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Effects of Billet Planting Rate and Position on Sugarcane Yields in Louisiana
The successful implementation of sugarcane billet planting would offer Louisiana producers several potential economic advantages including reduced labor and equipment costs. Two factors that are preventing the adoption of billet planting are the higher seed cane costs associated with billet planting and lower yields when compared to whole-stalk planting. A study was initiated in 2001 with the cultivar LCP 85-384 at the USDA, ARS Ardoyne Research Farm near Schriever, LA to determine the effects of billet planting rate and billet position within the furrow on cane and sugar yields. Three different planting ratios (3:1, 5:1, and 7:1) and three billet distribution patterns (equal, two lines, and three lines) were compared from plant-cane to the third ratoon. Cane yield was not significantly affected by either planting rate or planting position, and there were no interactions with crop year or trial. Theoretically recoverable sugar (TRS) was also not significantly affected by either the main effect of planting rate or position, but did show an interaction between trial and planting position (P=0.0465) and crop year and planting rate (P=0.0667). Sugar yield also did not respond to the main effects of either planting rate or position, but did have interactions between trial and planting position (P=0.0578) and crop year and planting rate (P=0.04). When a comparison was made between cane and sugar yields from the 3:1 planting ratio (industry standard for billets) and a 5:1 ratio, no significant differences were noted. This would suggest that billet planting with LCP 85-384 can be made economical in Louisiana without negatively influencing cane or sugar yields.
R. M. Johnson
R. P. Viator
E. P. Richard Jr.
Effects of billet planting rate and position on sugarcane yields in Louisiana 2011 v.31
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