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Tully variety Management group (TVMG)

10/September/2021

We are now in the middle of the season for our variety development programme, run through the Tully variety Management group (TVMG) with a sampling of 9 sites for CCS curve trends and general field characteristics of the new varieties compared to standards. 

There are, in fact, four fundamental aspects of the variety we measure from these trials to determine how a new variety will become an economic success for Tully 1. Germination rate 2. CCS curve trends 3. Field characteristics and 4. Ratoonability.

For germination rate measurement, we measure out 10m of a row of cane and count the emerging cane every ten days up to 70 days after planting. The 10m is typically marked out in the middle, or close to the centre, of a paddock, not near the ends. It is a straightforward process but has to be done every ten days in the same place to get meaningful data. 

For the CCS curve trend work, we sample the varieties from 10-14 months crop age, and this means in some cases, growers leave cane for us to test right put until the end of the season. 

Once we find a new variety is showing promise in a sub-district, the information is passed onto TCPSL to help them plan their new seed plots. This information also goes into the new Tully variety guide for the next season.

SRA provides us with excellent information on new varieties to start with, so the work we do through the TVMG is really to fine-tune the recommendations for local conditions.

Once growers start to plant a new variety, the job is to track its progress through the mill to ensure it is doing what we thought it would.

We say that a variety is commercial once 4000 tonnes comes through the mill.

Over the past fortnight, one of our newest varieties, SRA 15, released to the industry in 2018, has reached commercial status with close to 8000 tonnes harvested. To date, this variety is performing very well, but it is not recommended everywhere. That is the point of this work; we can provide recommendations to the sub-district level. We have been able to do this now since 2015.

To do this work, a lot of cooperation exists between TSL, TCPSL, SRA and the growers. It is an excellent example of how the industry works together to develop local information about a new variety quickly to commercialise the best ones as soon as possible.

For more information, please call TSL on 0400586968

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