Sugarcane Variety Performance

Aerial view of a sugarcane field.

Varieties, Varieties, Varieties

Sugarcane varieties are the lifeblood of the Louisiana sugar industry. Therefore, variety selection is one of the most important decisions on the farm. This decision has long term consequences. The goal is to maximize profitability on every acre of the farm for each year of a long crop cycle.

Sugarcane variety choices for planting in 2023 are many. L 01-299 will continue to be widely planted across the industry. HoCP 14-885 will be another popular choice with seed cane in good supply now. Other varieties that will be planted on minor acreage include HoCP 96-540, HoCP 09-804, L 11-183, L 12-201, Ho 13-739, L 14-267 and HoCP 14-885. L 15-306 and HoL 15-508, new variety releases from 2022, should be increased from limited seed cane obtained in 2022.

Variety selection should emphasize managing risk across the entire crop cycle. Yield potential, disease and insect resistance, stubbling ability and cold tolerance are key traits to focus on for variety selection. Your own experience and record keeping are critical in the decision-making process. With more acreage devoted to older stubble crops, the third stubble data from outfield variety trials is important information.

No single sugarcane variety is perfect — each has inherent risk. With brown rust, brown stripe and so many other diseases, new insect pests and tough winters, variety diversification is important. No single variety should occupy more than 50% of your 2023 planting. With the release of each new sugarcane variety, the Louisiana sugar industry remains poised to manage the challenges faced each growing season. Good luck with planting in 2023!

Sugarcane Outfield Variety Trials: 2020-2022

Plant Cane (Three-year means)

Variety Sugar/Acre
Pounds/Acre

Cane Yield
Tons/Acre

Sugar/Ton
Pounds/Ton

HoCP 96-540 8,577 31.9 271
L 01-299 9,020 32.9 274
Ho 05-961 9,025 31.4 288
HoCP 09-804 9,028 31.6 286
L 11-183
8,942 32.8 274
L 12-201
9,113 32.9 277
Ho 12-615 9,932 36.6 272
Ho 13-739 8,972 31.5 285
L 14-267 9,021 31.8 284
HoCP 14-885 10,933 37.4 292
L 15-306 9,426 33.4 282
HoL 15-508 9,690 32.6 297


First Stubble (Three-year means)

Variety Sugar/Acre
Pounds/Acre

Cane Yield
Tons/Acre

Sugar/Ton
Pounds/Ton

HoCP 96-540 7,253 27.6 262
L 01-299 8,882 32.2 275
Ho 05-961 7,806 27.4 285
HoCP 09-804 8,415 29.9 282
L 11-183 7,653 28.0 271
L 12-201 8,059 29.2 276
Ho 12-615 8,728 32.3 271
Ho 13-739 8,428 29.5 287
L 14-267 8,590 30.1 285
HoCP 14-885 9,272 31.7 291
L 15-306 8,687 30.7 283
HoL 15-508 8,925 30.3 293


Second Stubble (Three-year means)

Variety Sugar/Acre
Pounds/Acre

Cane Yield
Tons/Acre

Sugar/Ton
Pounds/Ton

HoCP 96-540 5,474 22.3 245
L 01-283 7,191 27.0 269
L 01-299 7,965 30.1 263
Ho 05-961 6,836 25.3 268
HoCP 09-804 7,526 28.2 266
L 11-183 6,505 25.4 253
Ho 11-573 5,930 23.6 253
L 12-201 6,839 25.8 264
Ho 12-615 7,457 28.4 259
Ho 13-739 7,244 26.2 275
L 14-267 7,622 27.7 275
HoCP 14-885 8,473 30.5 278
L 15-306 7,614 28.5 267
HoL 15-508 8,129 29.3 278


Third Stubble (Three-year means)

Variety Sugar/Acre
Pounds/Acre

Cane Yield
Tons/Acre

Sugar/Ton
Pounds/Ton

HoCP 96-540 5,14220.9235
L 01-283 6,85725.6267
L 01-299 7,85130.6256
HoCP 09-8046,99126.6264
L 11-1836,21225.1244
L 12-2016,67525.7257
Ho 12-6157,08328.2249
Ho 13-7396,83725.3268
L 14-2677,74328.2274
HoCP 14-8857,80028.2277

Outfield variety trials are cooperatively conducted by the LSU AgCenter, USDA-ARS and American Sugar Cane League. The trials are grown at 12 locations across sugarcane-growing areas of south Louisiana.

540jpg

HoCP 96-540

The variety provides growers with excellent yield potential, good response to ripeners, excellent cold tolerance and rebounds well from drought conditions. The disease package is good, with the exception being brown rust susceptibility. Budget for a fungicide application. HoCP 96-540 performs best when planted on your best land. Its weakness is stubbling ability, especially when harvested under wet conditions and following a severe freeze. HoCP 96-540 needs warmer soil temperatures than other varieties to emerge in the spring — be patient. Growers were glad to have HoCP 96-540 after the freezes of 2019 and 2022.

To manage risk in HoCP 96-540, it should occupy 5%-10% of your farm’s acreage.

Sugarcane variety L 01-283.

L01-283

L 01-283 has good sugar per acre, erectness, excellent stubbling ability and cold tolerance. Naturally occurring off-types began appearing in the variety soon after release. Elevated levels of off-types can decrease sugar per acre in L 01-283. Off-types are stress induced. Keep the variety on your sandier land to decrease the percentage of off-types. L 01-283 overwinters well, and early spring and summer growth is impressive. Good, early sugar and tonnage make it a good option for early harvest. Watch for late season brown rust and borer infestations. Budget for a fungicide to control rust — it pays.

Keep planted acreage around 5% or less and on your best land. L 01-283 is not for everyone, but it is an important variety for some growers.

Closeup of sugarcane in a field.

L01-299

L 01-299 was released in 2009 and is the leading variety grown in the state. The appeal is high tonnage and a long crop cycle because of superior stubbling ability. L 01-299 is the best heavy land cane that this industry has ever produced. L 01-299 has resistance to stalk borers and brown rust. Watch for smut, which is more prevalent in plantcane and tends to decrease in older stubble crops. L 01-299 possesses a level of field resistance to smut. Consider first stubble as a seed cane source. L 01-299 is susceptible to the disease brown stripe which is more prevalent following a mild winter and early in the growing season. The variety is slow to emerge after planting and should not be covered too deeply. L 01-299 establishes better in later plantings. In recent years, the variety has struggled to reestablish after being cut for seed cane. Try treating your seed cane like a spring crop after planting — cultivate, apply herbicide and put out a starter fertilizer. L 01-299 responds well to glyphosate ripeners. Many growers have used higher rate ranges of glyphosate for ripening because of its high tonnage and tolerance to glyphosate. L 01-299 will be widely planted in 2023.

Keep the planted acreage of L 01-299 near 50% or less.

Sugarcane variety 804.

HoCP 09-804

Released in 2016, HoCP 09-804 has a high population of small diameter stalks. The variety has excellent yield potential and high sucrose content. HoCP 09-804 possesses moderate cold tolerance. The stubbling ability of HoCP 09-804 is good. Growers have seen better performance in lighter soil types. HoCP 09-804 is moderately susceptible to brown rust and brown stripe. The variety is early maturing and responds well to the ripener glyphosate. (Apply glyphosate at the low rate of the range.) Bleached shoots are commonly seen on regrowth of cane that has been treated with the ripener glyphosate. Manage mosaic and other diseases through a healthy seed program. HoCP 09-804 is a good choice to replace other early maturing varieties such as HoCP 00-950 and L 01-283.

Plant 5%-15% of your acreage with HoCP 09-804.

183JPG

L 11-183

In 2018, L 11-183 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry. The variety was derived from a cross between HoCP 92-624 and LCP 85-384. L 11-183 has a moderate population of larger diameter stalks. Its rolling canopy and broad leaves provide good shading. The variety has good yield potential, good sucrose content and fair stubbling ability. L 11-183 has moderate cold tolerance based on recent freeze tests. The variety is better adapted to lighter soils. L 11-183 is susceptible to brown rust but is resistant to the other major diseases of sugarcane. The variety will lodge. The variety did not stubble well after the freeze of mid-February 2021 and the Christmas freeze of 2022.

Acreage of L 11-183 should be kept at 5% or less.

201jpg

L 12-201

In 2019, L 12-201 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry. The variety was derived from a cross between L 97-128 and HoCP 96-540. L 12-201 has a moderate population of larger diameter stalks. This variety has excellent yield potential and good sucrose content. L 12-201 has a good disease package. Caution — leaf sheaths have spines (hairs) much like LCP 85-384, its grandparent. The variety is very susceptible to both the sugarcane borer and Mexican rice borer. In freeze tolerance tests, the variety rated as poor for cold tolerance. L 12-201 is better suited to lighter soil types.

L 12-201 should be planted on 5% or less of acreage in 2023. Keep in mind the cold tolerance and insect ratings as you place the variety on the farm.

Sugarcane variety Ho 12-615.

Ho 12-615

In 2019, Ho 12-615 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry. Ho 12-615 has a high population of small diameter stalks. The variety was derived from a cross between TucCP 77-42 (from Argentina) and HoCP 96-540. The variety has excellent cane tonnage and sucrose content like L 01-299. The variety stubbles well, but some seed cane fields did not establish well during the following spring. The variety has an excellent disease package. You will see brown stripe disease in the spring. Ho 12-615 has a dark green and erect canopy. The leaves will turn purplish after cool weather. In freeze tolerance tests, the variety rated as poor for cold tolerance. Ho 12-615 is sensitive to glyphosate ripeners, and stubble fields had weaker stands in the spring following harvest where glyphosate was used as the ripener. A glyphosate and Moddus ripener combination was less damaging than glyphosate use alone.

Ho 12-615 was widely planted in 2022. Less acreage will be planted in 2023 as farmers see how the ripener situation plays out. Keep in mind the cold tolerance rating as you place fields of Ho 12-615 on the farm.

739jpg

Ho 13-739

In 2020, Ho 13-739 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry. Ho 13-739 has a moderate population of larger diameter stalks. The variety was derived from a cross between Ho 06-9610 (borer resistant) and HoCP 04-838. The variety has good yield potential and very high sucrose content, like HoCP 09-804. The variety has an excellent disease package. Early test performance places this variety for sandier soil types. Ho 13-739 has a dark green and erect canopy. Based on cold tolerance tests, the variety was rated as moderate. Early maturity and high sucrose are important characteristics for Ho 13-739. This is a variety that you can harvest without ripener if wet weather occurs during grinding. Consider Ho 13-739 as a replacement for HoCP 00-950 or L 01-283.

Ho 13-739 should occupy 2%-3% of your acreage on light soil.

Sugarcane variety L 14-267.

L 14-267

In 2021, L 14-267 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry. The parents of L 14-267 are HoCP 05-918 and L 01-283. L 14-267 has a moderate population of large diameter stalks — the stalk is dense and heavy. The variety has very good yield potential and high sucrose content. L 14-267 has an excellent disease package and early yield performance indicates adaptability across all soil types. L 14-267 has an erect canopy and does not shade row middles well. Based on cold tolerance tests, the variety was rated as moderate. L 14-267 has performed well in third stubble outfield trials and should be given consideration for planting in 2023.

L 14-267 should be expanded onto sandy soils, occupying 10% of planted acreage.

Sugarcane variety HoCP 14-885.

HoCP 14-885

HoCP 14-885 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry in 2021. HoCP 14-885 has a high population of moderate diameter stalks. The variety was derived from a cross between Ho 07-613 and HoCP 05-920. The variety has excellent yield potential and high sucrose content. HoCP 14-885 has an excellent disease package that includes the Bru1 gene for brown rust resistance. Early yield performance indicates that HoCP 14-885 is adapted to all soil types. HoCP 14-885 grows vigorously with a spreading and drooping canopy providing excellent shading of row middles. HoCP 14-885 had excellent sugar and cane yields in second and third stubble yield trials conducted at locations across the cane belt. Its stubbling ability may be comparable to L 01-299. Based on cold tolerance tests, the variety was rated as poor. Keep the cold tolerance rating and borer susceptibility in mind as you place the variety on the farm.

Germination and planting ratios for this variety are exceptionally good. Begin moving the variety onto your tougher ground to see where it might fit on the farm. HoCP 14-885 will be widely planted in 2023.

Sugarcane variety L 15-306.

L 15-306

In 2022, L 15-306 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry. The variety was derived from a cross between CP 83-644 and L 01-283. L 15-306 has a high population of moderate diameter stalks. The variety has excellent yield potential and is a mid-maturing variety. The variety has an excellent disease package and early yield performance indicates that L 15-306 is adapted to all soil types. The canopy provides for good shading of row middles. Based on cold tolerance tests, the variety was rated as moderate. L 15-306 has very good stubbling ability.

L 15-306 should be expanded in 2023. Begin moving some acreage to your tougher ground to determine the best fit on the farm.

Sugarcane variety HoL 15-508.

HoL 15-508

In 2022, HoL 15-508 was released to the Louisiana sugar industry. The variety was derived from a cross between CP 83-644 and L 01-283. HoL 15-508 has a high population of small to moderate diameter stalks. The variety is early maturing and has very high sucrose content. The variety is resistant to smut and moderately susceptible to leaf scald and brown rust diseases. Early yield performance indicates that the variety is adapted to all soil types. HoL 15-508 grows vigorously, with a spreading and drooping canopy, making the variety excellent for shading row middles. Based on cold tolerance tests, the variety was rated as moderate. HoL 15-508 had excellent sugar and cane yields in second and third stubble yield trials conducted at locations across the cane belt. The variety is susceptible to stalk borers.

HoL 15-508 should be expanded in 2023. Begin moving some acreage to your tougher ground to determine the best fit on the farm. The variety is worth a look.

For tables on Characteristics for Recommended Commercial Sugarcane Varieties and Louisiana Sugarcane Variety Trends by Variety and Year, please see PDF.

7/5/2023 9:14:42 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

Top