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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Yield Accumulation in Irrigated Sugarcane: II. Utilization of Intercepted Radiation


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 89 No. 4, p. 646-652

    * Corresponding author(s): evensen@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu
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  1. Russell C. Muchow,
  2. Carl I. Evensen ,
  3. Robert V. Osgood and
  4. Michael J. Robertson
  1. C SIRO Div. of Tropical Crops and Pastures, Cunningham Lab., 306 Carmody Rd., St Lucia, QLD 4067, Australia
    D ep. of Agronomy and Soil Science, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, 1910 East-West Rd., Honolulu, HI 96822;
    H awaii Agric. Res. Ctr. (formerly Hawaiian Sugar Planters Assoc.), 99-193 Aiea Hts. Dr., Aiea, HI 96701;
    C SIRO Div. of Tropical Crop and Pastures, Davies Lab, Lab., Private PO Aitkenvale, QLD 4814, Australia.



Intercepted radiation is a major driving variable of crop production under high-input irrigated conditions. Quantitative information on the utilization of radiation in yield accumulation allows extrapolation beyond the current season and location, and when this information is incorporated into crop growth simulation models, the effect of crop age on the productivity of different cultivars can be examined under different climatic conditions. This paper examines the differential performance of high-yielding sugarcane (Saccharumspp. hybrids) crops in terms of the amount of short-wave solar radiation intercepted (Si) and the efficiency of use of intercepted radiation (RUE) in biomass production. Biomass accumulation during the 12- to 24-mo crop cycle was examined for two experiments conducted in Hawaii, and three experiments conducted in tropical Australia from 1991 to 1993. The analysis showed that (i) RUE was much less for growth after 12 mo than in the first 12 mo; (ii) maximum RUE of sugarcane approaches 2.0 g MJ−1; (iii) biomass accumulation beyond 12 mo was not related directly to radiation utilization; and (iv) cultivars differed in S19 but differences in RUE could not be unequivocally assessed due to the confounding effect of variable recovery of trash in biomass estimates. It is concluded that stalk death and consequent biomass loss are important factors contributing to yield variation in sugarcane crops growing for 12 to 24 mo, with a yield plateau occurring at variable crop ages during the second year of growth.

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