Location: Sugarcane Research Unit
Title: Effect of sugarcane smut on yield and the relationship of soil properties with smut incidence Authors
Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The acreage of sugarcane in Louisiana planted to variety L 01-299 continues to increase because of the variety’s yield performance, erectness, and rationing ability. When released, there was a concern about L 01-299’s susceptibility to smut. In 2013, an experiment was established in two commercial fields of L 01-299 (one plant cane and the other first ratoon) to determine the effect of smut on the yield. Fifty-foot plots were established in each field (90 in plant cane and 93 in first ratoon). The incidence of naturally occurring disease was measure for each plot based on the percent stools per plot with visual symptoms of smut. Ratings were made in July and August. Approximately 8% of the stools across each of the two tests were infected with smut. A soil sample was collected from each plot for soil property analysis. Each experimental plot was harvested with a single-row, chopper harvester and the total plot weight determined with a single-axel wagon equipped with load cells. A billet sample was collected from each plot for juice quality analysis. Cane and sucrose yields were calculated using plot weights and theoretically recoverable sucrose. Incidence of smut was variable among plots of each field. Tons cane per acre and sucrose per acre were inversely correlated with smutted stools per acre in the plant cane field. In addition, soil phosphorus levels were positively correlated and organic matter levels negatively correlated with smutted stools, respectively. Although not significant, a similar trend was suggested by the results from the first-ratoon crop. Positive correlations were observed between smutted stools and soil calcium, magnesium and organic matter levels. Theoretically recoverable sugar was not affected by smut incidence in either field. This study demonstrated the potential for smut to cause yield loss in fields of L 01-299 even at a relatively low incidence level. Management practices to minimize infection and spread include the use of seed cane from fields with low levels of smut and variety diversification.