Assessment of the yield of sugarcane following treatment with liquid seaweed extract (SEASOL®)

W. Farnsworth, A. Arioli
The aim of this research is to determine the potential benefits of applying the biostimulant liquid seaweed extract SEASOL® to sugarcane in an Australian production setting. Two large block sugarcanetrials were started at the beginning of the 2014/15 season, in plant and ratoon crops, being commercially grown in far north Queensland, Australia. Both trials consist of two adjacent, irrigated cane blocks (3.5-7.5 ha) with similar soils and identical agronomic inputs. In each trial, both blocks are irrigated/fertigated by sub-surface drip irrigation (SSDI) NDASH one receiving ongoing, monthly injections of SEASOL® at 10 L ha-1 and the other serving as an untreated control. Crop yield assessments were conducted at each site, by comparing harvested mill tonnages and CCS (commercial cane sugar) values from whole treatment block areas. Results data have been statistically analysed by 1-way ANOVA and means separated to P=0.05. It is intended the trials should continue, until replanting of the trial crops is deemed to be necessary, according to commercial standards. Results summary: SEASOL® treated blocks yielded between 9.5-36% more tonnes of raw cane ha-1 and between 11.1-37% more tonnes of raw sugar ha-1, compared to the untreated controls. There were no treatment differences in CCS values. These results support the use of the liquid seaweed extract biostimulant (SEASOL®), as a regular management input, for improving tropical sugarcane production and farm profitability. There is also the potential (pending further research) to show whether lower rates of fertilisers can be used to produce satisfactorily yielding crops.
Farnsworth, W. and Arioli, A. (2018). Assessment of the yield of sugarcane following treatment with liquid seaweed extract (SEASOL®). Acta Hortic. 1205, 785-788
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.98
biostimulant, sub-surface drip irrigation, ratoon crops

Acta Horticulturae