ICAR Identifies New Sugarcane Varieties Having Tolerance to Water-logging, Drought and Salinity

October 29, 2006

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has identified two sugarcane varieties for the Peninsular Zone comprising plateau region of Tamil Nadu, interior Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. A promising sugarcane variety Co 99006 (Neeraj) has tolerance to water-logging, drought and salinity. The average cane yield is 111.48 tonnes/ha with 20.48% sucrose and 16.14 t/ha of commercial cane sugar. It has good field resistance to red rot and moderately resistant to smut. The variety is suitable for normal cultural condition It is a good ratooner and has a good jaggery making quality. The variety is midlate in maturity and is recommended for cultivation in Peninsular Zone of the country.

Co 99004 (Damodar) is other promising sugarcane variety for Peninsular Zone of the country. The average cane yield is 116.69 tonnes/ha with 18.76% sucrose and 16.83 tonnes/ha of commercial cane sugar. It is suitable for normal irrigated condition and is tolerant to drought and salinity. It is midlate in maturity and moderately resistant to red rot. It has a good jaggery making quality.

Now, farmers of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Western and Central U.P. and Uttaranchal will have a good substitute for CoS 767. Newly identified variety CoJ 20193 is suitable for normal irrigated condition and also for late planting particularly after harvest of wheat. It is midlate in maturity. The average cane yield is 75.93 tonnes/ha with 17.88% sucrose and 9.31 t/ha of commercial cane sugar.

These varieties have been recently identified in the Workshop held at G B Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar. Four more varieties are identified and identified for commercial cultivation for the North-West Zone comprising Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Western and Central U.P. and Uttaranchal. These varieties are CoH 119, CoS 96268 (Mithas), Co 98014 (Karan-1) and CoS 96275 (Sweety).

CoH 119 variety is a good substitute for CoS 767 and CoS 8436. It is midlate in maturity and is identified for cultivation in North West Zone of the country. The average cane yield is 82.81 tonnes/ha with 17.51% sucrose and 9.86 t/ha of commercial cane sugar. It is moderately resistant to red rot and smut. The variety is suitable for normal irrigated condition.

Sugarcane variety CoS 96268 (Mithas) is early in maturity. The average cane yield is 69.81 tonnes/ha with 17.91% sucrose and 8.65 t/ha commercial cane sugar. It has field resistance to red rot. The variety is suitable for normal irrigated condition. It is a good substitute for CoJ 64.

Co 98014 (Karan-1) variety is early in maturity and is recommended for cultivation in North West Zone of the country. The average cane yield is 76.29 tonnes/ha with 17.59% sucrose and 9.26 t/ha commercial cane sugar. It has field resistance to red rot and moderately resistant to smut. The variety is suitable for normal irrigated condition and has tolerance to waterlogging and drought. It is a good substitute for currently grown early maturing varieties.

CoS 96275 (Sweety) variety is midlate in maturity. The average cane yield is 80.75 tonnes/ha with 17.32% sucrose and 9.52 t/ha of commercial cane sugar. It is moderately resistant to red rot. It is suitable for normal irrigated condition and is a good substitute for CoS 767.

It is recommended that in order to sustain higher cane and sugar yield in sugarcane plant-ratoon system, the plant crop should be fertilized with 100% of the recommended NPK fertilizer+25% N through FYM + biofertilizer (Azotobacter + phosphate solubilising bacterium) and ratoon crop be fertilized with 100% of recommended NPK through inorganics + trash incorporation with cellulolytic culture + biofertilizer. The nutrient system effectively improves soil health.

It is also suggested to farmers, healthy seed of resistant variety which are resistant to locally important disease, should be used from a crop raised from heat treated seed cane followed by set treatment with a systemic fungicide like carbendazim (0.1%), roguing of diseased plants, if any, foliar spray of copper oxychloride or dithiocarbamate fungicide where foliar diseases frequently occur. The technology gives higher germination and cane yield and contains the diseases.

Our country is next to Brazil in sugarcane and sugar production. There is a wide gap in the cane productivity of tropical and sub-tropical zones in the country. Subtropical north zone while sharing 64.4 per cent of the cane cultivated area contributed only 60.4 per cent to total cane production in the country during the year of 2003-04. The imbalance in acreage and production between the zones is due to variation in average cane productivity of both the zones. According to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) ADG Dr K. C. Jain, although we have attained the productivity of 71 tonnes/ha, we have to upgrade our agro-technology to improve it further. Sugarcane farmers should be benefited through front-line demonstrations of improved technologies, said Dr Jain.

In country’s gross cropped area, sugarcane occupies about 2.5 per cent and provides raw material to more than 450 sugar mills for production of sugar and by products. Sugarcane crop plays vital role in nation’s economy. About 45 million sugarcane farmers, theirs dependents and a large mass of agricultural labourers are involved in cane cultivation. Besides, about half a million skilled and semi-skilled workers, mostly from rural areas, are engaged in the sugar industry. Sugarcane occupied 3.66 million ha of land in the country during 2004-05. The total sugarcane production was about 237.08 million tones with a cane productivity of 64.8 tonnes. At global level, total sugarcane area was 20.1 million ha with productivity of 65.6 t/ha and the total sugar produced was 110.7 million tonnes.

Uttar Pradesh has the largest area 2 million ha in the country under sugarcane. But the production per hectare is the highest in Tamil Nadu, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.