Improving sugarcane varieties

Improving sugarcane varieties

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The SRA Plant Breeding Program receives the largest investment from your levies.  It focuses on maximising the profitability from cane production for the entire industry. In selecting new varieties we give an economic weighting for each characteristic, for example – disease-resistance, cane yield, sugar content. Those varieties with the highest overall score are selected to progress to the next stage. The economic weightings, which are based on production and milling costs for each cane-growing sector and region, are currently being updated.

To address this situation a Review Panel – appointed by the Australian Sugar Industry Alliance (ASA) and coordinated by SRA – has re-evaluated the main components of the production system and the economic weightings that are used in variety selection.

Variety Adoption groups – which include representatives from SRA, CANEGROWERS, ASMC and grower and milling businesses – have met in local regions and have reviewed which characteristics are more important than others at a district level and whether the income-cost structures applied to growing, harvesting and milling are appropriate. They have also considered what our industry will look like in 10—12 years – the normal timeframe it takes to develop a new variety – so that what we plan today, will continue to meet the needs of a modern agricultural industry.

By working together and planning today, we can continue to meet the needs of a modern agricultural industry and develop varieties that will have a greater chance of success in the field in the future.

More information regarding the economic weightings of traits will be communicated to SRA investors throughout 2015 and 2016.