Superior yields from newer varieties

Marvellous Zhou (Senior Plant Breeder)

Published: 14th Mar 2024

While the area under cane in the SA sugar industry has decreased steadily since 2007, cane production has remained relatively high. This can be attributed, in large part, to the development of new, high-yielding varieties by SASRI’s plant breeding programme.



A recent study investigating genetic gains from new varieties shows the following:

  • There are significant increases in cane yield, RV% and RV yield from SASRI’s breeding programme.
  • Since 2010, new varieties showed 8-20% greater yield than those prior to 2010; 3-6% increase in RV%, and 8-22% in RV yield.
  • Planting location has a significant effect of on varietal performance. Each variety should be planted under specific conditions, to reach its optimal performance.

We hope that these results will assist with the adoption of new varieties.

When planted in the correct location and conditions, newer varieties will continue to offset the effect of reduced area under cane. Be sure to ask for advice when replanting, so that each variety can achieve its maximum potential on your farm.



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