Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00003236/00001
 Material Information
Title: New Plants for Florida: Sugarcane
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Gilbert, Robert
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "2009"
General Note: "CIR 1440"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00003236:00001

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New Plants for Florida 23 Sugarcane Sugar cane was first grown in Florida by the Spanish founders of St. Augustine in 1572. The pioneering sugarcane companies in south Florida in the early 1900s were bankrupted largely by devastating sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) outbreaks and low yields caused by micronutrient deficiencies on organic soils. In 1920, USDAestablished the sugarcane field station at Canal Point (CP), Florida to develop new cultivars primarily for the Louisiana sugarcane industry. Canal Point was chosen due to its proximity to Lake Okeechobee and its reduced risk of damaging freezes. In 1921, the Florida legislature established the University of Florida Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC) in Belle Glade in response to grower concerns regarding crop production in the organic sawgrass muck soils in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Since 1930, a tripartite collaborative breeding agreement has existed among UF, USDA, and either the U.S. Sugar Corporation (1930-1966) or the Florida Sugar Cane League (1966-present). In the early years, clones bred at EREC (F prefix) and US Sugar at Clewiston (CL prefix) dominated the Florida industry. Since the onset of the second phase of the cooperative breeding agreement in the 1960s, the CP Canal Point clones produced by FSDAARS, UF and the FSCLhave dominated. Atotal of 45 CPclones have been released to the industry from the program in the 73 years of its existence. The first cultivar to be widely grown in the EAAwas P .O.J. 2725 (see T able of Sugarcane Va rieties), of Javanese origin, which occupied 60% of all acreage in 1937. Its major attribute was resistance to SCMV, which had decimated the Louisiana and Florida sugarcane industries. Early breeding strategies in Florida consisted of crossing noble canes (S. officinarum) having desirable yield characteristics with other species (S. barberi and S. spontaneum) having high disease resistance. Efforts to breed sugarcane varieties for high-N organic soils by B. Bourne and T. Bregger at EREC paid off in the late 1930s with the introduction of F31-962 (45% of all acreage by 1941) and F31-436 (52% in 1948). F31-962 was favored for its early maturity which allowed the milling season to begin in late October. F31-436 also had excellent milling characteristics and provided a 50% sugar yield increase compared to the earlier exotic cultivars. CL41223 dominated the industry in the 1960s (85% in 1962) due to its superior tonnage on warmland soils near Lake Okeechobee and good ratooning ability. However, its importance declined as the industry expanded to more coldland soils in the 1960s. Clones widely grown in coldland areas in the 1940s included F36-819 and CP34-79. CP63-588 (bred by E. Rice) replaced CL41-223 as the predominant clone in the 1970s because of its wider adaptation in the EAA. Its decline in the early 1980s was caused by susceptibility to rust. CP70-1 133 (bred by N. James) rose to ascen dancy in the 1980s thanks to its high tonnage and good ratooning ability, and it remained in the census of the top 10 cultivars in 2001. CL61-620 was adopted in the late 1980s because of its high sucrose content and high tonnage in warmland areas. CP722086 and CP80-1827 (cultivars released collaboratively by J. Miller, C. Deren, P. Tai and M. Kang among others) were the highest ranked CPclones in the early to mid-1990s. CP72-2086 was notable for its resistance to rust and remained the secondranked cultivar in the census in 2001. CP80-1827 was better suited to mechanical harvesting and had higher tonnage than CP701133, but its susceptibility to rust has reduced its acreage faster Examining sugar cane in the field


24 New Plants for Florida than that of CP72-2086 The most widely-grown clone at present is CP80-1743 It has excellent ratooning and mechanical harvesting characteristics combined with high sucrose content. Its only drawback is the recent onset of leaf scald disease. Recent promising releases include CP881762 and CP89-2143 both of which possess both excellent tonnage and sucrose content. The production of sugarcane in south Florida burgeoned from 50,000 acres in 1960 to more than 220,000 acres in 1964 due to the repeal of domestic production and acreage restrictions following political changes in Cuba. In 2000, Florida produced 450,000 acres of sugarcane with an estimated value of $750 million. CPclones occupied 75% of Florida's sugarcane area, accounting for $560 million in farm income. Sugarcane growers in the EAA remain an integral part of the participatory breeding process, voting on which clones are advanced at variety release committee meetings (see picture). The development of new germplasm is a high priority for the growers as disease pressures inevitably cause yield declines in existing clones. Average sugar yields in Florida have increased by 1.6 tons/acre in the last 34 years of the program. The historical impact and continued grower interest in sugarcane breeding guarantee that the Canal Point breeding program will remain a vital component of the Florida sugar industry for the foreseeable future. Sugar cane field tour Notable Sugarcane V arieties Grown in the Everglades Agricultural Area (The first two numbers in the variety indicate the year it was named, which typically occurs 5 to 10 years before release to the industry .) V arietyDate of Release P .O.J. 27251920s F31-962 1936 F31-436 1937 F36-819 1942 CP34-79 1945 CL41-223 1947 CP50-28 1957 CP63-588 1968 V arietyDate of Release CL61-620 1976 CP70-1133 1977 CP72-2086 1981 CP80-1827 1988 CP80-1743 1989 CP88-1762 1995 CP89-2143 1996