by Dr. Kenneth Gravois, LSU Sugarcane Specialist
Variety selection is a decision that will affect you for many years because the goal is to maximize profitability in each year of the crop cycle. There are many sugarcane variety choices for planting in 2016 with four that should occupy the majority of planted acre-ages (HoCP 96-540, L 01-283, L 01-299, and HoCP 04-838) and three that should occupy fewer acreage (L99-226, HoCP00-950 and Ho07-613). HoCP 09-804 is a new variety that was released in 2016-every effort should be made to obtain seed-cane. Variety selection should emphasize managing risk over the crop cycle. Yield poten-tial, disease and insect resistance, stubbling ability, and cold toler-ance are the primary driving forces for variety selection. Finally, by managing these varieties on your farm, your own experience and record keeping become important in variety selection.
No single sugarcane variety is perfect-each has inherent risk. With brown rust and so many other diseases, new insects, and tough winters, variety diversification is important. Because each variety has an element of risk, no single variety should occupy more than 40-50 percent of your 2016 planting.
With the release of each new sugarcane variety, the Louisiana sug-ar industry remains poised to handle the many challenges faced each growing season. Good luck with planting in 2016!