ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 49 Number 3
Field experiments on the chemical ripening of sugar-cane in Jamaica and Belize in 1970
Nine replicated small-plot experiments were laid down in commercial sugarcane field in Jamaica and Belize to test four compounds which had been selected as potential ripening agents from glasshouse screening trials. Under the conditions of these tests, MCPA + 2,3,6-trichlorobenzoic acid (Pesco 1815) ripened the cane for a period of two to four weeks following application of 1.64 kg a.i./ha. Two formulations of Ethrel, at rates ranging from 0.56 to 4.48 kg a.i./ha, proved excessively toxic to the varieties used and caused serious deterioration in quality. Gibberellic acid (GA) induced very great growth stimulation for about three weeks, followed by growth suppression in warmer areas. Under cooler conditions, a smaller growth stimulation was more prolonged and suppression did not occur within the six weeks’ duration of the trial. The growth suppression phase of two weeks' duration was inadequate to allow the quality of the cane to recover. Dalapon-sodium at 2.24 kg/ha (85 per cent acid equivalent) proved inadequate to modify the GA response to any extent, or to induce ripening itself.