The inside track

Leaf samples

The Inside Track - Dec 2011
Due to the changes in the recommendations of the new FAS system many growers have increased their rate of fertilisation; especially where fields yield in excess of 100t/ha.

Late season chemical ripening

The Inside Track - Aug 2011
Due to the very favourable winter rainfall, the crop's visual appearance is unusually green for this time of the year. As soon as temperatures start to rise after winter, this, and the favourable soil moisture reserves, will trigger the onset of vigorous crop growth.

Mixing green manure crops

The Inside Track - Jul 2011
Green manure crops are commonly grown during the fallow period to improve soil health and give the plant crop a kick-start. Most people grow these crops as a single species, but growing a mixture of crops can give multiple benefits.

N35 cutting cycle

The Inside Track - Jun 2011
There seem to be a large number of growers that are cutting N35 on a 24 month cycle. This is a very dangerous practice!!! N35 must be cut on a 12 – 14 month cycle; the main reason for this is that it becomes highly susceptible to Eldana after this period. It also tends to become pithy resulting in an increase in fibre and a decreasing RV.

Spread of Mosaic

Inside Track - May 2011
Mosaic has been spreading at a steady rate over the past few years; below is a graph showing the increase. Some of you may still be able to recall what effect this virus had on NCo376 and N19; at that stage N12 became the saviour of the KZN Midlands.

Cane deliveries

Inside Track - Apr 2011
Deliveries from some growers have been extremely poor so far this season! Reasons for not being able to send have been centred around the unexpected rains; growers attempting to minimise stool damage and simply not being able to get in and out of fields.

New Ash Kitty System

- Mar 2011
There are two main changes to last year’s system. The first is that growers that are worse than average will have to pay in and growers that are better than average will be paid from the kitty

Ripening with Ethephon

Inside Track - Feb 2011
It has come to our attention that some growers are spraying their cane with Ethephon in order to minimise the tons cane lost but at the same time increasing their quality.

Ripping in ratoons

Inside Track - Jan 2011
Ripping has been tested in 11 different soil forms under rainfed conditions and 5 in under irrigated conditions. In these tests there has been no evidence to suggest that the continuous ripping of ratoon fields will improve cane yield.

Start of 2011 season

Inside Track - Dec 2010
We request that all growers pay careful attention to their frost remains and drought affected cane next year. Young frosted cane stood over for 2011 will be immature as it has had to effectively start over; the same can be said for cane that has been severely affected by drought.