Major investment in sugarcane program to improve breeding
SUGARCANE growers and millers will be the beneficiaries of significant enhancements to the way Australian sugarcane varieties are created.
Sugar Research Australia is the lead organisation that develops new cane varieties and has just announced these new enhancements to its process for creating sugarcane varieties, which will target improved profitability for sugarcane growers and millers.
“SRA has set the ambitious goal of delivering a two percent improvement in annual genetic gain for new sugarcane varieties,” SRA CEO Neil Fisher said.
“To put that goal into context, the global average gain for wheat breeding is one percent per annum, and the global average for sugarcane is less than one percent.
“But we have set this two percent target based on feedback from the industry that new varieties must continue to offer meaningful improvements and improve profitability for our grower and miller investors.”
Mr Fisher said the process would be led by Key Focus Area Leader, Dr Jason Eglinton, one of Australia’s leading plant breeders.
Dr Eglinton reviewed the current breeding program and the SRA Board endorsed his recommendations for a series of enhancements.
Mr Fisher said this represented investment of an additional $4 million over seven years, which reinforced the development of new commercial varieties as the single largest investment SRA makes on behalf of investors.
“By setting the 2 percent goal, and defining a clear strategy to target that goal, we are laying the foundation for ongoing improvement in the breeding program.”