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I.  AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

A.   LUZON AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH & EXTENSION CENTER (LAREC)

 

1.    Evaluation of Different Harvesting and Post-harvest Practices on Yield of Sugarcane – A.  Burcer,  R. del Rosario,  M. Guevarra and O. Quilloy.

                 

The study assessed losses in cane weight and sugar rendement (Lkg/TC) due to some harvesting and post harvest practices in  two sugarcane varieties, Phil 8715 and Phil 90-1237 and estimated losses in sugar yield per hectare (Lkg/Ha) based on data generated.

 

Canes cut at  6 inches above the base produced significant mean stalk weight loss compared to canes cut to the base.  Phil 8715 tend to produce higher stalk weight loss and lower Lkg/TC loss compared to Phil 90-1237.

 

Mean total trashes in a cane stalk was about 17.8%.  Trashy canes were significantly heavier than clean canes but Lkg/TC were lower.  Phil 8715 contained higher trashes and had higher losses in Lkg/TC.

 

The more cane tops removed the lower was the cane weight and the higher was the Lkg/TC.

 

Significant mean weight loss in green cane stalks topped and left standing in the field occurred after 15 days.  Apparent purity significantly decreased after 15 days on Phil 8715 and after 3 days on Phil 90-1237.  Significant losses in Lkg/TC occurred after 15 days and 6 days on Phil 8715 and Phil 90-1237, respectively.

 

Weight, apparent purity and Lkg/TC of green cane stalks cut and piled in the field and burned cane stalks cut and filed or left standing in the field of the two varieties decreased with prolonged number of days of delay in harvesting/milling.

 

Estimated loss in Lkg/Ha due to cutting 6 inches above the base of stalk was 11.86%  while  removal  of  2  and  3  top  points  had 7.22 and 26.22%, respectively.  Estimated  loss  in  Lkg/Ha  due  to trashes ranged from 3.09 to 8.70%.

Delay in milling of green cane stalks topped and left standing from 3 to 20 days gave Lkg/Ha losses from 4.01 to 35.22%.   Lkg/Ha losses with delay in milling from 3 to 15 days of green canes cut and piled in the field, burned canes cut and piled and burned canes left standing were 7.49% -50.69 %, 2.20 -100% and 0.20 – 98%, respectively.

 

2.    Use  of  Enerplant as Growth Hormone on Sugarcane -  B. Manlapaz  and  O. Quilloy    

 

The effects on growth and yield of sugarcane of Enerplant growth regulator in combination with varying levels of nitrogen was tested  in Angeles loamy sand.

 

Germination of canepoints among treatments which ranged from 86 to 90 percent was statistically comparable.  Tillering and plant height varied significantly among  enerplant growth regulator and nitrogen levels at 7 and 10  months after planting, respectively.

 

Significant means differences were observed on diameter of millable stalks at harvest, where the enerplant treated canes gave smaller stalk diameter.

 

Mean differences on number, weight and length of millable stalks at harvest among nitrogen levels and enerplant treatments were statistically insignificant.

 

Application of 5.2 and 7.8 ml/ha of enerplant growth regulator gave higher Lkg/TC at 135 kg N/ha level of fertilization.  Other rates of enerplant treatments with varying levels of nitrogen fertilization gave comparable  Lkg/TC means.

 

Higher cane and sugar yields were observed only among nitrogen levels. Enerplant growth regulator treatments had lower cane tonnage yield than the control. The rate of 7.8 ml/ha of enerplant growth regulator produced slightly higher sugar yield than the control.  However, the sugar yield differences among treatment means were not significant.

 

Foliar spray application of enerplant  on sugarcane during the early vegetative growth stages did not significantly improve sugar yield.

 

3.    Evaluation of Mercena pruriens as Green Manure for Sugarcane – E. Estanislao   and  O. Quilloy

 

Canepoint    germination,  plant  height and tillering were not significantly affected by green manuring with  M. pruriens.   Incorporation of M. pruriens into the soil before  planting  significantly  increased  millable stalk production with or without N fertilization.

 

M. pruriens  planted at 2m x 2m distance of seeding and fertilized with 90 kg/ha N significantly increased cane and sugar yields of the plant cane.

 

Significant differences in cane tonnage and sugar yields means were observed in the ratoon crop at different levels of nitrogen.

 

4.    Increasing Efficiency of Applied Fertilizer for Sugarcane.  Study 1.  Evaluation of different forms/ kinds of nitrogenous fertilizer – A. Magnaye and O. Quilloy

 

Fertilization  with  different forms/kinds of nitrogenous fertilizer in combination with different organic fertilizers in pellet forms were conducted in Angeles loamy sand from June 2002 to March, 2004.

 

Application of combined organic and inorganic fertilizer in pellet form did not  produce  significant growth and  cane and sugar yield.  Although results were comparable,  ammosul applied alone or combined with organic fertilizers produced higher cane  tonnage  and sugar yield  in both plant and ratoon canes.

 

5.    Ecological  Test of  Phil 94 series at LAREC, Batangas, Cagayan and Bicol – Serrano V. and M. Guevarra  

 

Test clones from the Phil 1994 series were entered in the ecological test in  LAREC-Pampanga, Batangas, Bicol and Cagayan during the CY 2001-2004 to determine their geographical adaptability.

 

Combined ANOVA based  on sugar yield and mean comparison showed Phil 94-3491 to be geographically adapted in Batangas, LAREC and Cagayan and  Phil 94-0913 to be  adapted in Bicol, LAREC and Cagayan.

 

These clones were also rated from  intermediate average to very highly  resistant to either smut or downy mildew. They are  recommended to undergo further testing and evaluation.

 

6.    Ecological  Test  of   Phil 95 series at LAREC,  Batangas, Cagayan and Bicol – R. Del Rosario,   A. Burcer and  M.  Guevarra    

 

Fourteen test clones from the Phil 1995 series were entered in the ecological test in  LAREC-Pampanga, Batangas, Cagayan and Bicol during the CY 2001-2003 to determine their geographical adaptability.

 

Combined ANOVA based on sugar yield and mean comparisons  showed Phil 95-1029, Phil 95-0887 and Phil 95-3877 to be geographically adapted in Pampanga, Cagayan and Batangas while Phil 95-1421 is adapted to Cagayan, Batangas and Bicol.

These  clones  were  rated  from intermediate average to very highly resistant to either smut or downy mildew.  These   clones are recommended to undergo further testing and evaluation.

 

7.    Species  Identification  and  Damage  Assessment  of  Borer on Sugarcane – J. Recuenco 

 

Borer infested stalks sampled from 11 sugarcane farms in Pampanga, Balayan and Don Pedro mill districts and LAREC experiment station showed that the white top borer, Scirpophaga nivella (F.) was the predominant  species found infesting three-to-eight-month sugarcane of different Phil and VMC varieties. The stemborer, Chilotraea  infuscatella Sn., had  lower incidence.

 

In the field test, infestation by S. nivella  started three months after planting in all seven test sugarcane varieties at varying levels with highly significant differences.  Mean infestation started at 2.5% three MAP, was highest at  six months and declined at 2.3% on the eight month. Tillers per furrow increased on sugarcane varieties highly infested with top borers.  Varieties with high top borer infestation at three to six MAP had higher losses in cane and sugar yields at maturity than those infested at eight MAP.

 

Among the test varieties, Phil 93-2349 had the lowest top borer infestation,  highest % germination, more tillers, longest stalk with small diameter and produced the highest  cane and sugar yields with highest ROI of 1.68.

 

Linear correlations of growth and yield parameters with % top borer infestation indicated that the higher the % infestation, the lower the  cane and sugar yields while varieties with bigger stalk diameter had higher % infestation with reduced stalk length.

 

It is recommended that top borer infestation on three-to-six-month sugarcane should be monitored to detect borer damage trends for timely application of control strategies particularly  on early maturing varieties.

 

8.    Screening   of Phil  97 Series Clones to  Sugarcane  Smut caused by  Ustilago    scitaminea  Syd. – A. Casupanan  and  M.  Guevarra   

 

Fifty-five  clones of the 1997 series were screened and tested for  reaction to sugarcane smut in both plants and ratoon canes. Ratings were as follows: two each were   very highly resistant (97-0407 and 97-1411), and   highly resistant (97-0929 and 97-2059), 1 was  resistant (97-0891), 3  were intermediate resistant (97-1165, 97-275 and 97-2135), 6 were  intermediate average, 2 were intermediate susceptible, 3 were susceptible, 2 were  highly susceptible and 34 were  very highly susceptible.

 

9.    Screening  of   Phil  96   Series  Clones  for  Resistance to Downy Mildew  – A. Vitug  and  M.  Guevarra    

 

Downy  mildew  ratings of test 50 clones of 96  series were as follows:  very highly resistant, 13;   highly resistant, 6;  resistant, 8;  intermediate resistant, 9;  intermediate  average, 3; intermediate  susceptible, 1; susceptible, 3;  highly  susceptible, 3; and very highly susceptible, 4.


 

B. LA GRANJA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH & EXTENSION CENTER (LGAREC)

1.    Ecological testing of Phil 97-selections in Ma-ao/La Carlota, SONEDCO, BISCOM, and Passi mill districts – R.D. Pillado, R.G. Entima, N.S. Meneses and R.T. Harder

 

Phil 97-0693, Phil 97-1123 and Phil 97-2041 performed at least comparable or better than Phil 8013 and Phil 8477 in the five test sites in Negros and Panay in terms of cane tonnage, TC/Ha and sucrose content, LKg/TC. The three Phil 97-selections are resistant to smut and downy mildew and will be further evaluated in the National Cooperative Test (NCT) along with ther VMC-bred selections.

2.    Hot water treatment of canepoints in relation to disease recurrence in plant and ratoon crops - N.S. Menses and M.C. Alba

 

Canepoints of smut-susceptible Phil 56226 were soaked in 500C hot water for 2 hours and planted in the field nursery. Smut and downy mildew infections are not manifested on the plants until cutback at 6 months. However smut infection recur when cutback canepoints are planted in the field. Smut infection in the untreated canepoints was higher and yields were lower than canepoints taken from the nursery using hot water treated planting materials. Hot water treatment was found effective in controlling plant diseases only in the nursery.

 

3.    Tolerance of micropropagated plantlets of sugarcane to herbicides – L.C. Almodiente, T.D. Alejandrino and D.A. Delos Santos

 

Micropropagated plantlets sprayed with Authority 480SA showed bleaching and burning of leaf tips after 2 days but the injury caused by the chemical disappeared within 15 days. Command 3ME+ 2, 4-D and Sencor + 2, 4-D manifested crop injury that caused 11 to 14 percent mortality of plantlets which is still within the acceptable range of survival rate. More canepoints with bigger stalks are produced when weeds on micropropagated plantlets are controlled by herbicides.

 

II.  INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS

 

1.    Pollution Management  Appraisal of Selected Sugar Mills

 

This project attempts to address environmental concerns of the mills vis-à-vis their modern technology acquisitions.  Four (4) sugar mills have been audited for Pollution Management.

 

2.    Liquid Sweeteners from Molasses

 

Liquid sweeteners are liquid saccharides derived from corn, wheat, cassava, etc which are very rich in glucose and fructose and produced by acid hydrolysis or fermentation of sucrose-based material.

 

This study produced liquid sweetener form molasses.  The process involved fermentation of molasses in a period of 3 months to produce alcohol and liquid sweetener.  The liquid syrup obtained has a bitter taste due to high concentration of glucose; further isomerization by the action of enzymes for 3 days allowed conversion of glucose into fructose, which reduced the bitter taste.

 

Liquid sweetener obtained from fermented molasses was stable up to a 2-year period. However, after enzymatic isomerization, 250 Brix syrup deteriorated after 2 weeks while 350 Brix, after a month of storage.

The relative sweetness of liquid syrup may be comparable to sucrose and other liquid sweetener but the preserving characteristics and high antioxidant contents could be suitable for some commercial products as additives or supplements.  I was palatable and consumable in small dosage (1-2 tablespoons).

The significance of this study on liquid sweeteners is its relevance in the present demand for alcohol production for fuel.  The process of liquid sweetener production is the conventional method of alcohol production by continuous process.  The alcohol and liquid sweetener are co-products in the process.  The waste product, stillage, in the continuous process is only 7 liters per liter ethanol, compared to 13 liters/L ethanol in the batch method.  The disposal of the stillage is a major environmental problem of distilleries.

 

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

1.    Philippine Sugar Industry Performance Review (2003)

 

To apprise the sugar industry technocrat on the preceding milling season’s operations status, performance, recent development in processing, problems, constraint and breakthroughs.  The review’s findings will serve as important reference for the industrial and agricultural sectors in improving their productivity and efficiency levels.

2.    Equipment  Sizing

 

This study is a joint project of FOD and PHILSUTECH, Fabrication Division. FOD personnel was tasked to survey, compile results and compute for different equipment capacities of all operating sugar mills.  These capacities are to be used in determining the capacity standards under Philippine condition.  A sort of a guide was published.

 

3.    Annual Compendium of Philippine Sugar Refineries, Year 2001

 

This publication contains data and information pertaining to the production and performance record of all the operating sugar refineries in the country either culled or computed from their respective final weekly refinery statements.  Copies were distributed to sugar mills and refineries and sugar industry clientele including students and researchers.

 

4.    Annual Compendium of Philippine Sugar Refineries, Year 2002

 

Same as above but contains data for the refining year 2002.

 

5.    Capacity and Performance Audit Manual

 

This project produced a standard operating manual of procedures and methods to be used in conducting a Capacity and Performance Audit in the sugar mills and refineries.

 

6.    Annual Synopsis of Production and Performance Data CY 2002-2003

 

This publication embodies data and information pertaining to the production and performance record of all the operating mills in the country either culled or computed from their respective final weekly factory statements.  Copies were distributed to sugar mills and various sugar industry clientele including students and researchers.

 

7.    Standardization of Reports/MI Instruments Data Log for the Raw Sugar Factories (Phase II)

 

To be able to come up with a standard production and performance statement/report format for the industry’s raw sugar factories based on internationally adapted standard in line with bigger undertaking of standardizing mill operations.

8.    Energy Efficiency: An Approach to Improve Mill’s Bottom Line

 

The project covers energy matters towards reducing cost of raw sugar production.  Through questionnaires and surveys among Philippine sugar mills, technical calculations and analyses may be established.

 

9.    Refinery Equipment Audit

 

This publication contains listing of all major equipment in sugar refineries in the Philippines.