A step-by-step guide to utilising the SASRI Variety Guide
Published: 20th May 2024

Selecting the correct variety of cane for your specific agronomic conditions and pest, disease and climatic pressures, is crucial for agricultural success. In the realm of sugarcane farming, the SASRI Variety Guide stands out as an invaluable tool to aid in making informed decisions on sugarcane variety choice. This simple, user-friendly and interactive Decision Support Tool (DST)  provides concise information on all N-varieties in a format that allows growers to compare them.

Here’s a step-by-step approach to effectively utilise the SASRI Variety Guide:

1. Access the Guide: The SASRI Variety Guide is  available online through the SASRI website. First time users are required to register.

2. Describe your scenario: To begin, you need to provide information on the following factors:

    • Area / Local Pest, Disease and Variety Control (LPD&VCC) Region: Farmers can select from twelve LPD&VCC areas within the South African sugar industry, as well as an option for the SADC Region in Africa.
    • Rainfed / Irrigated: Depending on the common practice in the area, farmers can choose between rainfed or irrigated cultivation.
    • Harvesting Cycle: Farmers select the harvesting cycle duration, ranging from annual to 18-24 months.
    • Soil Potential: Choices include low, average, or high potential soil categories.
    • Time of Harvest: This option is available only when the annual harvesting cycle is selected and allows farmers to choose between early, mid, or late season harvesting.

    As farmers make selections in these dropdown lists, the guide dynamically adjusts the list of recommended varieties based on the specified planting scenario.

    3. Navigating the Results Page: Upon submitting the selected criteria, farmers are directed to the results page, which provides a comprehensive overview of the top varieties based on relative Tons RV value for the selected soil potential. It’s important to note that newer varieties typically rank higher due to their superior tons RV. Because these varieties are new, there may be limited information for your area on their actual performance, agronomic characteristics and pest and disease reactions. Farmers are advised to consult with Extension Specialists to confirm performance data for their specific area.

    The results page also offers the flexibility to filter variety characteristics based on specific criteria such as yield, management factors, response to ripeners, pests and diseases, agronomic traits, soil potential, milling quality, and general information. Farmers can customise the display to focus on traits that are most relevant to their needs.

    4. Utilising Variety Traits: Variety traits are displayed using word descriptors and color-coded to indicate their significance:

    Dark green: Indicating positive traits such as “Yes,” “Good,” “Highly recommended,” “Resistant,” and “Highly Resistant.”

    Green: Signifying moderate traits such as “Yes,” “Moderate,” “Acceptable,” and “Intermediate Resistant.”

    Yellow: Denoting traits that are still in testing or have intermediate characteristics.

    Orange: Warning of potential limiting characteristics or intermediate susceptibility.

    Red: Signaling negative traits such as “No,” “Poor,” “Not recommended,” “Susceptible,” and “Highly Susceptible.”

    White: Used when a rating is unknown.

    Additional Features

    The SASRI Variety Guide offers additional features such as the ability to export data and print selected scenarios as PDFs. Farmers can also print pest and disease graphs for further analysis and record-keeping.

    Note: While the guide provides valuable information for variety choice, the suitability of the recommended varieties for your specific area and conditions must be confirmed with your Extension Specialist.


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