The station maintains one of the largest germplasm collection in the world, with over 3000 varieties, maintained on 16 hectares of land. Theses consist of several sub populations: Commercial varieties from our partner industries, commercial varieties from variety exchanges programs with other breeding programs.
Near Commercial Varieties
These are varieties from our partners which originated in their selection program that did not meet all of the agronomic traits for the industry but possessed exceptional yield or sugar traits and have been retained for use and evaluation within the breeding programme.
Base Broadening Varieties
The success of a breeding programme is built on the base of the genetic variability available to the breeder. We have a large collection of F1, BC1 and BC2 varieties that originated from a programme to incorporate unexploited genes from wild Saccharum spontaneum and Noble canes, Saccharum officinarum. This is a unique resource which was over the course of three decades and represents a huge potential pool of genes for further improvement of sugarcane.
Very High Quality Varieties
The very high quality collection consists of clones that were developed from a recurrent selection program that focus on brix. These clones have potential Brix values up to 30.5 (expressed juice from whole cane) and sucrose % in juice of up to 25.3.
We have a large crossing house and are capable of having over 200 active crosses at any one point in time.
We are fortunate to be in the possession of a spectracane which is a high throughput cana analysis system which allows us to analyses between 350 and 450 samples a day for Brix, Pol, Fibre and moisture.