Industrial characteristics of sugarcane varieties under semi-arid conditions and different irrigation depths
Sugarcane quality for industry directly depends on irrigation, especially in semi-arid regions. This study aimed to evaluate the technological performance for industry of six sugarcane varieties at five irrigation depths. Sugar-cane Brix and Pol%, juice Brix and Pol%, fiber, purity, reducing sugars and total sugars were evaluated 11 months after planting. The experiment was conducted in Brazil, in the semi-arid region of Minas Gerais state. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block design, in a subdivided parcel scheme (6 x 5) and four repetitions. Different irrigation depths did not affected Brix. The cultivar RB83-5486 presented the highest value for juice Pol%, among the evaluated varieties. Juice Pol% and sugar-cane Pol% presented similar behavior, and displayed the highest values at the 1081 mm irrigation depth. In general, the analyzed varieties presented low fiber content. All the analyzed varieties surpassed 80% purity. The highest irrigation depths enhanced purity. The highest value was obtained at the 1081 mm depth. Decreased reducing sugars and increased total reducing sugars were observed at the highest depths and the highest accumulation was found at the 1081 mm depth. As conclusion for industrial characteristics, the irrigation presented potential to enhance the technological performance of sugarcane in semi-arid conditions. Considering the technological performance for industry, the cultivar RB83-5486 has good potential to be used under the studied conditions. When higher levels of fiber and reduced sugars are desired, lower irrigation depths are recommended.