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T. J. Schueneman, J. D. Miller, R. A. Gilbert, and N. L. Harrison2 1. This document is SS AGR 113, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published December 2001. Reviewed April 2008. This publication is also a part of the Florida Sugarcane Handbook, an electronic publication of the Agronomy Department. For more information, contact the editor of the Sugarcane Handbook, Ronald W. Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://EDIS.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. T. J. Schueneman, Extension Agent IV, Palm Beach County (Retired); J. D. Miller, Director, USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Station, Canal Point, FL (Retired); R. A. Gilbert, Associate Professor, Agronomy Department, Everglades Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, FL; and N. L. Harrison, Computer Support Analyst, Everglades Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, FL; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 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. The selection of a sugarcane cultivar that eventually becomes a production success is probably due in equal parts to the cultivar's attributes, word of mouth, gut feeling, and luck. This Fact Sheet provides many of the attributes cultivar identification is based upon. Some of these you will use as the basis for cultivar selection. Since each farm has a unique set of environmental conditions and cultural constraints under which management must operate, a successful cultivar for one grower may perform poorly at another location. Therefore, watch new introductions as they are evaluated, monitor new plantings on your own farm or your neighbor's farm, and expand acreage of newer cultivars when you feel comfortable with their performance. Descriptive terms that apply to sugarcane cultivar CL 61-620 are presented in Table 1. This cultivar has been a stalwart producer for the industry for many years and is now being phased out.
Sugarcane Cultivar CL 61-620 Descriptive Fact Sheet 2 Cultivar Name: The first two letters in the cultivar name represent the source of the cultivar. CL stands for United States Sugar Corporation research farm in Clewiston, Florida; CP stands for Canal Point, Florida. This is where the cooperative sugarcane cultivar development program takes place. The participants are USDA-ARS, University of Florida/IFAS, and the Florida Sugar Cane League, Inc. The next two numbers represent the year the cross was made. The numbers after the hyphen represent the accession number of that cultivar in the year the cross was made. Soil Preference: Describes soils where the best performance of this cultivar can be expected. Under Florida conditions refers to either sand, organic (muck), both, or transitional soils. Transitional soils are organic soils that contain a large percentage of sand, or sand soils that contain a percentage of organic matter.
Sugarcane Cultivar CL 61-620 Descriptive Fact Sheet 3 Sugar Content: This is an estimate based on comparisons with other commercial cultivars made at the University of Florida Everglades Research and Education Center. Because a range of values makes up a rating category, cultivars with the same rating are not necessarily equal. Ratings change as the harvest season progresses and are one of the determining factors of preferred harvest season. Rated as low, medium, or high. Tonnage: Based on harvesting experiences over several years. This is a relative term and is influenced by soil type, location, harvest season, and ratoon being harvested. Rated as low, medium, or high. Leaf Width: Measuring the widest part of the leaf at the fourth node from the top. Expressed as wide, medium, or narrow. Sheath Pubescence: Using young sheaths at the top of the plant, rated as none, sparse, or dense. Leaf Retention: Dead leaves may be tightly retained giving a trashy appearance, may be held on but easily shaken off, or may be self-stripping. Rated as attached, loosely attached, or self-stripping. Canopy Characteristics: Canopy characteristics vary from compact to open, which influence sunlight penetration and sucker growth. Canopy growth habit can be classified as erect, erect with drooping tips, high arch, medium arch, or wide arch. Canopy Closure: Speed of canopy closure influences weed and sucker growth. Rated as slow, intermediate, or fast. Tillering: The number of shoots from a stool strongly influences potential yield. Number of tillers rated as low, medium, or heavy. Stalk Size: Diameter relates to cane weight and susceptibility to lodging or bending. Rated as small, medium, or large. Exposed Stalk Color: Rated as yellow, green, wine, red, purple, brown, or a described color. Stubbling Ability: This is the ability of a cultivar to regrow after harvest. It may be strongly influenced by the height of the cutter blade above the soil line. Rated as poor, fair, or good. Harvest Season: Harvest begins in late October and concludes in late March to early April. Some cultivars produce high sugar early which declines with bloom, some reach their peak later in the season, while others maintain a relatively high sugar content for an extended period. A narrow window of optimum harvest limits the flexibility needed for an orderly harvest operation and could be considered a disadvantage. If a cultivar's optimum harvest season is limited, but it fills an industry need for a cultivar during that time frame, it would be considered an advantage. However, it would be a disadvantage if a late maturing cultivar was also freeze susceptible. Rated as early (10/15-12/1), mid (12/1-1/25), or late (1/25-3/15). Harvestability: Some cultivars grow very erect while others are prone to fall over (lodge). The erectness and degree of lodging influences the ability of mechanical harvesters to cleanly harvest a field in a timely manner. Often a cultivar will lodge uniformly in one direction and can be successfully peeled away from the adjoining row during harvest if it does not break. Rated as easy, moderate, or difficult. Peel: To harvest a field from the direction from which the wind blew the cane down. If the cane is lying to the south, harvest the field from the north, working across the field to the south. Cold Tolerance: This has to do with the length of time a variety is able to maintain economic quality after a freeze. Rated as poor, medium, or good. Frost Tolerance: This has to do with the ability of young cane to withstand or regrow after exposure to one or more frosts. Rated as poor, medium, or good. Mechanically Cut Seed: Ease with which a cultivar can be harvested with a whole stalk harvester. The stalks are laid in furrows either by hand or machine and then cut into billets by hand. The other mechanical planting option is a billet planter, which chops the cane as it is harvested, creating more cuts and eye damage than the whole stalk harvester. Rating here is for the whole stalk method unless otherwise stated. Rated as poor, medium, or good.
Sugarcane Cultivar CL 61-620 Descriptive Fact Sheet 4 Disease Concerns: After release, cultivars are considered to have adequate disease resistance to all of the important diseases recognized by the industry at that time. Therefore, disease concerns listed are the result of new strains of common diseases, or new diseases that have become important. Advantages: A reason to plant this cultivar, i.e. high water table tolerance. Disadvantages: A reason to plan carefully when considering this cultivar for planting, i.e. frost susceptibility. The authors wish to thank Florida Crystals Corporation for assiatance with cultivar photographs, Serge Edme and Barry Glaz from the USDA/ARS Sugarcane Field Station, and Barney Eiland and Raul Perdomo from Florida Crystals Corporation for their contributions and reviews. For further information on cultivar performance, see the Annual Florida Sugarcane Variety Census prepared by Barry Glaz, USDA/ARS Sugarcane Field Station, 12990 N. Highway 441, Canal Point, Florida 33438.
Sugarcane Cultivar CL 61-620 Descriptive Fact Sheet 5 Description for Sugarcane Cultivar CL 61-620. Soil Preference Organic Sugar Content Medium high Tonnage Medium Leaf Width Medium Sheath Pubescence Sparse Leaf Retention Loosely attached Canopy Characteristics Medium arch Canopy Closure Slow Tillering Medium Stalk Size Medium Exposed Stalk Color Pink-green Stubbling Ability Good Harvest Season Late Harvestability Difficult Cold Tolerance Medium Frost Tolerance Medium Mechanically Cut Seed Fair Disease Concerns Rust Advantages Late flowering and then only sparsely Disadvantages High field losses due to low cutting heights with mechanical harvesting. Need to leave one-two inches stalk after harvest to ensure adequate regrowth.