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Cultivation, cultivar, and crop age effects on sugarcane



Cultivation, cultivar, and crop age effects on sugarcane



Agronomy Journal 81(2): 163-167



A practice that may allow farmers to reduce field cultivations is the use of cultivars that have vigorous growth rates early in the growing season. In sugarcane (a complex hybrid of Saccharum spp.) culture, this practice can be disadvantageous to sugarcane processors if these vigorous cultivars have lower sugar concentrations (SC) than the less vigorous cultivars. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of different levels of cultivation on yield characteristics of sugarcane cultivars with varying growth potentials and SCs, from the plant-cane through the second-ratoon crop. An experiment with four cultivation levels and three cultivars, representing slow-growth rate/high SC, moderate-growth rate/moderate SC, and fast-growth rate/low SC types was conducted in a field infested primarily by short or prostrate weeds. Stalk heights and stalk counts were measured in the plant-cane and second-ratoon crops. Yields of Mg ha-1 of cane (MHC), SC and Mg ha-1 of sugar (MHS), were measured from the plant-cane through the second-ratoon crop. Although there were significant differences among the cultivars and among levels of cultivation for MHC, SC, and MHS, there were no important relative differences among cultivars across levels of cultivation for any of these characteristics. There were important differences in cultivars and levels of cultivation across crops. The most important conclusions were that cultivar growth rate did not influence number of cultivations necessary to attain maximum yields, and the greatest benefits from cultivating throughout the three-crop cycle occurred in the last crop.

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