Sugarcane Farming

Sugarcane Farming

Researchers have created new sugarcane varieties using the CRISPR gene-editing tool

Adapted from:

Sugarcane is a popular crop in tropical and subtropical areas because of the sugar, ethanol, and other by-products it produces. Sugarcane growers’ primary problem is increasing productivity. Sugarcane is more deceptively difficult to develop because of its susceptibility to virus and pest attacks. Adapted from .Even though, sugarcane has a great impact on the environment, there’s still opportunity for improvement. Adapted from

Grown Cultivars

Nutrient requirement

Soil type

N14 is one of the grown varieties in the northern irrigated region.

It is a reliable variety that produces good yields in good growing conditions.

It is resistant to lodging and produces good yields in good growing conditions. Adapted from N14 is a good performing variety for early to mid-season harvesting. Adapted from (Isyagi and Whitbread 2002).

Under irrigated conditions N14 requires above average amounts of potassium(K) and low Nitrogen use efficiency

Low N use efficiency indicates that a higher rate of N fertilizer is generally required for this variety. Adapted from


It Should be planted in moderate to high potential soils and generally in good growing conditions. It is not suited to shallow, weak or poorly drained soils Adapted from


N17 is resistant to smut. It has a fairly high sucrose content and is a tough variety in dry conditions. Yields improve with ratoons and when cut late in the season. While flowering can be profuse some good yields may still be obtained late season – appears to be less affected by flowering than other varieties (e.g. N23) when harvested in December. Adapted from

Moderate Nitrogen use efficiency is required.Adapted from

While it is tolerant of saline conditions, it does need fairly well-drained soil. N17 is best suited to well drain deep loam, or sandy loam soils. Best suited to warm, north or north west facing slopes. Adapted from

N19 has a high sucrose content. It is resistant to smut. N19 is best suited to early season, annual harvesting. It has a high tolerance to Aluminium toxicity. It is only recommended for annual harvesting. Plant only in Autumn and keep this variety on an early to mid-season cutting cycle (up to end of Aug).Adapted from

High N use efficiency indicates that a lower rate of N fertiliser can be applied to this variety. Adapted from

Good yields will be produced in soils of moderate depth (clay content >20%). It is recommended for irrigated areas as well as for rain fed areas. Adapted from

N25 is a very robust variety, and is one of the few varieties adapted to low potential, marginal conditions in the irrigated north. The variety responds very well to ripeners early in the season, and this practice is recommended especially at a distance from the mill. It has good agronomic characteristics (except for lodging at times) and can produce economically over many ratoons. It has shown good recovery after water stress and does well in times of drought. Adapted from


Stalks often snap when lodged, indicating that careful handling at harvest is necessary. Lodging often occurs under high potential conditions and on deep, well drained soils. Therefore, areas with that kind of soil should be avoided. High levels of smut have recently been observed on N25 in the irrigated areas. Adapted

N36 is a widely adapted dual-purpose (irrigated and rainfed) variety that can be grown under varying conditions in the industry. It is one of the best performing varieties in frost pockets in the Midlands, under rainfed and supplementary irrigation conditions. It exhibits rapid germination and canopy closure. High RV yields have been sustained over many ratoons in irrigated areas. Adapted from



Recommended for planting in coastal areas on moderate to high potential soils and harvested at 12 months. It grows good in red and humics soil group. Adapted from

N40 has a very high RV content and excellent disease resistance. The very high sucrose and low yields make this an ideal variety for farms that are a long distance from mills. An ideal variety for early season harvesting on deep soils that are well irrigated. Adapted from


RV yields of this variety have been very good on deep well drained soils under high potential conditions and good irrigation management. Trial results do indicate very good performance on shallow soils (Katspruit/Sterkspruit forms) with a water table, provided that irrigation management is optimal. Has not performed well under waterlogged conditions in Umfolozi. Indications are that best RV yields are obtained when harvested early to mid-season. Recommended for planting at distance from the mill due to high RV content. Adapted from

Zhou, M., 2006.Varieties.Sasri

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