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Row spacing and planting density effects on the growth and yield of sugarcane. 1. Responses in fumigated and non-fumigated soil.

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Garside, A.L. and Bell, M.J. (2009) Row spacing and planting density effects on the growth and yield of sugarcane. 1. Responses in fumigated and non-fumigated soil. Crop & Pasture Science, 60 (6). pp. 532-543.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/CP08311

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/


It has been reported that high-density planting of sugarcane can improve cane and sugar yield through promoting rapid canopy closure and increasing radiation interception earlier in crop growth. It is widely known that the control of adverse soil biota through fumigation (removes soil biological constraints and improves soil health) can improve cane and sugar yield. Whether the responses to high-density planting and improved soil health are additive or interactive has important implications for the sugarcane production system. Field experiments established at Bundaberg and Mackay, Queensland, Australia, involved all combinations of 2-row spacings (0.5 and 1.5 m), two planting densities (27 000 and 81 000 two-eyed setts/ha), and two soil fumigation treatments (fumigated and non-fumigated). The Bundaberg experiment had two cultivars (Q124, Q155), was fully irrigated, and harvested 15 months after planting. The Mackay experiment had one cultivar (Q117), was grown under rainfed conditions, and harvested 10 months after planting. High-density planting (81 000 setts/ha in 0.5-m rows) did not produce any more cane or sugar yield at harvest than low-density planting (27 000 setts/ha in 1.5-m rows) regardless of location, crop duration (15 v. 10 months), water supply (irrigated v. rainfed), or soil health (fumigated v. non-fumigated). Conversely, soil fumigation generally increased cane and sugar yields regardless of site, row spacing, and planting density. In the Bundaberg experiment there was a large fumigation x cultivar x density interaction (P<0.01). Cultivar Q155 responded positively to higher planting density in non-fumigated soil but not in fumigated soil, while Q124 showed a negative response to higher planting density in non-fumigated soil but no response in fumigated soil. In the Mackay experiment, Q117 showed a non-significant trend of increasing yield in response to increasing planting density in non-fumigated soil, similar to the Q155 response in non-fumigated soil at Bundaberg. The similarity in yield across the range of row spacings and planting densities within experiments was largely due to compensation between stalk number and stalk weight, particularly when fumigation was used to address soil health. Further, the different cultivars (Q124 and Q155 at Bundaberg and Q117 at Mackay) exhibited differing physiological responses to the fumigation, row spacing, and planting density treatments. These included the rate of tiller initiation and subsequent loss, changes in stalk weight, and propensity to lodging. These responses suggest that there may be potential for selecting cultivars suited to different planting configurations.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), Agri-Science, Crop and Food Science , QPIF
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:© CSIRO Publishing.
Keywords:Cultivars; high density planting; soil health; CCS; rotation.
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Sugar plants
Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection > Pesticides
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Live Archive:14 Aug 2009 02:49
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:43

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