Department of Agriculture (DOA) launched a new sugarcane, “DOA. Nakhon Sawan 1”, which provides sweetness and high sugar production. With its high sweetness, an additional income for cane growers, the sugarcane is also easy to harvest by both human and mechanical labor. The DOA therefore considered it a good alternative for sustainable sugarcane and sugar factory of the country.
Because sugarcane is a crop crucial for Thailand’s economy as the sugar and sugarcane industry here is regarded as agricultural products worth a total of 200,000 million Baht, more than two-thirds of the sugar production is exported, making millions of Baht a year for the country. More importantly, sugarcane is a crop of which all parts are useful for not only sugar production but also several ongoing industries and other high-value products. Upgrading the yield and quantity of sugarcane to meet the needs of sugarcane and sugar industries relies mainly on the most important factor: “sugarcane cultivars.”
Sugarcane breeding is regarded as an upstream process in the sugarcane and sugar industry that takes a long period of 10 to 12 years to get a good breed. Sugarcane cultivars currently grown by local people here are Khon Kaen 3 and LK92-110. They have been grown for quite some time, so some infectious diseases were found. Moreover, excessive use of a particular breed of sugarcane, known as a monoculture, will pose a risk because the pests have adapted and are able to destroy the sugarcane cultivars.
Change of environment also plays an important role in reducing the yield of existing high yielding sugarcane cultivars. The Nakhon Sawan Field Crop Research Center, under the Agronomy and Renewable Energy Crops Research Institute, an agency of the DOA conducting research and develop both crops and production technology for suitable field crops has actively modified sugarcane cultivars for high production and sweetness. The new sugarcane should be suitable for growing areas in loam, clay loam and clay soils in rainy areas, acting as a choice for local cane growers.
The recent sugarcane cultivars, “DOA. Nakhon Sawan 1”, has undergone continuous research from 2010 to 2022. Thanks to breeding of Q76 and CP63-588 sugarcane cultivars, this new generation of sugarcane are high in sweetness and sugar production.
The distinctive feature of “DOA. Nakhon Sawan 1” is its sweetness of 15.77 ccs, higher than LK92-11 and Khon Kaen 3. The average sugar yield is 2.82 tons ccs/rai, higher than LK92-11 and yielding sugarcane of 18.02 tons/rai. The upright clump makes it easy to harvest by manual labor or machinery. Therefore, this sugarcane cultivar is another choice for cane growers, especially in the areas of Nakhon Sawan, Chainat, Suphan Buri and Nakhon Ratchasima. Choosing the right sugarcane cultivar for the area not only improves productivity and increases income for local cane growers but can also develop and create sustainability for the sugarcane and sugar industry.
The DOA plays a role in plant research and development and sugarcane breeding work has been one of its main tasks from the past to the present. It principally uses different breeding techniques and methods to improve sugarcane in order to get the new ones to undergo the impacts of climate change and the environment while promoting new markets and developing new sugarcane cultivars to suit well with the local conditions.
The “DOA. Nakhon Sawan 1”, thanks to its high sweetness and sugar production, will enable local cane growers to earn 6% more income from a price per a ton of sugarcane.
For more information on this new sugarcane cultivar can contact: Nakhon Sawan Field Crop Research Center in Nakhon Sawan district, Nakhon Sawan province, tel. 056 241 019 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.