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New sugarcane variety announced

Louisiana sugarcane farmers will have a new sugarcane variety this fall with the release of L 01-283 from the LSU AgCenter and others.

Developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma, La., and the American Sugar Cane League in Thibodaux, La., L 01-283 is the latest in a series of new varieties for the Louisiana sugarcane industry.

The new variety has an erect growing habit, said Kenneth Gravois, LSU AgCenter sugarcane breeder and resident coordinator of the AgCenter’s Sugar Research Station at St. Gabriel, La.

“The variety stands up well and stubbles well,” Gravois said. “It offers high yield with good disease resistance and good insect resistance.”

Gravois said L 01-283 joins several other sugarcane varieties released in the past few years to replace LCP 85-384, which at one time was planted on more than 90 percent of Louisiana sugarcane acres.

“It’s all part of the package of replacing one dominant variety with several new, good ones,” Gravois said. “L 01-283 never received a negative vote in the 12 years it was in the development program.”

Gravois said the major drawback to L 01-283 is that it cannot be propagated using tissue culture, which has been effective in reducing the incidence of ratoon stunting disease, better known as RSD, in Louisiana sugarcane fields.

“Over the past few years, RSD has been well suppressed,” Gravois said. “To hold RSD in check, growers will have to maintain good sanitary standards on their equipment when they’re working with this variety.”

L 01-283 was approved for release on May 6 and will be available for growers to plant this fall, Gravois said.

“I am extremely proud of our sugarcane variety development team,” said David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of research. “They have contributed to the release of eight new sugarcane varieties since 2003 and two energy cane varieties last year.”

“Our team has stepped forward and addressed a significant need to sustain the sugarcane industry in Louisiana,” he said.

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