Belle Glade AREC Research Report EV-1974-21 November 1974
The 1974 Sugarcane Variety Census for Florida
Edwin R. Rice-
Sugarcane for commercial sugar production in Florida is grown in Palm Beach,
Hendry, Glades, and Martin Counties. The largest proportion is grown in the Lake
Okeechobee region of Palm Beach County. For sugarcane variety survey, I contacted
the agricultural superintendents at each sugar mill and several independent growers
to determine the acreage of each variety growing for the 1974-75 harvest- Data
from all sources were combined to determine the varieties grown on at least 1 per-
cent of the sugarcane acreage. Nine varieties met this criterion and are discussed
here. Comparisons between this and previous surveys and between plant and stubble
acreage showed which varieties are increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same in
the amount of acreage grown. For the 1974-75 planting and harvesting season, 275,
604 acres of sugarcane were reported. Of this total, 23.7 percent of the acreage
is in plant cane and 76.3 percent is in stubble (Table 1).
The warm and cold muck designations given in previous variety census reports
have not been continued in this report. Generally, the land closest to the temp-
erature-moderating effects of Lake Okeechobee is warmer, and land farther from the
lake is colder. However, this distinction is often very difficult, if not im-
possible, to determine. Freezing temperatures have been reported in all areas,
regardless of distance from the lake.
Cl 41-223, with 31.5 percent of the sugarcane acreage, is still the leading
variety in Florida (Table 1). A much.higher percentage of the variety is in stubble
than in plant cane. It has performed well on land near Lake Okeechobee, where it
was first released for planting.
CP 63-588 occupies 25.7 percent of the cane acreage and ranks second in acres
planted. This variety occupies 40.6 percent of the plant cane and 21.1 percent of
the stubble acreage. Released to the growers in 1968, it has rapidly increased in
acreage because of its high sugar content and favorable milling qualities.
CP 56-59, the number three variety for 1974 harvest, occupies 11.4 percent of
the sugarcane acreage. Released in 1967, this non-flowering variety stubbles well,
but has less favorable milling qualities than either Cl 41-223 or CP 63-588.
The fourth and fifth place varieties are C1 54-378 and Cl 54-336, with 6.9
and 4.3 percent, respectively. These varieties were bred by the U.S. Sugar
I/ Research Agronomist, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agri-
culture, Canal Point, Florida 33438, and Assistant Agronomist, University of
Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, Florida
SI am indebted to the following who supplied the information for the census:
Miguel Cervera, Stanley Hooks, Justo Lamar, Jr., Jose Martinez, P. M. McIntyre,
0. H. Sheppard, Glenn Thomas, and numerous independent growers.
and released to its independent growers.
CP 62-374 is in sixth place with 3.5 percent of the acreage. This variety
produces high tonnage of cane, but flowers early and does not maintain high levels
of sucrose after severe freezes.
CP 57-603 is ranked seventh with 1.6 percent of the acreage. This late-matur-
ing variety is recommended only for land where freezing temperatures are rare.
CP 57-614, a high-sucrose, high-fiber variety, is grown on 1.1 percent of the
acreage and is in eighth place. Most mills discourage the planting of this variety,
because of its unfavorable milling qualities.
Cl 41-191 is growing on 1.0 percent of the reported acreage. This variety,
recommended for sandy soils, is growing in the sandy areas of Hendry and Glades
The remaining 13 percent of the acreage, which is grouped under "Others" in
Table 1, includes several Cl varieties grown mainly by the U.S. Sugar Corporation
and its independent growers. Several older CP varieties now decreasing in popularity
are also included in this category.
Table 2 shows percentages of acreage in each variety from 1965 to 1974.
Acreage of Cl 41-223 decreased from 76.8 percent in 1965 to 31.5 percent in 1974.
This outstanding variety occupied 87.0 percent of the acreage in 1962, but is being
rapidly replaced, especially in the colder areas away from the lake.
Use of CP 63-588 is increasing more rapidly than any other variety. It has
increased from 2.9 percent of the acreage in 1970 to 25.7 percent in 1974. The
plant cane acreage of CP 63-588 is almost twice that in stubble. Thus, this variety
will probably be the leading variety by 1975.
CP 56-59 has steadily increased in acreage during the past 5 years, from 2.0
to 11.4 percent of the acreage.
Cl 54-336, Cl 54-378, and CP 62-374, increasing slowly, are not likely to
occupy a high percentage of the sugarcane acreage.
CP 50-28 and Cl 47-83, once promising varieties, have decreased to less than
1 percent of the acreage. They have been replaced by varieties with more favorable
characteristics and qualities.
Table l.--Percentage of the Florida sugarcane acreage in different varieties
Variety Plant cane/ Stubble- Total acreage
(%) (%) (%)
Cl 41-223 13.9 37.0 31.5
CP 63-588 40.6 21.1 25.7
CP 56-59 13.0 10.9 11.4
Cl 54-378 7.6 6.7 6.9
Cl 54-336 5.1 4.0 4.3
CP 62-374 1.7 4.1 3.5
CP 57-603 0.7 1.8 1.6
CP 57-614 1.0 1.2 1.1
Cl 41-191 2.5 0.6 1.0
Others 13.9 12.6 13.0
Table 2.--Percentages of acreage in different sugarcane varieties in Florida from 1965 to 1974.
*Less than 1 percent.