To determine whether reducing fertiliser rates on older ratoons (3R onwards) will maintain productivity, reduce grower costs and reduce the risk of applied nitrogen leaving farms
Sugarcane is generally a 4 to 6 year crop, depending on the number of times a grower will ratoon his blocks. As the crop ages, yields also tend to decrease; this may be due to a number of factors. Harvester damage, compaction, soil degredation and soil pathogens can contribute towards yield decline. Due to the crop producing less, it follows reason to suggest that it may also require less fertiliser.