Factors affecting cane yield and commercial cane sugar in the Tully district

Lawes, R.A., McDonald, L.M., Wegener, M.K., Basford, K.E., and Lawn, R.J. (2002) Factors affecting cane yield and commercial cane sugar in the Tully district. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 42 (4). pp. 473-480.

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The Tully Sugar Mill has collected information about sugarcane supplied for crushing from every block in the mill district from 1970 to 1999. Data from 1988 to 1999 were analysed to understand the extent of the variation in cane yield per hectare and commercial cane sugar in the Tully mill area. The key factors influencing the variation in cane yield and commercial cane sugar in this commercial environment were identified and the variance components computed using a restricted maximum likelihood methodology. Cane yield was predominantly influenced by the year in which it was harvested, the month when the crop was ratooned (month of harvest in the previous year) and the farm of origin. These variables were relatively more important than variety, age of crop or crop class (plant crop, first ratoon through to fourth or older ratoons) and fallowing practice (fallow or ploughout-replant). The month-of-ratooning effect was relatively stable from year-to-year. Commercial cane sugar was influenced by the year of harvest, the month of harvest and their interaction, in that the influence of the month of harvest varied from year to year. Variety and farm differences were also significant but accounted for a much lower portion of the variation in commercial cane sugar. An empirical model was constructed from the key factors that influenced commercial cane sugar and cane yield to quantify their combined influence on sugar yield (t/ha). This may be used to assist mill personnel to predict their activities more accurately, for example to calculate the impact of a late finish to the current harvest season on the following year's crop.

Item ID: 13496
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-5787
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2010 00:55
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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