The Dirty Work: Sugar Cane Case Study

Nov 29, 2017
BioFlora Works to Improve Sugar Content and Enhance Germination Rate for More Productive Fields

The world demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugar cane cultivation in agriculture. Currently, sugar cane accounts for roughly 80% of the sugars produced around the world.

Sugar cane requires a tropical or temperate climate and areas with a plentiful water supply for a period of six to seven months each year. In addition to the environmental conditions, sugar cane crops are prone to several pests and pathogens that wreak havoc on yields.

This can be caused when land is laid bare in preparation for cane planting, which strips it of any protective cover, allowing the soils to effectively “dry out”. This impacts overall microorganism diversity and population, both of which are essential to fertility. The continual removal of cane from fields reduces fertility and forces growers to rely increasingly on synthetic fertilizers to maintain yields.

After realizing the extent of these concerns, BioFlora® launched a sugar cane trial to determine if our sustainable approach to agriculture could help increase germination for more productive fields, sugar content for higher quality returns and build microbial stability to create naturally fertile soils to better protect against pests and disease.

Case Study 1: Sugar Content

The objective of this trial was to increase sugar content and enhance the germination rate. The trial covered 14,000 hectares (34,500 acres) of sugar cane on seedlings for four years. As a foliar spray, BioFlora® applied the below mixture to the trial plot 45 days after planting.

Humega® 1.5 lts / ha
Fulvex ® 1.5 lts / ha
Seaweed Creme® 1.5 lts / ha
BioFlora® 5-3-2 3.0 lts / ha
Water 200 lts / ha

Humega® is a biologically enhanced humic acid, which facilitates soil tilth and boosts microbial activity. It enhances root protection against disease by stimulating the growth of beneficial microbes.

Fulvex® is an ionic, increasingly bioavailable, form of fulvic acid which assists with higher yields even when using less chemical fertilizer inputs. This is possible as the product effectively transports nutrients and other macro and trace minerals directly to cell metabolic sites.

BioFlora Seaweed Creme® begins with hand-harvested Ascophyllum nodosum. This seaweed is homogenized, processed at ambient temperatures, and then enhanced within our patented organic process. This procedure secures all of the natural, beneficial qualities of seaweed (amino acids, vitamins, auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins).

At the end of the growing season (1 year) crop is defoliated and burned. The following was applied at the burn stage.

*BioFlora Notations
Roundup 1.1 lts/ha + Seaweed Creme 0.6 lts/ha + Fulvex 0.6 lts/ha

The addition of Seaweed Creme and Fulvex at this stage helps translocate the application of Roundup more effectively throughout the plant, while preserving the sugars.

**Control Notations
Roundup 1.1 lts/ha

Case Study 2: Germination

The second trial was to determine if BioFlora could improve germination in sugar cane. The crop was immersed in 125 liters of water for one hour at 124°F (51°C). The following treatments were then applied to different batches:

Treatment 1 (Control):
Vitavax 0.5 lts / ha

Treatment 2:
Vitavax 0.5 lts / ha
BioFlora 5-3-2 1.0 lts / ha
Seaweed Creme 0.5 lts / ha
Fulvex 0.5 lts / ha

Treatment 3:
Vitavax 0.5 lts / ha
Seaweed Creme 0.5 lts / ha
Fulvex 0.5 lts / ha
Vitavax is a seed treatment fungicide that is effective against early season diseases and promotes enhanced stand establishment.

Case Study 2: Results

Germination increased from 80% in the Control treatment to 89% in the BioFlora treatment.

Also noted was an increase in number of stems from 10-12 stems to 14 stems.

Increase in weight of “maletin” from 32 lbs. to 40 lbs. Maletin is the standard length of canes collected together to form what looks like a briefcase.

Increase in growth to maturity from 9 months to 6 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About BioFlora®

BioFlora® was founded in 1972 with a goal to conceptualize, develop, manufacture, market, and deliver a proprietary product line to the agricultural community. Through our innovative products and programs, we provide solutions for our customers in both domestic and international markets. Today, we have over 30 unique proprietary products that benefit growers, retailers and consumers alike. Our organic and sustainable agricultural programs maximize the efficacy and efficiency of traditional agricultural inputs, while being mindful of their environmental impact.