Chemical ripening advances in Tucumán, Argentina
Revista Industrial y Agrícola de Tucumán
The need to maximise potential for both the environment and sugarcane varieties has resulted in an increase in the sugarcane area treated with ripeners in Tucumán, from 3000 ha in 1997 to approximately 115.000 ha at present. This advancement was promoted by researchers at the Estación Experimental Agroindustrial Obispo Colombres (EEAOC) in Tucumán, Argentina, who issued recommendations for the use of glyphosate as a ripener in 1997. Similarly, fluazifop-p butyl was released for use as a ripener
... in 2001. In searching for new alternative ripeners, graminicides (clethodim and haloxyfop-r methyl) and imazapyr began to be evaluated in 2000. After these trials, only clethodim was released for commercial use in 2005. Imazapyr, despite being efficient, was discarded because of its high cost. In 2006, EEAOC scientists started evaluating trinexapac-ethyl. This plant growth regulator (PGR) has shown potential to replace herbicide ripeners. Trinexapac-ethyl is already being used as a ripener in Brazil, along with sulfometuron-methyl. The latter was evaluated in 2007 in Tucumán, but sugarcane response was highly variable and inconsistent. Since 2010, the effect of ethephon, a PGR that releases ethylene, has been evaluated with and without a graminicide. So far, sugarcane responses have been satisfactory (with average Pol% cane increments of 0.41 and 0.62, respectively). Mineral nutrients applications (phosphorus, potassium and boron) were also evaluated and showed considerable sucrose content increases in some cases. This paper is a review of extensive studies conducted since 1994 by EEAOC researchers to provide growers with a great number of products that could be used as sugarcane ripeners, under different agro-ecological conditions.