University of Florida

Potential Negative Relationship Between Sucrose & Tonnage in Sugarcane

Situation or Issue Identification

Sugarcane breeders select different traits in developing new cultivars. Sucrose and tonnage are among the most important ones. Although intuitively, and at a certain point in the growing process, one has to be produced at the expense of the other, a negative relationship has never been documented. The finding would have important implications for breeding programs since it would allow breeders to achieve optimal combinations of sucrose and tonnage depending on specific needs.

Rationale for Support Resources

The Extension Economist and an Agronomist at the UF/IFAS/EREC, and a USDA Agronomist at the Canal Point Station used the economic index previously described in an Impact Statement to identify such negative relationship.

Measurable or Potential Impact in Terms of Social, Economic, and/or Environmental Factors Resulting from Expenditure of Support Funds

Sugar is a multimillion dollar industry in southern Florida. At present time, there are about 450,000 acres devoted to sugarcane production in the area. Most of the acreage is planted with CP cultivars released through this program. The potential economic impact of each variety can be estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars over the planning horizon.

Collaborating Organizations/Agencies & Teaching/Research/Extension Partnerships

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at Belle Glade; USDA Field Station at Canal Point; Florida Sugarcane League at Clewiston; participating sugarcane growers.

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