Sweet news for cane growers

AFTER more than 10 years of development new sugar cane varieties are now available to North Queensland growers.

The new varieties have been named SRA25, SRA26 and SRA27 and are the result of extensive work through the Sugar Research Australia plant breeding program.

SRA senior plant breeder Felicity Atkin said these varieties had been developed to maximise profitability for sugar cane growers and millers by optimising characteristics such as tonnes of cane, sugar content, resistance to diseases, and ability to be processed within the mill.

Dr Atkin said that, in SRA trials, SRA25 was competitive with Q200 and Q208 for cane yield but lower in commercial cane sugar (CCS).

"It has good disease resistance to most major diseases, being classified as resistant to pachymetra and leaf scald, intermediate to smut, and susceptible to red rot," she said.

"SRA26 has excellent disease resistance to all the industry's major diseases, including smut, pachymetra root rot, leaf scald and red rot. It performed strongly in comparison to the established commercial varieties Q200 and Q208 for yield and CCS across all sites and crop classes."

Northern RVC chair Greg Shannon said SRA25 and SRA26 should provide value to the Wet Tropics sugar industry due to their pachymetra resistance.

"The SRA Variety Guide will include information on SRA25 and SRA26, and this provides very good base information for variety management … We are really looking forward to seeing where these two new varieties fit for our region," he said.



THE new varieties are available now for growers from their respective productivity services organisation. More information on SRA25, SRA26 and SRA27 and other varieties will be published in the Sugar Research Australia 2019/20 Variety Guide for the Far North Queensland region.