Abstract
THE EFFECT OF HARVEST AGE ON MATURITY INDICES OF QUALITY PARAMETERS OF SUGAR CANE VARIETIES AT METAHARA SUGAR ESTATE IN COOL SEASON

Yohannes Mequanint*

ABSTRACT

A study was conducted in cool season from October 2009 to December 2009 to determine optimum harvest age at specific maturity indices of three sugarcane varieties at Metahara Sugar Estate. The treatments consisted of three harvest age (18, 19 and 20 months after planting, MAP) and three varieties (B52298, NCo334 and Co740) grown on clay soil. Data were collected from plots arranged using two factors in a completely randomized design with twelve replications. Maturity indices (sheath moisture, hand refractometer brix ratio, maturity factor and sucrose to reducing sugar ratio) indicated that there was a lower index of maturity at 18 MAP than 19 and 20 MAP. Higher sheath moisture resulted in a low status of maturity indices (maturity factor and sucrose to reducing sugar ratio) was observed for NCo334 variety at the three harvest ages. However, lower sheath moisture content with good maturity index (maturity factor and sucrose to reducing sugar ratio) was obtained for Co 740 variety at 19 and 20 MAP. The recoverable sucrose was negatively correlated (P<0.01) with sheath moisture among the three varieties. Accordingly, good maturity indices were observed at 19 and 20 MAP for Co 740 and B52298 varieties. However, optimum maturity indices were not shown from 18 to 20 MAP for NCo 334. Therefore, this study revealed that quality indices of maturity could be a potential criterion’s to fix optimum harvest age of sugarcane varieties grown on clay soil.

Keywords: Harvesting age, maturity, indices, juice quality, sugarcane, season


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