Two new sugarcane varieties released earlier this year will be featured at the LSU AgCenter’s Sugarcane Field Day at the St. Gabriel Research Station south of Baton Rouge on July 19.

The new varieties – L 99-226 and L 99-233 – were developed by the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma and the American Sugar Cane League in Thibodaux.

These new varieties are important because of rust problems with LCP 85-384, the leading variety planted in the state, according to Kenneth Gravois, LSU AgCenter sugarcane breeder and resident coordinator of the AgCenter’s St. Gabriel Research Station.

"They look good as replacements for 384, along with HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128 released earlier," Gravois said.

Along with the new varieties, field day visitors will have an opportunity to see energy cane that’s also coming from the breeding programs at the LSU AgCenter and the USDA Sugarcane Research Unit.

The new varieties are being developed in response to current interest in producing ethanol from sugarcane, Gravois said. In addition, Mike Salassi, an economist with the LSU AgCenter’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, will present information regarding the economics of producing ethanol from sugarcane following the field tour.

In other stops on the tour, Jeff Hoy, LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist, will present an update on the rust disease situation, and Gene Reagan, Extension entomologist, will have an update on research concerning the sugarcane borer and new insecticides.

Following the field tours, Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League, will give an update on what’s happening regarding sugar in Washington, D.C., and Tom Hymel, an LSU AgCenter area watershed agent, will give an update on the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality water quality project.

Registration for the field day will begin at 8 a.m. at the St. Gabriel Research Station, and field tours will start at 9 a.m.

The St. Gabriel Research Station is on Louisiana Highway 30, 11 miles south of Tiger Stadium or 9 miles north of Gonzales.

A sponsored lunch will be provided at noon. Further information may be obtained by calling the station at (225) 642-8105.

e-mail: rbogren@agcenter.lsu.edu