Five new types of modern sugarcane that meet climatic and soil conditions are betting on the sugar and energy sector. In addition to investing in sugarcane plantations, which includes research on the genetic improvement of crops, the producers are seeking management focused on biotechnology to combat pests and diseases.
These measures should contribute to increasing the productivity of sugar cane, which is affected by the adverse climatic effects of the last crop. Brazil currently has an area of 8.3 million hectares of cultivated sugarcane, of which 55% of this total is grown in an area of São Paulo state.
The technology package with the five new types of sugarcane, launched by the Agricultural Institute (IAC), aims to boost sugarcane production across the country. “Among many factors, new species are important and effective for withstanding more severe drought, such as that which occurred in the last crop in the Northwest,” says Marcus Landel, researcher and head of the Cana IAC Program.
It also highlights that the study showed a faster initial development in all harvest periods, with very long industrial use, of one of the new IAC cultivars. For Landell, the variety has excellent stability in almost all sugarcane regions of Brazil, as well as good sucrose content at the beginning of harvest and activity throughout the cut.
Genetic improvement work, according to Landell, has evaluated harvesting strategies, between the concepts of planned cultivation of sugarcane fields and the environment (soil). All these factors are necessary to get the best result with innovations of sugarcane cultivars. The researcher notes that “these varieties are very well adapted to mechanized cultivation,” considering that all sugarcane production processes today are highly automated.
For regions with warmer climates, such as in northwest São Paulo, Landell says the new cultivars, among others already grown in sugarcane fields, are efficient and have the ability to tolerate more water shortages in the plants. “The northwest region was punished severely in this last cycle of sugarcane production with inclement weather between drought and frost.”
In the technology packages provided by IAC, new types of sugarcane are important for pest and disease control, as well as conditions for resistance to the adverse effects of climate.
Researcher at the IAC Sugarcane Research and Development Center, Mauro Xavier, highlights the importance of the research. “New cultivars emerge in sugarcane processing and provide biological protection, with fewer pests and diseases.”
Mauro also assures that the product, with the modernization of the cane field, will always bring a profitable return. “It benefits in terms of crop productivity, turning genetic gains, with new cultivars, into economic gains.”
Innovation is the key to agriculture
For producer Alexandre Pinto Cesar, who owns sugar cane plantations in the Rio Preto region, maintaining the quality of the product that goes to the agribusiness requires the use of technological packages. Alexander also says that it is essential for the sector, the availability of technologies that help reduce the rise in input prices.
In the previous harvest, Alexander recalls that the adversity of the weather had an effect on the sugarcane fields, reducing sugarcane yields by 30%. And for him, cultivars that prefer greater resistance to less rain come to add to the sugarcane plantations. “We also have a nursery with seedlings of sugarcane that has been greatly affected by the climate issue, and therefore, we are betting on technology packages for new cultivars.”
“Today we have already overcome the farming methodology, after changes by manual cutting and reeds collected raw. We now have advances in technology at our disposal. Farms are created using resources from this GPS programmed technology and also from the matter of soil compaction, Which should improve in the area of sugar cane,” Alexander highlights.
Producer João Thomaz Leal Pimenta decided to invest in biotechnology in the field of sugarcane located in Monte Aprazível. Investments in food products for plants and biological pesticides, according to Joao, have been important to recent crops. “It was important to pay more attention to pest and disease control. The producer says the biological input option gives excellent results. (Transcript)
The weather is causing the harvest to drop
The data of the National Supply Company (CONAB) indicates that the total sugarcane production in the 2021/202 harvest season amounted to 585.2 million tons, which represents a volume of raw material 10.6% less than last season. In addition, there was a 3.5% decrease in the cultivated area. According to Konab survey, the decrease in the cultivated area is attributed to the adverse climatic effects of drought during the crop production cycle and to the lower temperatures recorded in June and July 2021.
Although the largest decrease in area and productivity was recorded, the southeast remains the main producing region in the country, with a harvest of 366.9 million tons. There was a 14.4% decrease compared to the previous cycle. The states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais are the main producers of sugarcane and account for 61.9% of the total Brazilian production. (Copy)