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The Leaf
The Inflorescence
The Root System
Germination & Establishment Phase
Tillering Phase
Grand Growth Phase
Ripening & Maturation Phase
Practical Implications
Improved Varieties
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Planting Material
Planting Time
Germination Irrigation
Weed Management
Irrigation Water Management
Earthing Up
Removal of Water Shoots
Harvesting Management
Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms
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Home > Agronomic Practices > Improved Varieties
Improved Varieties

Variety is the pivot around which entire production system revolves. Therefore, scientific sugarcane cultivation must start with choosing an appropriate variety for the agro-climatic zone, soil type and season concerned. Improved varieties are now available for almost all the growing conditions in the world.


New varieties are continuously evolved by the Sugarcane Breeding Institutes, Agricultural Universities, and Sugarcane Research & Development Centres world over. It would be therefore worthwhile for the growers to manipulate the environment in such a way as to bring out the maximum expression of the yield potential possessed by these varieties.


Classification of Sugarcane Varieties

Sugarcane is considered to be mature and ready for harvesting if it attains over 16% sucrose and 85% purity of cane juice. The varieties, which attain such level at 12, 14 and 16 months age, if planted in December/January are broadly classified as early, mid-late and late maturing types.


The terms early, mid and late are, therefore, not natural classfication and only represent relative grading among varieties under comparative assessment. The main idea of maturity-based classification of varieties is to facilitate harvesting of variety at proper time in order to enhance over all recovery and consequently the sugar production.


Proper Varietal Proportions

Proper proportion of area should be kept under early, mid-late and late maturing varieties to ensure proper supply of cane of desired quality throughout the crushing period. Proper varietal proportion will not only increase the total sugar recovery but will also maintain it throughout the crushing season. a ration of 30:40:30 has been suggested for early, mid-late and late ripening varieties for optimal performance and utilization of the crushing seasons.


With in a maturity group, there should be more than one variety in the factory zone. It is for simple reason of providing insurance against epidemic of pest or disease of the crop, which may otherwise completely wipe out the crop.


Choice of Variety

Important considerations in choosing an appropriate variety include cane yield, juice quality, age group, suitability to the growing conditions viz., soil type, irrigation regime, season etc., ratooning potential, resistance to pests & diseases and adverse growing conditions.


Some of the desirable varietal attributes one should look for are high yield potential, high sucrose content, good field appearance, higher tillering capacity, medium thick to thick and long stalks, long internodes, erect growing habit, non-lodging, non-flowering or shy flowering, good ratooning ability, absence of spines on the leaf sheaths, absence of splits on the stalks, less bud sprouting and resistance to prevailing local problems.


Varietal defects include lodging tendency, flowering propensity, disease susceptibility, cavity development, high fibre content, big and bulged buds which may be damaged during transportation, heavy spines on leaf sheath, drying of green top at maturity, tight leaf clasping, presence of heavy pith, growth cracks or splits.


These defects may appear as minor and insignificant, at first, but they understandably draw the growers attention when the varieties come into cultivation.


World over sugarcane cultivars receive a designation, which corresponds to the country wherein they were developed/obtained. A few examples could be given: Argentina - NA; South Africa - N; Australia - Q; Brazil - CB, IAC, PB, RB and SP; Colombia - ICA; Cuba - C; USA - CP; Philippines - Phil; India - Co; Indonesia - POJ; Peru - PCJ; Egypt - E; Puerto Rico - PR; and Mauritius - M. Three or more digits usually follow the sigla. Improved varieties under cultivation in major sugarcane countries are given in Table 6.


Table 6. Sugarcane: Improved Varieties Under Cultivation in Different Countries




Improved varieties



SP-77-5181, RB-85-5453, SP-81-3250, SP-80-1816, RB-85-5113, SP-80-3280, RB-1049, SSSP-71-5181, BR85-5113, BR72-454, BR83-5486



CoS.687, CoPant.84211, CoJ.64, CoLk.8001, Co.1148, CoS.767, CoS.802, CoC.671, CoC.85061, Co.8021, Co.6304, Co.1148, CoJ.79, CoS.767,  Co.740, CoM.7125, Co.7527, CoC.671, Co.740, Co.8014, Co.7804, Co.740, Co.8338, Co.6806, Co.6304, Co.7527, Co.6907, Co.7805, Co.7219, Co.7805, Co.8011



CP 65-357, CP 70-321, CP 72-370, CP 74-383, CP 79-318, LCP 82-89, LHo 83-153, LCP 85-384, HoCP 85-845, LCP 86-454, HoCP 91-555



91- 2 -29, K 92 -181, K 95 -84






South Africa

CP 66 - 1043, NCo 376, N 12, N 14, N 16, N 17, N 19,

N 21, N 22, N 23, N 24, N 25, N 26, N 27, N 28, N 29, N 30, N 31, N 32, N 33, N 35, N 36, N 37, N 39, N 40, N 41 


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