Location: Sugarcane Research Unit
Project Number: 6052-12210-002-00
Start Date: Oct 01, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2018
To address the first objective, a series of experiments will be initiated to investigate the response of sugarcane to variations in macro-nutrients. Results from these experiments will be used to identify critical fertility components and to optimize fertility rates for sucrose production. Initial macro-nutrient experiments will focus on potassium (K), and phosphorus (P), two critical components of a sugarcane fertility program whose costs have risen dramatically. In addition, experiments will be conducted on commercial farms to investigate the utility of electrical conductivity (EC) and soil pH mapping, zone sampling, and variable-rate (VR) application techniques to optimize nutrient availability. All treatments will be arranged in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with six replications. To address the second objective, studies will be initiated to investigate new mechanized planting methods and to develop new management systems that can replace burning of post-harvest crop residues. In addition, studies will be implemented to screen basic and commercial germplasm for tolerance to post-harvest residue retention and for increased ratooning ability on heavy-clay soils. Finally, scientist will investigate the utility of a newly designed yield monitor and multi-band satellite imagery as potential indicators of cane biomass levels and sucrose content.