Variety selection is a decision that will affect you for many years because the goal is to maximize profitability in each year of the crop cycle. Sugarcane variety choices for planting in 2017 include four that should occupy the majority of planted acreages (HoCP 96-540, L 01-283, L 01-299, and HoCP 04-838) and three that should occupy fewer acreages (L 99-226, HoCP 00-950 and Ho 07-613). HoCP 09-804 is a new variety release from 2016—every effort should be made to continue to expand this variety. Variety selection should emphasize managing risk over the entire crop cycle. Yield potential, disease and insect resistance, stubbling ability, and cold tolerance are the primary driving forces for variety selection. Your own experience and record keeping become important in variety selection decisions.
No single sugarcane variety is perfect - each has inherent risk. With brown rust and so many other diseases, new insects, and tough winters, variety diversification is important. Because each variety has an element of risk, no single variety should occupy more than 50 percent of your 2017 planting.
With the release of each new sugarcane variety, the Louisiana sugar industry remains poised to handle the many challenges faced each growing season. Good luck with planting in 2017!
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture