Decision Support Tools

As part of its technology transfer initiative, SASRI develops decision support tools to assist the sugarcane farmers in various aspects of their business. These products are largely available as computer desktop or web-based tools, but SASRI has now begun releasing some tools as smartphone applications.

CANESIM Applications

CANESIM is a sugarcane crop simulation model driven by water, temperature and radiation. It requires soil water holding properties, daily weather data and management parameters as input. The model accounts for partial canopy conditions and soil water content using a single layer soil profile. SASRI has developed three separate tools that make use of the CANESIM model.

This is available both as a web-based and mobile phone application. It is a sugarcane simulation tool linked to the Canesim model and the full online SASRI weather database for simulating crop growth and water use for limited sets of inputs. Applications include cane yield, cane quality and water use benchmarking and limited yield forecasting.

Try Mycanesim Lite

This is a web-based sugarcane simulation tool linked to the full online SASRI weather and soil water data base for simulating crop growth and water use for registered users. Applications include cane yield, cane quality and water use benchmarking, real-time irrigation scheduling and yield forecasting.

Try MyCanesim

The CANESIM crop forecasting system produces monthly forecasts of yield for the current season for 48 climate zones and 14 mill supply areas. It is available to registered users.

Try CANESIM Crop Forecasting


SASRI has access to several automatic and manual weather stations across the sugar industry. All information gathered is stored in a weather database at SASRI. This information can be extracted in the form of maps, graphs or reports. Various levels of customisation can be applied to your selections.

Visit WeatherWeb


StalkGro is a SASRI web application that estimates monthly cane and sucrose yield increments for a particular homogenous climate zone by using information about the crop’s irrigation status, TAM, crop cycle and harvest month.

It has been developed for the South African sugar industry and can be useful when conducting sugarcane yield estimation, mill planning, harvest scheduling, carryover field selection or chemical ripening.

The program makes use of a pre-generated dataset that was compiled using the DSSAT v4.5 Canegro Sugarcane model.

Try StalkGro


PurEst® is a smartphone application that estimates whole-stalk juice purity from Brix readings taken with a hand-held refractometer. PurEst® provides practical ripener recommendations based on the known juice purity efficacy thresholds of the various ripener chemicals. PurEst® can also assist with harvesting decisions by estimating RV and stalk moisture, which enable growers to prioritise fields according to harvest readiness.

For more information, see our information sheet: Determining crop maturity for purposes of ripening decision-making.

To try PurEst®, download the app from the Google Play Store or the i-Store.

Mechanisation Reports

SASRI’s Mechanisation Reports are designed to assist farmers in establishing the total cost of operating individual machinesor complete machinery systems. These reports are updated with the latest costs on an annual basis.

The reports also contain a list of up-to-date website addresses for companies that supply products commonly used in the industry (such as tractors, harvesters, cane handling equipment and implements).

Please visit our Mechanisation page for more details.


Helping you calculate fertiliser distances at the touch of a button!

A ‘Fertiliser distance’ is the distance that a given amount of fertiliser must cover in order to achieve the recommended rate per hectare.
Whether you use the tin-and-string method, or wish to calibrate the flow-rate of a knapsack fertiliser applicator or some
other application equipment, FertiCalc will simplify the process.

FertiCalc replaces the fertiliser distance tables previously published by SASRI. Those tables grouped fertilisers into bulk density categories, a practice now deemed unreliable
as bulk densities of the same fertiliser can vary from time to time, depending on the carrier being used.

Try FertiCalc now. It’s available for free download from the Google Play Store and the i-Store.


RustCalc gives a quick indication of the economics of fungicide application for rust control.

Growers often comment that they require a certain tonnage or percent increase in tons cane to cover the cost of fungicide application. This tool provides this information, taking into account the cost and application rates of the three fungicides registered for use against the different rusts that occur in our industry. To ensure the app remains current, the user will
need to enter the latest costs for the fungicide and application method they intend to use along with relevant crop information. Outputs include total cost for the area being treated and yield increases required to break even.

When applying foliar fungicides, it is worthwhile leaving a small strip of cane untreated for comparison.

Try RustCalc now. It’s available for free download from the Google Play Store and the i-Store.