Growth technologies for sugar cane, namely Plene Evolve and Plene PB, which were successfully launched in Brazil, in December, help sugar growers to increase yields and plant high-quality sugar cane by providing healthy young plants with an assurance of genetic purity, vigour and traceability, says Swiss specialised chemicals company Syngenta.
The company says that to maintain productivity, sugar cane producers need to replant cane every five years. Currently, most growers use large volumes of suboptimal planting material such as fertilisers. Syngenta offers a more flexible and efficient product of significantly higher quality to help customers build high-performance nurseries to supply commercial fields.
Plene Evolve is a technology for a young plant that can be mechanically transplanted. The technology accelerates variety renewal through elite genetics. It can be multiplied directly by the customer, resulting in increased genetic purity and high productivity.
Plene PB is a pregerminated seed cane, designed to bring a step change in yield to customers with or without established nurseries. The planting process for Plene PB is simple and can cover larger areas, producing better seedlings to be planted in commercial fields. Plene PB also offers a superior multiplication rate together with yield, vigour and quality. It also represents a solution to planting gaps, which are an increasing problem in sugar cane fields. Syngenta says that a 20% gap rate leads to 6% loss of productivity.
“The launch of the Plene platform has created greater awareness among sugar cane growers of the need to improve productivity through investment. By following our integrated protocols, growers are already achieving 10% to 20% increases in yield.
These two new technology launches mark a further step forward for growers and will advance progress towards our commitment to increase the productivity of sugar cane by 20% by 2020, without using more land, water or inputs,” says Syngenta global head of sugar cane Daniel Bachner.
Plene in South Africa
Syngenta South Africa commercial unit head Antonie Delport says that owing to the hilly topography of the land used in South Africa for sugar cane, which is planted on slopes, the Plene technology is not yet available in the country. “We are developing and enhancing the technology in Brazil before we expect to expand and experiment in other countries with different topographies,” he says.
Delport highlights that Syngenta sees sugar as one of the largest crop industries in the world, and that the company is planning to innovate its technology to adapt to the sugar indus- try. “Sugar cane is an important global crop, and the industry will continue to grow in Africa,” says Delport.