'LCP 85-384'

R

43690

1.7

261

36

4.7

824

 

4

'LCP 85-384'

AVG/SUM

44759

1.8

244

39

4.8

1568

 

5

'LCP 86-454'

P

46071

1.7

235

39

4.5

685

 

5

'LCP 86-454'

R

44754

1.7

260

37

4.8

851

 

5

'LCP 86-454'

AVG/SUM

45413

1.7

247

38

4.7

1536

 

6

'TCP 88-3461'

P

30546

2.7

225

40

4.5

651

 

6

'TCP 88-3461'

R

32908

2.1

243

34

4.1

641

 

6

'TCP 88-3461'

AVG/SUM

31727

2.4

234

37

4.3

1293

 

7

'US 90-0026'

P

29809

2.5

224

35

4.0

537

R4x1, R3x2

7

'US 90-0026'

R

31160

2.2

239

32

4.0

620

R1x1

7

'US 90-0026'

AVG/SUM

30484

2.4

231

34

4.0

1157

 

8

'TCP 87-3388'

P

28568

2.4

225

33

3.7

501

R3x1, R2x3, R1x3

8

'TCP 87-3388'

R

28736

2.2

256

30

3.9

622

R1x9

8

'TCP 87-3388'

AVG/SUM

28652

2.3

241

31

3.8

1123

 
 

LSD 0.05

P

4726

0.3

19

6

0.8

211

 
   

R

4245

0.3

11

5

0.7

173

 

STNO = stalk number, STWT = stalk weight, SPT = sucrose concentration, TCA = cane yield, TSA = sucrose yield, EI = economic index, units as in Table 2.

Disease ratings: R = rust, 4 = most severe rating, x 1 indicates number of plots (out of 18), SM = smut

Footnotes

1. This document is SS-AGR-270 (this publication is also part of the Florida Sugarcane Handbook, an electronic publication of the Agronomy Department), one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 2007. Revised June 2014, June 2017, and July 2020. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently suported version of this publication.
2. H. S. Sandhu, associate professor, UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center; M. P. Singh, former assistant scientist, UF/IFAS Everglades REC; R. A. Gilbert, Dean Research and Director, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, UF/IFAS; J. D. Miller, former research geneticist, USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station; J. C. Comstock, former research plant pathologist, USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station; B. Glaz, former research agronomist, USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station; and S. J. Edme, former research geneticist, USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.