The Guatemalan Sugarcane Research and Training Center
CENGICANA, was created by the Guatemalan Sugar Association,
ASAZGUA in 1992, to support the technological advance of the sugar
agroindustry, with the aim of improving the production and productivity
of sugarcane crop and its derivatives. It is funded by the sugar mills of
the Guatemalan Sugarcane Agro-industry, who make their contributions
to the budget of the Center, in proportion to the sugar production
According to the Strategic Plan (2005-2015), our Vision is "To be leaders
in creating technology to increase the competitiveness of the Sugarcane
Agro-industry in the region"; and our Mission is: "We are the
organization of the Sugar Agroindustry responsible for generating,
adapting, and transferring quality technology for profitable and
The Board of Directors of the Center is constituted by representatives of
the sugar mills and canegrowers. The Strategic and Operational Plans are
made with the input from the Board of Directors, the Technical Advisory
Committee, and the Technical Industrial Committee. The research areas
are determined with the participation of managers and technical
personnel of the sugar mills, who develop applied and specific research.
The coordination of activities is the responsibility of the General
Director. The Quality Management System of CENGICANA is certified
according to ISO 9001:2008 standards.
Research activities are carried out through the following research
programs: Varieties Program, Integrated Pest Management Program,
Agronomic Program and Industrial Research Program, and also the
Technology Transfer and Training Program, the Analytical Services
Laboratory and the Administration Unit.
Sugarcane Crop in Guatemala
Guatemalan Sugarcane Research and Training Center
Guatemalan Sugarcane Research and Training Center
Km. 92.5 Carretera a Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Escuintla, Guatemala
Phone: (502) 7828 1000
Fax: (502) 7828 1000
Acronyms and Abreviations vi
I. Technological Development of the Sucarcane Agro-
Industry and Perspectives
II. Characterization of Sugarcane Growing Areas
Braulio Villatoro, Ovidio Pérez
III. Sugarcane Breeding and Selection
Héctor Orozco, José Luis Quemé, Werner Ovalle and
Fredy Rosales Longo
IV. Biotechnology Applied to Sugarcane Crop
Luis Molina and Mario Melgar
V. Crop Establishment Work 103
Soil Preparation for Sugarcane Planting
Joel García, Braulio Villatoro, Fernando Díaz and Gil
Nurseries and Commercial Planting
Werner Ovalle, José Luis Quemé, Héctor Orozco and
VI. Weed Control and Management
VII. Crop Nutrition And Fertilization
VIII. Irrigation of Sugarcane Crop
IX. Integrated Pest Management
José Manuel Márquez
X. Diseases in Sugarcane Crop
XI. Sugarcane Ripening and Sugarcane Flowering and their
Sugarcane Flowering and its Managment
Gerardo Espinoza and José Luis Quemé
XII. Sugarcane Harvesting
XIII. The Sugar Production Process 301
José Luis Alfaro, Enrique Velásquez, Luis Monterroso
and Rodolfo Espinosa
XIV. Sugar Agroindustry Diversification 351
Co-Generation in the Sugar Industry
Production of Ethanol
Rodolfo Espinosa and Claudia Ovando
Coproducer Perspectives on Sugarcane
XV. Meteorology in Sugarcane
Otto Castro and Alfredo Suárez
XVI. Climate Change and the Sugarcane Crop
Alex Guerra and Alejandra Hernández
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
AGG Guatemalan Managers Association
ASAZGUA Guatemalan Sugar Association
ATAGUA Guatemalan Society of Sugarcane Technologists
CAÑAMIP Integrated Pests Management Committee
CENGICANA Guatemalan Sugarcane Research and Training Center
CIASA Sugar Mills Consultants
CIRAD Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche
Agronomique pour le Développement
CENICAÑA Centro de Investigación de la Caña de Azúcar de Colombia
COPERSUCAR Cooperative of Sugarcane, Sugar and Ethanol Producers of
the State of Sao Paulo
CONCYT National Council for Science and Technology
EEGSA Electric Company of Guatemala
ENCA National Central School of Agriculture
ICC Private Institute for Climate Change Research
ICSB International Consortium of Sugarcane Biotechnology
ICTA Institute of Science and Agricultural Technology
ICUMSA International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar
INDE National Institute of Electrification
INSIVUMEH National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology
INTECAP Technical Institute for Training and Productivity
IPNI International Plant Nutrition Institute
ISSCT International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
MAGA Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food
TECNICAÑA Colombia Association of Sugarcane Technologists
URL Rafael Landivar University
USAC San Carlos University
USDA United States Departament of Agriculture
UVG Del Valle University
Technical expressions and units
dap days after planting
Mz 0.7 hectare
qq 46 kilogrames
TSH tonnes of sugar per hectare
TCH tonnes of cane per hectare
Tchd tonnes of cane/man/day
t metric tonnes
t cane/ha tonnes of cane per hectare
t sugar/ha tonnes of sugar per hectare
CC CENICAÑA Colombia
CG CENGICANA Guatemala
CP Canal Point
CTC Centro de Tecnología Canavieira
MPT MitrPhol, Thailand
NA North of Argentina
PGM Pantaleon Guatemala Mexico
PR Puerto Rico
RB Republic of Brazil
SP São Paulo
Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at
BARBARA W. TUCHMAN
Sugarcane began to be cultivated in Guatemala in 1536, the first Guatemalan
trapiches were founded in the central valley of Guatemala and in the Salama
Valley, during the 16th century.
In the 17th century the number of trapiches increased, the most important were
in hands of religious orders. It was until the middle of the 19th century that
Guatemala began to export sugar in small amounts.
In 1957 the Guatemalan Sugar Association, ASAZGUA was founded and
in1960, when the total production of sugar was 68,000 metric tones, the country
received its first quota from the United States. The year 1960, is taken as a
starting point for the modern history of sugarcane; in the world, the industrial
era was highly developed and changes in the world dynamics were foreseen, it
was then that sugar mills defined their modernization and growth strategy.
Sugar factories evolved from local to exporting industries, becoming one of the
most important agro-industrial activities of the country.
When Guatemalan sugar exports expanded, the ASAZGUA started to develop a
series of projects and strategies that were the driving force of the national Sugar
Agro-industry. In order to increase sugarcane production, the sugar mills
introduced improvements in the crop, harvest, factory, distribution and product
commercialization, as well as better life conditions for the workers of the
In 1971, the Guatemalan Society of Sugarcane Technologists, ATAGUA was
founded with the purpose of promoting the exchange of experiences and
technology; as well as the spreading of technical knowledge to promote the
development of the Sugarcane Agro-industry. This favored the transference of
technology in congresses and symposiums with other sugarcane technical
associations of Central and Latin America.
In the decade of 1970 various sugar mills began to hire Guatemalan
professionals and sugarcane technicians and foreign consultants, in order to
improve the efficiency in the industrial operation and to design expansion and
modernization projects for some sugar mills.
The ASAZGUA created the Department of Agricultural Experimentation in
1974; and in 1978 Pantaleon Sugar Mill began to develop research projects.
Afterwards, Santa Ana, Concepcion and La Union Sugar Mills, did it as well.
The ASAZGUA created FUNDAZUCAR in 1990, the Guatemalan Sugarcane
Research and Training Center CENGICANA in 1992, EXPOGRANEL in 1994;
and the Department of Environmental Management.
Since 1990 the Sugarcane Agro-industry started to gain a worldwide position,
being among the tenth most important countries in export volume, according to
the International Sugar Organization (ISO); and the third place worldwide in
productivity, according to International LMC.
In 2001 in Brisbane, Australia, Guatemala was designated venue for the most
important sugarcane technological event worldwide. The XXV Congress of the
International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT), which took place
successfully in January 2005 in Guatemala.
The Guatemalan Sugarcane Agro-industry has been permanently growing since
1960 to place Guatemala in the fifth position as sugarcane exporter in the world,
the second position in Latin America and the third place in productivity
worldwide (metric tons of sugar/ha). Sugar is the second agricultural product in
Guatemala that creates foreign income, becoming a very important contribution
to the national economy.
The increase in productivity has been more remarkable in the last 20 years. In
the decade of 1980-1990 an average of 6.77 tons of sugar were produced per
hectare (TSH), while in the decade 2000-2010 the average was 10.11 TSH.
The main factors that have had relevance in the development of the Guatemalan
Sugarcane Agro-industry are: ECOLOGIC: the agro-ecologic conditions have
been favorable. ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT: private industry,
trade organization, export terminal, diversification (cogeneration and ethanol).
TECHNOLOGIC: field operations, factory operations, research, training,
technology transfer, benchmarking. SOCIAL: corporate social responsibility.
The technological component has had an important part in the development of
CENGICANA has formed a research and technological development system for
sugarcane. Thus, it has established policies, regulatory framework, plans,
organization, quality management, and a technology management system.
It has been also developed applied research for the cultivation of sugarcane in
diverse areas of the agronomic system to increase the productivity. The
research areas are: Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology, Biotechnology, Integrated
Pest Management, Fertilization and Vegetal Nutrition, Irrigation,
Agrometeorology, Geographic Information System and Sucrose Recovery. The
research has been done jointly with the associated sugar mills.
The results of all research have been presented in more than 900 publications;
most of them are available at CENGICANA website www.cengicana.org.
Methodologies and technologies have been generated or adapted in all areas.
In this book we present in 13 chapters, the experience in research and
technology transfer, in the sugarcane crop areas, where CENGICANA has
worked with the sugar mills.
In Chapter XIII we present: The Process of Sugar Fabrication, in Chapter XIV
Sugarcane Agro-industry Diversification; and in Chapter XVI presents Climate
Change and the Cultivation of Sugarcane, written by professionals of the
Private Research Institute of Climate Change ICC, which is the newest
organization created by the ASAZGUA in 2010.
We are gratefull with the associated sugar mills, editors, authors, coauthors,
translators especially to Wendy Cano, Erika Monterroso and contributors of this
publication. Our desire is that this book will be useful for professionals,
technicians, sugarcane growers, students and personnel of the Sugarcane Agro-
Board of Directors CENGICANA 2011-2012
President: Ing. Mauricio Cabarrus Pantaleon-Concepcion Sugar Mills
Vicepresident: Ing. Max Zepeda Madre Tierra Sugar Mill
Secretary: Ing. Jorge Leal Magdalena Sugar Mill
Treasurer: Ing. Herman Jensen Santa Ana Sugar Mill
First vocal member: Ing. Jaime Botran Tulula Sugar Mill
Second vocal member: Dr. Freddie Perez San Diego-Trinidad Sugar Mills
Third vocal member: Ing. Jorge Sandoval La Union Sugar Mill
Fourth vocal member: Ing. Arturo Gandara Sugarcane Growers
Joint vocal member: Ing. Hector Ranero ASAZGUA
Financial Advisor: Lic. William Calvillo ASAZGUA
General Director: Dr. Mario Melgar CENGICANA
DEVELOPMENT OF THE
TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE
SUGARCANE AGRO-INDUSTRY AND
Technological development is the process of systematic organization of
scientific and technological knowledge for the production of goods and
Technology is essential knowledge, but it is a knowledge specifically organized
for production. Technological development causes transformations in
According to Enriquez, 2001 “”. The success of a country, sector, organization,
business or an individual, depends upon their ability to understand and apply
Alvin Tofler in his book The Third Wave, 1982 summarizes the technological
history of humanity through, the impact of three waves that have triggered three
revolutions. The first: the agricultural revolution; the second: the industrial
revolution; and the third: the information technology revolution. Each of those
waves creating a new civilization with their own jobs, lifestyles, economic
structures and political thinking.
Richard Oliver, in The Coming Biotech Age, 1999 suggests that the world is
entering a new era or wave, “The Bionanotechnology Revolution”, which will
guide the global economy in the first decades of the 21th century. In Figure 1
we can observe the evolution of these eras through time and their impact in
globalization and added value terms (gross national product (GNP) per capita
and life expectancy). The duration of each wave has been shorter, due to the
previous accumulation of knowledge.
Ph. D. General Director of CENGICANA. www.cengicana.org
Figure 1. Technology creates economic waves
Source: Melgar, M. 2003. No debemos perder la siguiente ola: La revolución biotecnológica
ATAGUA (Gua) 3(4): 14:18.
TECHNOLOGICAL HISTORY OF SUGARCANE
Figure 2. Waves in the Guatemalan Sugarcane Agroindustry
6000 BC 1760 1950 2000
Time and technology
1536 1960 1990 2010
First sugar mills
(Global Top Ten)
In a similar way as the technological waves of Tofler, we can propose that the
technological development of the Guatemalan Sugarcane Agro-Industry has
occurred in three waves that are concisely described as follows.
Wagner, 2007 in his book History of Sugarcane in Guatemala, mentions that
sugarcane began to be cultivated in Guatemala in 1536, in Amatitlan.
The first trapiches in Guatemala were founded in the central valley of the
country and in the Salama Valley during the 16th century.
In the 17th century the number of trapiches grew, the most important ones were
in charge of religious orders.
Wagner mentions that at that time “the consumption and production of brown
sugar and cane rum became so popular among the population that sugar mills
were found in all the warm climate regions of the country.”
It was until the middle of the 19th century that Guatemala began to export sugar
in small quantities.
The Guatemalan Sugar Association, ASAZGUA was founded in 1957 with the
purpose of solving problems in sugarcane production and to develop programs
to promote, improve and introduce the use of modern technology in the
sugarcane industry of the country.
According to McSweeney, in 1990 Guatemala received its first quota from the
United States, at that time the total production of sugar in Guatemala was
68,000 metric tons.
In the prologue of the book History of Sugarcane in Guatemala 2007, Fraterno
Vila, mentions that, for the modern history of sugarcane, the year 1960 is taken
as a starting point. In the world, the industrial era was highly developed and
changes in the world dynamics were foreseen, it was then that sugar mills
defined their modernization and grow strategy. The industry transformed from
a local to an exportating industry, becoming one of the most important agro-
industrial activities of the country.
As Guatemalan sugar exports expanded, the ASAZGUA began to develop a
series of projects and strategies that were the driving force of the national Sugar
Agro-industry. To increase production, the sugar mills introduced
improvements in the crop, harvest, factory, distribution and product
commercialization, as well as life conditions for the workers of the sugarcane
industry, was improved.
In 1971, the Guatemalan Society of Sugarcane Technologists, ATAGUA
was founded with the purpose of promoting the exchange of experiences and
technology and to spread technical knowledge to promote the development
of the Sugarcane Agro-industry. This favored technology transfer with other
sugarcane technical associations of Central and Latin America, through
congresses and symposiums.
In the decade of 1970, various sugar mills began to hire Guatemalan
professionals and sugarcane technicians and foreign consultants mainly from
Cuba to improve the efficiency in the industrial operation and to design
expansion and modernization projects for some sugar mills.
The education of sugarcane technicians in universities began in 1975,
making it possible for new professionals to take important positions in the
sugar mills. That is how the transformation of the Guatemalan Sugarcane
Agro-industry began, which kept progressively evolving in the crop, the
harvest and the transportation.
ASAZGUA created the Department of Agricultural Experimentation in
1974; and in 1978 Pantaleon Sugar Mill began to develop research projects.
Afterwards, Santa Ana, Concepcion and La Union Sugar Mills, did it as
The ASAZGUA created: The Sugar Foundation, FUNDAZUCAR 1990,
whose mission is “To become the model for promoting social development,
replicable for other sectors of the country”; The Guatemalan Sugarcane
Research and Training Center, CENGICANA in 1992, whose mission is:
"We are the organization of the Sugar Industry responsible for generating,
adapting and transferring quality technology for profitable and sustainable
development"; EXPOGRANEL in 1994, whose mission is “To be the
shipment terminal that facilitates the competitiveness of The Guatemalan
sugarcane industry worldwide through the effective and reliable
management of exportating sugar”; and in 1994, it created the
Environmental Management Department.
Since 1990 the Sugarcane Agro-industry reached a position worldwide, and
Guatemala is situated among the tenth most important countries in export
volume, according to the International Sugar Organization (ISO); and it is
also well positioned in productivity, according to International LMC, as
shown in Figure 3, where Guatemala occupies the third place worldwide.
As a result it was elected venue for the XXV International Society of Sugar
Cane Technologists, ISSCT which was successfully held in 2005, in
The Private Research Institute of Climate Change (ICC) was founded by
ASAZGUA in 2010, whose mission is: “To create and promote actions that
facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation in the region based on
technical and scientific guidelines, as well as economic feasibility”.
Figure 3. Competitiveness indicators
Source: LMC Sugar Technical Performance - Executive Summary. September 2008.
In this chapter the following topics are briefly presented emphasizing the period
1. Development factors of the Guatemalan Sugarcane Agro-Industry.
2. Sugarcane innovation system.
3. Research and development strategies at sectorial level.
4. Changes in the factors of production within the agronomic system.
6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Prod. Sucrose per ton of milling capacity
Sugar Yield (TSH)
The Guatemalan Sugarcane Agro-industry has been growing permanently since
1960, as far as to position Guatemala as follows:
Fifth place as sugarcane export country worldwide, second in Latin America
and third in productivity (sugar metric tons/ha) worldwide (Figure 3).
Sugar is the second agricultural product in Guatemala, generating foreign
currency incomes, becoming a very important contribution to the national
economy (Chart 4).
In Figure 4 we observe that the increase in production is due to the increase in
the cultivated area, and in productivity.
The increase in productivity has been more noticeable in the last 20 years as
shown in Figure 5.
Figure 4. Trends in area, production and yield of sugar in Guatemala,
Source: Melgar, M. 2010. “Estrategias de la investigación tecnológica en la
agroindustria azucarera de Guatemala”. Presentación en Power Point en el
simposio “Modelos de investigación y desarrollo tecnológico agrícola”
Experiencias del sector privado. USAID-AGEXPORT. 15 de julio 2010.
Toneladas de Azúcar Área (ha)Tonnesof Sugar Area (ha)
Figure 5. Sugar yield/TSH 1960-2010
Source: CENGICAÑA. 2007. Eventos históricos y logros 1992-2007 y actualización 2010
(See Annex 1). Guatemala.
In the decade of 1980-1990 an average of 6.77 sugar tons were produced per
hectare (TSH), while in the decade of 2000-2010 the average was 10.11 TSH.
Diverse authors describe the main factors that have influenced the development
of the Guatemalan Sugarcane Agro-industry. These factors are:
Chart 1. Main factors of development of the Sugar Agro-industry in Guatemala
FACTOR DESCRIPTION AUTOR(S)
International Sugar Journal
International Sugar Journal,
Int. Sugar Jul 1998
Herrera et al., 2001
Meneses et al., 2003
Menéndez y Estévez, 2005
Tay y Huete, 2006
Herrera et al., 2001
Source: CENGICAÑA. 2007. Eventos históricos y logros 1992-2007. Guatemala.
1959/60* 53 9.70 5.20
1960/65 57 9.34 5.34
1965/70 62 9.24 5.76
1970/75 74 8.83 6.58
1975/80 77 8.49 6.54
1980/85 76 9.10 6.58
1985/90 71 9.66 6.90
1990/95 82 10.10 8.32
1995/00 85 10.42 8.87
2000/05 90 11.33 10.17
2005/10 94 10.75 10.05
* Just 1959/60
60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 00 05 10
Market: Sugar, cogeneration, ethanol.
Canegrowers, Research departments
CENGICANA Sugarcane Research Centers
form other countries
(Mainly United States,
Colombia and Brazil)
association from other
Universities: USAC, URL, UVG, UG, ZAMORANO, EARTH
ENCA, Technological centers
The mentioned authors agree that the technological component has played a
very important role in the development of the Guatemalan Sugarcane Agro-
SUGARCANE INNOVATION SYSTEM IN
According to Tosi, 2010, the innovative achievement of a country, region or
sector cannot be evaluated focusing only on the individual success of the
organizations. On the contrary, innovation is a process that results from the
interaction of diverse organizations.
In Figure 6 we present the main enterprises or organizations that participate
in the innovation system of sugarcane in Guatemala.
Flow of knowledge
Flow of production
Figure 6. Innovation system of sugarcane in Guatemala
Other activities that have been developed by the innovation system, are:
trainings, publications and congresses, as shown in Figures 7, 8 and 9.
PEOPLE TRAINED BY AREA
Figure 7. Training events coordinated by CENGICANA
Source: Melgar, M. 2011. "Desarrollo Tecnológico de la Agroindustria Azucarera y su Impacto
en la Costa Sur de Guatemala". Presentación en Power Point en el foro "La Ciencia y
Tecnología para el Desarrollo Rural Integral” XI Congreso de Ingenieros Agrónomos,
Forestales y Ambientales de Guatemala. 15 de junio 2011.
Figure 8. Publications by CENGICAÑA, most are available in
PEOPLE TRAINED BY RANK
Number of publications
USAC, URL, UVG,
CONCYT, ENCA, ICTA
Ecuador, España, United
Figure 9. Sugarcane congresses organized in Guatemala by ATAGUA, supported
by ASAZGUA and CENGICAÑA
Figure 10 summarizes the technology network actors of the technology
management system that make possible the formation of “the Technology
Stock” of the Guatemalan Sugarcane Agroindustry.
TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Figure 10. Technology management system actors
Source: Melgar, M. 2011. “Estrategias de la investigación tecnológica en la agroindustria azucarera
de Guatemala”. Presentación en Power Point en el seminario-taller "Situación actual y perspectivas
de la investigación agropecuaria, forestal e hidrobiológica en Guatemala”. 02 de junio 2011.
1973 1975 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1995 1997 1998 2000 2001 2002 2005 2008 2011
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT POLICIES AT
As it can be observed in Figure 6, the innovation sources are diverse and each
one has its policies. In Chart 2, we present the research and development
policies at sectorial level that have directed the work of CENGICANA, and
which have been documented in publications or presentations.
Chart 2. Research and development policies
POLICY DESCRIPTION STRATEGY
Activities for the scientific and
technological development will be
held with the participation of the
enterprises that are part of the
sugarcane sector,in a coordinated
Creation of Centro
Guatemalteco de Investigacion
y Capacitacion de la Caña de
Scientific and technological
research will be oriented to solve
priority problems of the
cultivation of sugarcane.
Development of strategic and
operative plans with the
participation of management
and technical levels from sugar
The training, updating and
education of professionals and
technicians, will be a priority
activity for the technological
development of the sector.
Links with national and
international institutions for
the training of human
Diffusion of research results will
be promoted through joint
activities with sugar mills. A
system of technology management
and an innovation system will be
Creation of specific
Organization of technical
events and congresses
Elaboration of publications
Establishment of a
Creation of website
5. NATIONAL AND
CENGICANA´s links to other
sugarcane international research
centers and national organizations,
will be established and
Establish agreements and other
mechanisms that allow the
development of joint programs
or projects that promote
POLICY DESCRIPTION STRATEGY
6. INVESTMENT IN
Mechanisms that stimulate
investment in science and research
by the enterpreneurs of the sector,
will be identified.
Presentations or elaboration of
publications that show
profitability of investment in
CENGICANA will implement a
quality management system
Certification by CENGICANA
Quality management system
according to ISO 9001:2000 in
2006 and recertification ISO
9001:2008 in 2009.
Source: CENGICANA, 2007. Historic events and successes 1992-2007. Guatemala.
PRIORIZATION STRATEGIES IN RESEARCH
PROGRAMS AND PROYECTS
CENGICANA was created by ASAZGUA in 1992 to support technological
advance of the sugarcane agro-industry with the objective to improve
production and productivity of the sugarcane crop and its derivatives. It is
financed by the sugar mills that form the Guatemalan sugarcane agro-industry
and who make contributions to the budget of the Center in proportion to their
According to the Strategic Plans 2005-2015, the vision of CENGICANA is “To
be leaders in technology generation to increase the competitiveness of the
sugarcane agro-industry in the region; and the mission is “"We are the
organization of the Sugar Industry responsible for generating, adapting and
transferring quality technology for profitable and sustainable development".
The strategic objectives of the Center are:
1. To increase the profitability and sustainability of the sugarcane agro-industry
through the continuous improvement of the processes of Varieties,
Integrated Pests Management, Biotecnology, Fertilization, Irrigation,
Agrometeorology, Agroecologic Zonification and Weeds, and Chemical
2. To evaluate and implement new research programs in factory, cogeneration
3. To improve technology transfer to the associated sugar mills, through
training, publish and promotion of the benchmarking processes in field,
factory and transportation.
4. To ensure the satisfaction of the associates with technologies to improve the
profitability and sustainability and to maintain the Quality Management
System certified according to ISO 9001:2008.
5. To develop a continuous program of education, training and updating of the
technical personnel of CENGICANA and the Sugarcane Agro-industry.
The programs and projects that CENGICANA develops based in the
prioritization defined jointly with the Board of directors, Agricultural Managers,
and Industrial Managers are listed in the following Chart:
Chart 3. Research Programs and projects of CENGICAÑA
PROGRAMS AREAS PROJECTS
1. Plant Breeding
1. Germplasm source. 2. Cross-breeding program. 3.
Selection scheme. 4. Genetic seed. 5. Promotion of
1. Molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS),
2. Molecular diagnosis of diseases. 3. Tissue culture
3. Plant Pathology 1. Pathogen detection in nurseries
1. Bioecology of pests and natural enemies.
2. Bioeconomic research.
3. Development of control strategies
1. Fertilization and
1. Nutrient requeriments studies. 2. Fertilization
management. 3. Use and management of byproducts.
4. Green manures
1. Technical and economic efficiency of irrigation.
2. Technical and economic efficiency of irrigation
methods. 3. Studies of groundwater levels
1. Analysis of meteorological information for
4. Information System
1. Agronomic Information System.
2. Agroecological zoning. 3. Thematic maps
5. Weeds and ripeners
1. Flowering inhibitors. 2. Ripeners.
3. Weed management
1. Sucrose recovery. 2. Standardization and
normalization 3. Energy efficiency
Source: Melgar, M. 2011. “Estrategias de la investigación tecnológica en la Agroindustria Azucarera de
Guatemala”. Presentación en Power Point en el seminario-taller “Situación actual y perspectivas de la
investigación agropecuaria, forestal e hidrobiológica en Guatemala”. 02 de junio 2011.
CHANGES IN THE TECHNOLOGICAL FACTORS
Figure 11 presents the agronomic system of commercial production. The main
changes in technological factors are described with emphasis in the period
Figure 11. Agronomic sistem of comercial production of sugarcane
Source: Melgar, M. 2011. "Desarrollo Tecnológico de la Agroindustria Azucarera y su
Impacto en la Costa Sur de Guatemala". Presentación en Power Point en foro "La
Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo Rural Integral“ XI Congreso de Ingenieros
Agrónomos, Forestales y Ambientales de Guatemala. 15 de junio 2011. Adaptado de
Factors that research has been conducted in coordination with CENGICANA.
During the period of 1990/2010 (Figure 12) a predominance of CP varieties
coming from the Canal Point Experimental Station, Florida was observed. The
variety CP72-2086 stands out, which during the harvest 2002/2003 occupied
the 75 percent of the cultivated area.
- ENLARGE -MANUAL
TOPOGRAPHY CLIMATE WATERSOIL LATITUDE HUMAN FACTOR
DRAINAGE ROADSAREA IRRIGATION SEED
RIPENERSHILLING WEEDS RATS
The variety CP72-2086 has been denominated a “super-variety”, because it
has occupied more than 40 percent of the cultivated area for more than ten
years and with more than 8 tons of sugar per hectare. Similar cases were
registered in Brazil in the decade of 1980 with the variety NA5679; in
Louisiana in the decade of 1990, with the variety LCP85-845; in Australia in
the decade of 1990, with Q124, and currently, in Colombia with the variety
From the detection of Orange Rust in Guatemala in 2007, the area of variety
CP72-2086 has diminished, and the area of variety CP88-1165, has increased.
Other varieties cultivated starting 2007 are: CP, Mex, PGM, BR, SP, NA and
In the period 1990/2010 the hybridization process began for the development of
Guatemalan varieties CG, which for the harvest 2010/2011, occupied 9,000
Seventeen hundred varieties have been introduced, which mainly come from:
Canal Point United States of America, Mexico, Brazil, Barbados, Australia,
Mauricio, Cuba, Thailand, and Colombia. An importing quarantine was
established in 1993, and two new diseases have been reported, the Leaf Scald
Disease and the Orange Rust Disease.
For the improvement of the nurseries, the hydrothermic treatment for Ratoon
Stunting Disease is a usual technology. An analysis service by serologic
methods was established in 1999; a molecular detection of diseases for
imported varieties was implemented in 2010. While the seed multiplication,
through micro-propagation, is made by two sugar mills.
Agreements have been established for the exchange of varieties with BSES of
Australia, Barbados, Canal Point Florida and ARS-USDA-HOUMA-
LOUSIANA United States of America, CENICANA from Colombia, CINCAE
from Ecuador, CIDCA from Mexico, Mitr Phol from Thailand, DIECA from
Costa Rica, MSIRI from Mauritius, and CTC from Brazil.
Figura 12. Percentage of commercial cultivated area by variety of sugarcane in
Guatemala, from 1980 to 2011
Source: CENGICAÑA. 2010. Memoria. Presentación de resultados de investigación. Zafra 2009-
Integrated Pest Management
In figure 13, infestation levels of the main pests with economic impact, are
Except for some high percentages of rodent infestation and a year of
Froghopper, the presence of plagues has been maintained under economic
damage level, which shows sustainable management of the crop.
The work performed by technicians responsible for pest management in each
sugar mill, is supported by the Integrated Pest Management Program of
CENGICANA, that jointly with the Integrated Pest Management Committee
(CANAMIP), has developed integrated management plans for the Sugarcane
Borer, Froghopper and rodents.
The sugar mills have also received the support of some advisors from
Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. At the same time, biological
studies have been developed for soil plagues, termites and homopters.
Mex68-P23 PGM 89-968
80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
00‐01 01‐02 02‐03 03‐04 04‐05 05‐06 06‐07 07‐08 08‐09 09‐10
0.85 1.14 1.5
2.59 2.63 2.68
% Infestation Field Rats
Alto Medio BajoHigh Medium Low
Figura 13. Evolution of different sugarcane pests 2000-2010
Source: CENGICAÑA 2011. Situación actual y proyección de la producción de azúcar
Zafra 2010/2011. Presentación en Power Point a Junta Directiva de ASAZGUA. 22 de
Since 1993 the studies “Semi-detailed Study of Soils of the Guatemalan
Sugarcane Zone” and “Soil Management Groups” have been made- A
systematic scientific-technologic research job was also developed, which made
possible to determine strategies for the optimization of nitrogen fertilizer and
economic recommendations for the use and management of phosphorus
The fertilizers are applied, by soil management groups, according to the
requirements, soil analysis, and potential performance. Recommendations for
nitrogen and phosphorus have been specified, as observed in Figure 14.
During this period techniques were developed for the efficient utilization of
filter mud and vinasse, management of green fertilizers and differential
response for promissory varieties.
00‐01 ´01‐02 `02‐03 '03‐04 ´04‐05 ´05‐06 ´06‐07 ´07‐08 08‐09 ´09‐10
% of i.i
% Infestation Borer
00‐01 01‐02 02‐03 03‐04 04‐05 05‐06 06‐07 07‐08 08‐09 09‐10
% of i.i
% Infestation Froghopper
Recommendation of nitrogen doses (kg N / ha) for sugarcane cultivation in soils
derived from volcanic ash in Guatemala
Minimum dose Maximum dose
80 1.14 100 150
(3.0 – 5.0)
70 1.0 90 130
60 0.9 80 120
Rel N:TC= Relationship kg of N per ton of cane expected
Phosphorus recommendations bases on P soil, cultivation season and soil type
Category of P
Plant cane Ratoon
Andisols Other soils Andisols Other soils
(< 10 ppm)
80 60 40 25
60 40 0 0
0 0 0 0
Figura 14. Nitrogen and Phosphorus recommendations.
Source: Adapted from Pérez, O.; Ufer, C.; Azañón, V. and Solares, E. 2010. Strategies for
the optimal use of nitrogen fertilizers in the sugarcane crops in Guatemala. In: Proc. Int. Soc.
Sugar Cane Technol. Veracruz, Mexico.
Source: Adapted from Pérez, O.; Hernández, F. 2002. Comportamiento y manejo del fósforo
en la fertilización de caña de azúcar en suelos de origen volcánico. En: Memoria de XIV
Congreso de Técnicos Azucareros de Centro América ATACA. Guatemala. pp. 161-168.
The area under irrigation in the Guatemalan sugarcane zone has increased,
as observed in Figure 15, otherwise, the compliance with the technical and
economic recommendations for the application of irrigation has increased
the efficiency in water utilization, as observed in Figure 16. Progress has
been made also with the application of other technologies that increase
production, such as: use of hydric balance, precut irrigation programming,
water quality and capillary water contribution analysis, and management of
The broadening of the areas with mechanized irrigation systems has been
reported, such as fixed swivel and mobile swivel and frontal displacement, and
a greater number of aspersion systems.
62558.75 65549.00 72534.00
119170 128709 132497
ALTO MEDIO BAJO TOTALHIGH MEDIUM LOW TOTAL
Figure 15. Growth in irrigated area 2001-2010, low altitude stratum (1-100 masl),
medium (100-300 masl) and high (over 300 masl)
Source: CENGICAÑA 2011. Situación actual y proyección de la producción de azúcar Zafra
2010/2011. Presentación en Power Point a Junta Directiva de ASAZGUA. 22 de marzo 2011.
Figure 16. Evolution of irrigation efficiency
Source: CENGICAÑA 2011. “Situación actual y proyección de la producción de azúcar”
Zafra 2010/2011. Presentación en Power Point a Junta Directiva de ASAZGUA. 22 de marzo
Irrigated hectares/megaliter of water
The application of technology for the utilization of chemical ripening products
to increase yields has been extended from 2,900 hectares in harvest season
1989/1990, to more than 140,000 in harvest season 2009/2010 as observed in
Over time, factors affecting the response to ripeners such as: water quality, soil
moisture, and potential yield varieties have been evaluated.
Figure 17. Area applied with ripeners
Source: CENGICAÑA 2011. Situación actual y proyección de la producción de azúcar Zafra
2010/2011. Presentación en Power Point a Junta Directiva de ASAZGUA. 22 de marzo 2011.
The Manual for the Identification and Management of Main Sugarcane Weeds
and the Herbicide Technical Catalogue used in the Guatemalan Sugarcane
Agro-industry, were made, in order to generate information about weed control.
The automatic meteorological network in the Guatemalan sugarcane zone, has
been established, in order to obtain basic data available, with 16 stations that
provide information about the main meteorological variables, which can be
accessed through CENGICANA webpage www.cengicana.org.
100 300 700 2,904
Area (ha) applied ripeners harvest season 1986-2009*
Through agro-meteorological studies. The relation of diverse climatic variables
with sugarcane production has been found. As an example, the case of August
solar radiation that is highly related with the production of sugarcane, as
observed in Figure 18.
Figure 18. Relationship ENSO, August sunshine and tons of sugarcane of the
Guatemalan Sugarcane Agroindustry
Source: CENGICAÑA 2011. Situación actual y proyección de la producción de azúcar Zafra
2010/2011. Presentación en Power Point a Junta Directiva de ASAZGUA. 22 de marzo 2011.
In 2009, Villatoro et al., published the study First Approach to the Agro-
ecologic Zonification for the Sugarcane Cultivation in the Sugarcane Zone of
the Guatemalan Southern Coast.
The GPS technology and the Geographic information system have been mainly
used for the application of agrochemicals in the cultivation of sugarcane,
topographic applications, irrigations and transportation.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT
According to www.azucar.com.gt the biggest impacts are:
Generation of 65,000 direct jobs and 350,000 indirect and direct jobs in
230,000 hectares that are equal to 2.1 percent of the national territory.
N= NEUTRAL YEAR
Ño= NIÑO YEAR
Ña= NIÑA YEAR
For the 2009/2010 harvest season, sugar represented 10.25% of the GNP of
the country total exports; 20.80% of the agricultural exports; and it generated
US$493 million in foreign currency, which is the basis for the national
economical exchange that includes food, contributing to food safety. Foreign
currency earnings from sugar and molasses export ranked second, after
coffee, and even in some years have achieved the first place (Chart 4).
The activities that promote human development area carried out through
The social impact of the Sugarcane Agro-industry is shown by the regional
development level, mainly in the department of Escuintla, which is the third
department with better levels of development in Guatemala (better life
conditions, lower levels of poverty and malnutrition indexes).
Eight sugar mills develop cogeneration for the production of the 23 percent
of electrical energy in harvest season in the Interconnected National System,
that represent 310 MW of power.
During harvest season 2009/2010, five enterprises associated to sugar mills
produced 265 million liters of ethanol, which was exported to Europe and
the United States.
Chart 4. Foreing currency earnings for exports during 2003 to 2010, 000 in
Año 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
2,284,338 3,074,419 3,644,832 3,813,657 4,219,396 5,034,553 4,795,305 5,490,744
Main products 944,528 1,244,861 1,456,635 1,449,539 1,560,044 1,540,893 1,855,565 2,087,566
Sugar and Molasses 316;429 457,024 497,499 550,608 546,509 406,708 492,987 763,831
Bananas 228,051 277,481 289,119 266,020 302,383 322,919 494,291 351,565
Coffee 328,122 424,740 575,322 529,553 587,987 660,130 589,245 705,477
Cardamom 67,548 98,473 108,152 122,851 143,890 180,435 300,212 307,500
Central America 312,833 382,765 371,876 590,535 692,547 1,147,115 1,212,780 1,991,856
Other Products 1,036,975 1446,793 1,816,320 1,773,583 1,966,805 2,346,544 1,726,960 1,411,321
Source: Banco de Guatemala
Sugarcane is currently cultivated in more than 100 countries covering more than
20 million hectares in the world, where 1,300 million tons of sugarcane are
produced. (D´Hont et al., 2008).
In the past, it has been mainly used to produce sugar, providing almost two
thirds of the world production.
Even though the world economy will depend in the next decades on fossil
energy, the biomass will partially substitute fossil energy for being a source of
renewable energy. Due to its exceptional capacity to produce biomass,
sugarcane will be an important source of it (Botha, 2009).
Sugarcane will be the favorite raw material for the production of ethanol or the
generation of electric energy and co-products, such as: bioplastics and
sucrochemistry derivatives. (ISO, 2009).
Moore 2005, describes the different levels of production associated to
constraints factors and agronomic practices or technologies to protect or
increase the yield of crops.
In Figure 19, levels of production adapted to sugarcane in Guatemala, are
shown. The present day yield is defined as the one reached under conditions
with constraint factors such as: weeds, pests, diseases or nutrient deficit.
With the appropriate fertilization and weed, pests and disease control
sustainable yield can be reached. The obtainable yield is determined by
environmental constraints, associated to factors such as water, radiation,
temperature, or soil salinity.
The potential yield is reached when the crop is in optimal conditions to provide
inputs, such as: water and nutrients in absence of pests, and with the appropriate
variables. The potential yield in a region can be estimated by the record yield
The theoretical yield is calculated through simulation models based on
phenology and physiology of sugarcane and, it is possible to be reachred with
the support of biotechnology and precision agriculture.
The record yields of sugarcane, approximately reach a 65 percent of the
theoretical yield (Moore, 1997) so there is a high potential to increase them.
Figure 19. Production levels, constraints production factors and agronomic
practices or technologies with the potential to protect or increase the
tonnage (Adapted from Moore, P. 2005).
Source: Melgar, M. 2010. Tendencias de la Investigación en Caña de Azúcar a Nivel Mundial.
Sugar Journal (USA). November 2010. pp. 6-18
Melgar, 2010, presents a revision of some sugarcane research trends, in Chart 5
the technologies that will be used in the future of sugarcane, are listed.
Charto 5. Technological trends in sugarcane
Genetic Breeding Conventional breeding
selection (MAS), Transgenic
limiting biotic (pests,
diseases and weeds)
Molecular diagnosis of
Present Obtainable Potential Theorist
Management of weeds,
Strategies for changes
in the evolution of
pests, diseases and
Molecular diagnosis of diseases
Precision Agriculture (GPS,
GIS, remote sensing)
(Internet, cellular phones)
Source: Melgar, M. 2010. Tendencias de la investigación en caña de azúcar a nivel mundial. Sugar Journal
(USA). November 2010. pp. 6-18.
Based on Melgar´s revision (2010), some trends for sugarcane and its
derivatives that indicate research trends, are presented as follows:
1. As the energetic demand grows worldwide, sugarcane will play an important
role as bio-fuel and as a source of energy. The leadership in research
development for the optimization of production processes of ethanol and
energy is being taken by Brazil, through universities and institutions
localized mainly in the state of Sao Paulo and the Centro de Tecnologia
Canaviera (CTC) (Center of Sugarcane technology). The use of all biomass
produced by sugarcane is presented as one of the main research and
development challenges, for which diverse countries are developing
sugarcane energetic clones, derived from intraspecific and inter-generic
2. Most of the research centers in the reviewed countries are making great
investments in sugarcane biotechnology, so that in the midterm, sugarcane
transgenic varieties will be used at a commercial level, especially, in those
countries that already have transgenic varieties at experimental level (Brazil,
Colombia, United States, South Africa, China, India and Australia). The
main characters that have been transformed in sugarcane are: herbicide, pests
and disease resistance, greater sucrose accumulation and production of
polymers and pharmaceutical products.
3. Derivative technologies from molecular biology and genetics engineering,
will be used not only for the development of sugarcane varieties, but also as
tools for integrated pests management, disease diagnosis, weed control and
for methods associated to fertilization, such as: biologic fixation of nitrogen
and soil microbiology.
4. The occurrence of droughts is a restriction factor mentioned by various
countries, hence, the research in irrigation systems with efficient use of
water will be indispensable, such as irrigation by dripping, technologies for
the optimization of water utilization, water harvest and conservation, and
management of water sources.
5. Precision agriculture for the optimal use of supplies in the search of eco-
efficiency will require research in more precise diagnosis techniques, use of
tools as: geographic information systems (GPS), remote sensors and the
application of information technologies: cellular telephones and internet.
Cenicana, Colombia has developed the model of specific agricultural model
for sites. India, has promoted the use of information technologies for the
transfer of technology due to this country has a large number of a small
6. Competition for the use of land for other crops, forestry and urban
development, make economic research necessary.
7. Due to climate change and environmental concern there will be a more
focused legislation on the protection of the environment (water, soil,
protected areas, biodiversity, agrochemical use, industrial security, traffic
and burnings) so that, the focus of development must be based on
To Licda. Priscila Lopez de Alvarado for her valuable contribution to the
integration of this chapter and the diagramming of this book.
1. Botha, F.C. (2009). Energy Yield and Cost in a Sugarcane Biomass
System. En: Proc. Aust. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol., Vol. 31:1–10.
2. CENGICAÑA. 2007. Eventos históricos y logros 1992-2007. Guatemala.
3. CENGICAÑA. 2010. Logros 2006-2010. Presentación en Power Point a Junta
Directiva de CENGICAÑA. 03 de mayo 2010.
4. CENGICAÑA. 2011. Situación actual y proyección de la producción de
azúcar Zafra 2010/2011. Presentación en Power Point a Junta Directiva de
ASAZGUA. 22 de marzo 2011.
5. D’Hont, A., et al (2008). Sugarcane: A Major Source of Sweetness,
Alcohol, and Bio-energy. Springer. 2008. Genomics of tropical crop plants.
Springer. p. 483-513.
6. Enriquez, Juan. 2001. As the Future Catchs You. Crow Business New
7. Hasrajani, N. 2004. La industria azucarera en Guatemala: Una Visión
Global. ISJ Vol CVI N1267 jul p.385-389
8. Herrera, J.; Orive, J.; Boesche, A. 2001. Guatemala Sugar industry , INT.
SUGAR JNL., VOL. 103, NO. 1235 p.484-485
9. International Sugar Journal. 1998. Guatemala continúa la trayectoria de
éxitos. ISJ Vol100 No 1190 February. p46
10. ISO. International Sugar Organization. 2009. Sugar Year Book 2009.
Documento en línea:
11. ISO. Organización Mundial del Azúcar. 2009. Potencial de mercado para
bioproductos derivados de la remolacha y de la caña de azúcar.
12. McSweeney, J.F.; 2005. Guatemala From Zero to major exporter 1960-
2004. Proc ISSCT Vol25. pp.465-470
13. Melgar, M. 2003. No debemos perder la siguiente ola: La revolución
biotecnológica. ATAGUA (Gua) 3(4): 14:18
14. Melgar, M. 2010. Estrategias de la investigación tecnológica en la
agroindustria azucarera de Guatemala. Presentación en Power Point, en
simposio “Modelos de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico Agrícola”
Experiencias Del Sector Privado. USAID-AGEXPORT. 15 de julio 2010.
15. Melgar, M. 2010. Tendencias de la investigación en caña de azúcar a nivel
mundial. Sugar Journal (USA). November 2010. pp. 6-18.
16. Melgar, M. 2011. Estrategias de la investigación tecnológica en la
agroindustria azucarera de Guatemala. Presentación en Power Point en el
seminario-taller “Situación actual y perspectivas de la investigación
agropecuaria, forestal e hidrobiológica en Guatemala”. 02 de junio 2011.
17. Melgar, M. 2011. Desarrollo Tecnológico de la Agroindustria Azucarera y
su Impacto en la Costa Sur de Guatemala. Presentación en Power Point en
foro "La ciencia y tecnología para el Desarrollo Rural Integral” XI
Congreso de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Forestales y Ambientales de
Guatemala. 15 de junio 2011.
18. Menéndez, M.; Estévez, M.; 2005 Reporte de inteligencia competitiva,
DCE, Ministerio de Economía de El Salvador. Artículo electrónico.
19. Meneses, A.; Melgar, M.; Cano, W. 2003. Desarrollo de la agroindustria
azucarera en Guatemala. SJ October Vol.62, No5. pp.18-19
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hierarchical scales: towards developing an understanding of the gene-to-
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overcoming physio-biochemical limits to sucrose accumulation. in Intensive
sugarcane production: Meeting the challenges beyond 2000, eds Keating
B.A, Wilson J.R.(CAB International, Wallingford, UK), pp. 141﹣156.
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fertilización de caña de azúcar en suelos de origen volcánico. In: Memoria
de XIV Congreso de Técnicos Azucareros de Centro América ATACA.
Guatemala. pp. 161-168
25. Pérez, O.; Ufer, C.; Azañón, V. and Solares, E. 2010. Strategies for the optimal
use of nitrogen fertilizers in the sugarcane crops in Guatemala. In: Proc. Int. Soc.
Sugar Cane Technol. Veracruz, Mexico.
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II. CHARACTERIZATION OF
SUGARCANE GROWING AREAS
CHARACTERIZATION OF SUGARCANE
Braulio Villatoro and Ovidio Pérez
Sugar industry of Guatemala is composed of 13 sugar mills which are
distributed geographically as follows:
Ten of the sugar mills are located on the Pacific coastal plain, Southern
Coast of Guatemala, occupying almost the totality of sugarcane growing area
(99 %). These sugar mills are: Tululá, Palo Gordo, Madre Tierra, La
Unión, Pantaleon, Concepcion, Magdalena, Santa Ana, Trinidad, and
El Pilar. The other sugar mills are located in relatively small areas, at
different parts of the country. At the Villa Canales Municipality,
Guatemala District, is located Santa Teresa Mill, and in the Santa
Rosa District is La Sonrisa. The Chabil Utzaj Mill is being
established at the Northern of the country, in Alta Verapaz District.
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION OF SUGARCANE GROWING
The sugarcane growing areas in the Southern Coast of Guatemala, are located
between 91°50’00” - 90°10’00” West Longitude and 14°33’00” - 13°50’00”
North Latitude. Geopolitically, these areas are located in the Retalhuleu,
Suchitepéquez, Escuintla and Santa Rosa Districts. At the moment, the
sugarcane growing areas are expanding towards the Jutiapa District. A general
geographical distribution is presented in Figure 1.
Braulio Villatoro is Agr. Eng., Specialist in Information Systems for Precision Agriculture; Ovidio Pérez
is Agr. Eng., M.Sc. Agronomy Program Leader, CENGICAÑA. www.cengicana.org
Figure 1. Geographical distribution of sugarcane growing areas in the Southern
Coast of Guatemala
The sugarcane growing areas are located in the river basin of the following
rivers: Ocosito, Samalá, Sis-Icán, Nahualate, Madre Vieja, Coyolate, Acomé,
Achiguate, María Linda, Paso Hondo, Los Esclavos, and La Paz; which have
their origin in the highlands and flow into the Pacific Ocean.
The sugarcane growing areas of Guatemala are divided in four strata, based on
altitudinal position and expressed as meters above sea level (MASL).
Altitudinal position of these areas are associated to climatic and soil conditions,
due to physiographic characteristics corresponding to a natural landscape from
the base of the mountains to the coastal plain, with slopes of 7 to 25 percent.
The areas are undulated hills that easily descend to the plain level of the Pacific
Coast (CENGICAÑA, 1996).
The high stratum is located above 300 MASL; Medium stratum is from 100 to
300 MASL; Low stratum, from 40 to 100 MASL, and Littoral stratum
corresponding from 0 to 40 MASL.
Localization of these strata is presented in Figure 2. Climatic conditions are
summarized in Table 1.
Figure 2. Altitudinal Strata of sugarcane growing areas
Table 1. Climatic characteristics of sugarcane growing areas
Temp. (°C) Solar
Min. Average Max.
High > 300 4100 20.2 26.2 32.2 17.7 5.2
3700 20.5 26.7 32.2 17.3 6.8
Low 40 – 100 1900 21.2 27.3 33.8 18.4 6.2
Littoral < 40 1500 21.0 27.5 33.4 18.0 8.7
Solar radiation and temperature are more varied getting close to the coast, but
these conditions become more stable as ascending near to the mountains. On the
other hand, rainfall diminishes as descending from the base of mountains to the
Rainfall is distributed in two seasons: rainy season (known locally as winter)
that occurs between May and October with major rainfalls during June and
September. Between July and August occurs a dry period of 15 days (canicula).
The non rainy season (locally named summer) occurs between October and
May, corresponding to the harvesting period.
Parent material on which soils of sugarcane growing areas are developed are
mainly formed by volcanic ash, lapilli, pumice and pyroclastics, which exist due
to high volcanic activity occurred in different geological time, mainly the
Quaternary Period (CENGICAÑA, 1996).
Soil mineralogy and granulometrical characteristics vary from one place to the
other, depending on geographical position, especially in relation to the distance
from the volcanic crater. Allophane is the predominant material in soils at high
and medium strata, meanwhile, in low stratum Haloisite and 2:1 clay are
predominant, probably Esmectite in the lowlands along the Western and Eastern
parts of the region.
Soil classification at the sugarcane region
In 1993 and 1994, a semi detailed soil survey was carried out (1:50,000) in the
sugarcane growing zone. For this, the Soil taxonomy System was used,
considering Family level (Soil survey Staff, 1992).
At the region, the following were identified: 6 soil Orders, 9 Suborders, 13
Great Groups, 25 Subgroups and 37 Families. By its extension: Mollisols,
Andisols, Entisols, Inceptisols, Alfisols and Vertisols, in order of importance,
Order localization in the region is observed in Figure 3. The position of each
Order is corresponding to the natural landscape, depending on slope and
topography characteristics due to fluvio-volcanic material deposition and its
distribution downward leaching from the mountains. Thus, it is observed that
Andisols (recent formed soils) are located at high and medium strata in the
region with greater rainfall than in the lowlands and littoral areas where
Mollisols are predominant.
Figure 3. Map showing Soil classification at sugarcane growing areas at Southern
Guatemala. Source: SIAP-CENGICAÑA
The main characteristics of six Orders of soil are described in the following
Mollisols are presented in 40 percent of total area. They are located
mainly in littoral zone, close to the coast, in flat and slightly flat
topography. These soils present medium development, showing ABC y
AC horizons. The superficial horizon has a variable depth, dark color and
medium organic matter content. Base saturation is more than 50 percent
through soil profile. Soil particles aggregation varies from moderate to
strong structure. Mostly, we come across soil that is loamy and sandy-
loamy with predominant sandy subsoil.
Andisols are predominant in high and medium strata, occupying 26 percent
of total area. They present little development, derived from volcanic ash,
dark in color, high organic matter content and low bulk density.
Consistency ranges from friable to loose. These soils have excellent
physical properties with loamy and sandy loamy textures, but present some
chemical limitations, such as high retention of phosphate and sulfur.
Entisols are the less evolved soils in the region, with just AC horizons. They
constitute 16 percent of the total area. They are found in valleys and alluvial
fans in narrow strips, located in medium and lowlands that extend to the coast
plains. They have little or no development and little or no evidence of genetic
horizons development. Mostly, these soils present a good permeability due to
gross sandy texture. Subsoil tends to be sandy so, during the summer, water
deficit is frequently a limiting factor.
Inceptisols are located on medium and lower strata, composing 11 percent of
the total area. They are mainly developed on clay material mixed with
volcanic ash and rock fragments. These soils have a medium development
presenting saturation of exchange capacity (< 50 %). They have well
developed structure and medium or fine texture on clay subsoil.
Alfisols are suited on medium and low strata of the antique fans, presenting
undulated and slightly undulated topography. An important characteristic is an
argillic B horizon due to clay leaching down to the subsoil. Usually these soils
present clay texture with massive and compact structure.
Vertisols occupy a minimum extension of total area (0.5 %). Soils are well
developed with ABC horizons. They present high clay content, such as
Montmorillonite, and therefore tend to crack during dry season, and swell in
Soil Management Groups
The grouping of soil management was based on information from Semi-
detailed Study of Soils of the Sugarcane Growing Zone of Guatemala
(CENGICAÑA, 1996), adapted from the original grouping. The soils were
classified in accordance to the Manual de Conservación del Suelo y del Agua
del Colegio de Post-graduados, de la Secretaría de Agricultura y Recursos
Hídricos de México (Adapted for the sugarcane crop in Guatemala) and the
corresponding taxonomic family (CENGICAÑA, 2002).
Factors employed to define Soil Classes were divided into two groups:
limiting factors and auxiliary factors. Limiting factors – by range of
variation and importance- define specific classes, whereas auxiliary factors
do not necessarily define a class, but describe special handling conditions.
The most important limiting factors found were: climatic conditions,
susceptibility to erosion, topography and soil; auxiliary factors were soil
texture, permeability and soil reaction (pH), (CENGICAÑA, 2002).
The analysis of both limiting and auxiliary factors results on 13 soil
groups, corresponding to 4 soil classes (agrological classes). Each class
was identified with its corresponding limiting factor(s) using conventional
nomenclature, while auxiliary factor(s) are described in parentheses.
The main characteristics of each of the Soil Management Groups are
presented in Table 2, and their geographical localization is shown in
Table 2. Main characteristics of the soil management groups of the sugarcane
area of Guatemala (CENGICAÑA, 2002)
Soil Class /limiting
S01 I Deep Mollisols with high fertility.
S02 II/E Deep and well drained Andisols, showing slight erosion
S03 II/S1 (PR)
Gross texture, moderately deep and permeable
S04 II/S1 (PL)
Moderately deep Inceptisols, with clay texture and
S05 II/T1 E (PL)
Clay Inceptisols, slightly slanted
Susceptible to erosion, low permeability
S06 II/T1 S1 E
Moderately deep Andisols, slightly slanted to
Undulated, susceptible to erosion.
S07 II/T1 S1 E (TF) (PL)
Clay soils that crack in the dry season, slightly slanted
susceptible to erosion and very slowly permeable
(Vertic integrated soils).
Soil Class /limiting
Superficial, limited by presence of hardpan (talpetate)
S09 III/S4 (PR)
Mollisols affected by moderate presence of salts,
Gross texture, highly permeable.
S10 III/S1 (TQ) (PR)
Entisols with low water holding capacity, limited by layers
of sand along profile
S11 III/T2 E S5 (TF) (PL)
Slightly slanted to undulated soils, susceptible to erosion,
heavy texture with slow permeability and sodium presence
Inceptisols and Entisols forming part of hills with high
slope, undulated to hilly topography, low fertility.
S13 IV/T2 (RI) (PL)
Low fertility soils, heavy texture, low permeability, very
dry during the summer, flat to undulated topography
(Southern Coastal Plains).
Predominant soils in the sugarcane growing zone are dry Mollisols (S03 Group)
that cover 37.1 percent of total area, followed by Entisols (19.9 percent),
characterized by low water holding capacity due to layers of sandy soil along
profile (S10 Group). Other important soils are deep and well drained Andisols (S02
Group), deep and highly fertile Mollisols (S01) and superficial Andisols (S08),
occupying 13.4, 8.4 y 7.6 percent of the total area, respectively (Villatoro et al.,
AGROECOLOGICAL ZONIFICATION (AEZ)
Agroecological zonification was obtained by interaction of two geographic
layers corresponding to the Soil Management Group map and Iso-balance
Group map, obtained through hydrologic balance from May to October by
Each zone was identified with an alphanumeric code consisting of five
characters; the first three characters indicate soil group (For example: S01 = soil
group 1) and the last two characters indicate the iso-balance group (For
example: H2= Iso-balance Group 2). Also, zones were identified with a
correlative number starting from 1. In this first approximation, 44 agro
ecological zones were obtained. The base map used for the first approximation
of agro-ecological zonification for sugarcane growing areas of South Coast of
Guatemala was that of Soil Management Groups. The Agro ecological
Zonification is shown in Figure 5 (Villatoro et al., 2010).
Figure 4. Soil Management Groups Map in sugarcane growing areas at Southern
Coast of Guatemala
Figure 5. Agro ecological zonification of sugarcane growing areas in Southern
Coast of Guatemala
Agro-ecological zonification is currently used to analyze data from yields at
each cropping area. It is useful to compare productivity among different areas,
select areas to establish field experiments, evaluate varieties at a regional and
semi commercial scale, and relate other management variables.
1. CENGICAÑA. 1996. Estudio semidetallado de suelos de la zona cañera del
sur de Guatemala. Ingeniería del Campo Ltda. Compañía Consultora.
Guatemala. 216 p.
2. CENGICAÑA. 1996b. Anexo I del libro: Estudio semidetallado de suelos
de la zona cañera del sur de Guatemala. Ingeniería del Campo Ltda.
Compañía Consultora. Guatemala. 137 p.
3. CENGICAÑA. 2002. Grupos de Manejo de Suelos de la Zona Cañera de
Guatemala. In: Informe Anual 2001-2002. Guatemala, CENGICAÑA. pp.
4. CENGICAÑA. 2009. Estratificación de la zona cañera de Guatemala. En:
Informe Anual 2007-2008. Guatemala, CENGICAÑA. pp. 71-73.
5. Holdridge, L. R. 1967. Life Zone Ecology. Tropical Science Center. San
José, Costa Rica. (Traducción del inglés por Humberto Jiménez Saa:
Ecología Basada en Zonas de Vida, 1a. ed. San José, Costa Rica: IICA,
6. MAGA (Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación). 2006. Mapa
de Cobertura de Uso del Suelo y Uso de la Tierra, escala 1:50,000. UPGGR
(Unidad de Planificación Geográfica y Gestión de Riesgo). Guatemala.
7. Meneses, A.; Melgar, M.; Posadas, W. 2011. Boletín Estadístico año 12-2
del área de Campo. Guatemala, CENGICAÑA. 48 p. En prensa.
8. Orozco, H.; Soto, G. J.; Pérez, O.; Ventura, R.; Recinos, M. 1995.
Estratificación preliminar de la zona de producción de caña de azúcar
(Saccharum spp) en Guatemala con fines de investigación en variedades.
Guatemala, CENGICAÑA. Documento Técnico No. 6. 24 p.
9. Soil Survey Staff. 1992. Keys to soil taxonomy 5th
Ed. Virginia. United
States. Pocahontas Press.
10. Villatoro, B.; Pérez, O.; Suárez, A.; Castro, O.; Rodríguez, M.; Ufer, C.
2010. Zonificación Agroecológica para el Cultivo de Caña de Azúcar en la
Zona Cañera de la Costa Sur de Guatemala –Primera Aproximación–. In:
Memoria. Presentación de resultados de investigación. Zafra 2009-2010.
Guatemala, CENGICAÑA. pp. 325-331.
SUGARCANE BREEDING AND SELECTION
Héctor Orozco, José Luis Quemé,
Werner Ovalle and Fredy Rosales Longo
The objectives of breeding and selection in plants are the modification of traits
and at the same time, to take advantage of the natural genetic variation. The
final aim is to obtain new varieties that suit human needs in specific
circumstances. The focus of CENGICAÑA's sugarcane breeding and selection
program is to obtain new high yielding varieties through breeding and selection
in order to progressively, increase sugar yield in the sugarcane growing areas of
Guatemala. The new varieties besides high sugar yield, must adapt to the
different environments and soil conditions in the production area, with genetic
resistance to the main diseases, as well as adequate agronomic characteristics
for their proper management.
The sugarcane breeding and selection program of CENGICAÑA was
established with a general strategy that includes three main components: a)
genetic variability, generation through germplasm acquisition and management,
and by crossing selected parents, b) assessment and selection from crosses
progenies and introduced varieties from abroad, and c) releasing of new
varieties (Orozco, 2005). This chapter describes the above components. The
general strategy involves four main breeding objectives: a) sugar yield increase
per unit/area b) disease resistance, c) adaptability, and d) ratooning ability.
These breeding objectives are lined up with the varietal prototype that growers
are requiring for the Guatemalan sugarcane industry.
At CENGICAÑA, genetic variability is generated through conventional
breeding, establishing, mostly, bi-parental crosses using selected parents. New
parents are incorporated each subsequent crossing campaign. The new parents
are selected from elite varieties introduced from other sugarcane breeding
programs in the world. The introduced varieties are obtained through specific
agreements based on exchanging CG elite varieties and foreign varieties. The
selection program is based on an outline that guides the development of specific
varieties for specific altitudinal zones or varieties with specific early or late
maturity pattern. The selection program is based on five stages of selection,
Héctor Orozco is Agr. Eng., M.Sc., Leader of CENGICAÑA’s Sugarcane Breeding and Selection Program;
José Luis Quemé is Agr. Eng., Ph.D., Plant breeder; Werner Ovalle is Agr. Eng., M.Sc., Plant pathology and
Fredy Rosales Longo is Agr. Eng, M.Sc., Plant breeder, CENGICAÑA. www.cengicana.org
which begin with an original population of near 180,000 stools in the stage I,
and finishes up with three to five promising varieties in stage V. The stage V
or semi-commercial field trial of CENGICAÑA´s program is the validation
stage, and based on the evaluation results in this stage, varieties for commercial
use are released.
The variety releasing procedure consists in a Technical Report about the
performance of the variety in the stage V in terms of sugar yield, disease
resistance, agronomic characteristics and adaptability after three crops:
plantcane, first and second ratoon. Due to the CENGICAÑA’s varieties
program has released several varieties and because some of them are
in commercial scale, a new activity, which is called New Varieties
Development, has been initiated. In this project breeders and growers
from the mills, design the mill variety composition, based mainly on the
concept of specific adaptability of commercial varieties and the
availability of the new ones. A second part of the project involves the
discussion of information about the varieties performance in accordance
to the planned variety composition. The information is shared and
discussed for each mill; additionally this information is also shared
among all mills in a Variety Forum every two years.
In sugarcane breeding, the germplasm collection constitutes the biological basis
for the creation of new cultivars. The collections serve as sources of genetic
variability, which exploitation and utilization allow obtaining new and more
productive cultivars, with high sugar content, suitable agronomic characteristics,
and resistance to main pests and diseases. Typically, collections include basic
germplasm (Saccharum's species and related genera) and Saccharum spp.
hybrids. The basic germplasm collection is in the sugarcane world collection,
which is replicated in two locations of the world: one is in India and the other one
is in the United States of America. The world collection is formed mostly of basic
germplasm, such is the case of the world collection in Miami, Florida, with 1,394
accessions coming from the following species of sugarcane and related grasses:
Saccharum officinarum (397), S. barberi (58), S. sinense (42), S. robustum (85),
S. spontaneum (348), Saccharum spp. (229), commercial hybrids (193), Erianthus
(23), Narenga (1) and Miscanthus (18) (Ming et al., 2006).
Sugarcane breeding programs throughout the world have their own collections
that have been used for the development of these cultivars. In general, the use of
basic germplasm in these collections has been low. The total number of
accessions or cultivars is reported as follows: Australia (4,220), Brazil (3,736);
The United States of America (5,020); Barbados (2,567); Cuba (3,386); India
(3,979); and Fiji (6,000) accessions (INICA, 2003). In addition to genetic
material, the conformation of a germplasm collection involves quarantine
measures on the introduced plants control, in order to avoid the introduction or
dissemination of quarantine interest plagues.
General concepts of sugarcane cytogenetics
Sugarcane belongs to the Saccharum genus, which at the same time is member
of the Andropogonae tribe, and this one is part of the Poaceae family. In this
genus there are six species: S. spontaneum, S. robustum, S. officinarum, S.
barbieri, S. sinense y S. edule. It is believed, though, that the last three species
have an interspecific or intergeneric background (D’Hont et al., 1998). On the
other hand, the molecular evidence is not enough to maintain the “species”
status for S. barberi y S. sinense (Ming et al., 2006).
The modern sugarcane (Saccharum spp. Hybrids) is a genetically complex crop.
That is the reason why, its breeding in the traditional way (inbreeding and
hybridization) is problematic. Modern sugarcane cultivars (Saccharum spp.
Hybrids) have taken the place of traditional cultivars of S. officinarum and some
clones of S. spontaneum (Grivet et al., 2004).
The sugarcane species are characterized by their small and numerous
chromosomes (35 to more than 200) (Ming et al., 2006). Several studies about
molecular cytogenetics (D’Hont et al., 1998; Grivet et al., 2004; Edmé et al.,
2005; Babu, 2006; Piperidis et al., 2010) and about gene mapping (Da Silva et
al., 1993; al Janabi et al., 1993; Grivet et al., 1994) have established the
approximate size of the genome of S. spontaneum, which is between 3.05 and
5.31 pg (picograms, 1pg=987 Mbp). The genome size of S. officinarum is
between 6.32 and 6.66 pg. Some commercial sugarcane cultivars (Saccharum
spp hybrids) from Canal Point show genomes sizes which oscillate between
6.30 and 7.5 pg (Edmé et al., 2005). Modern sugarcane cultivars show from
70% to 80% of chromosomes derived from S. officinarum, whereas 10% to 20%
comes from S. spontaneum; and a very few chromosomes are product of the
specific genetic recombination of those two species (Ming et al, 2006; Le Cunff
et al., 2008).
What is the basic chromosomes number in Sugarcane?
In plants, there are species that have more than one set of chromosomes on its
haploid form (n). In polyploids “X” is used for designating the number of
monoploid set of chromosomes. “X” is used to indicate the monoploid set of the
haploid or gametic chromosome number (n). Therefore, the haploid number (n)
and the chromosome monoploid (x) number of one basic diploid species are the
same (Allard, 1980).
For sugarcane, Sreenivasan et al., (1987) have revised the different proposals
for the basic chromosome number for a set of them (1x), these proposals are
summarized as follows: X=5, 6, 8, 10, 12. In S. officinarum, it has been
determined that the total of chromosomes is 2n = 10x = 80. Clones with a
greater number of chromosomes, are regarded atypical or hybrids (Sreenivasan
et al., 1987). For S. officinarum with the main cytotypes 2n = 60-80, the most
likely basic chromosomes number is x = 10 (D’Hont et al., 1998; Butterfield et
al., 2001; Ming et al., 2006).
S. spontaneum shows a wide range on its chromosomes number, 2n = 36 to 2n =
128, with five main cytotypes: 2n = 64, 80, 96, 112 and 128. Through the use of
immunofluorescence, D’Hont et al., (1998), in 18s-25s rDNA and 5S rDNA
genes, have determined their physical location in the chromosomes of the
different cytotypes of S. spontaneum. With this information it was found that
the total number of chromosomes is proportional to the number of sites of the
rDNA physically mapped. From this study, consequently, it was derived that the
basic number for a set of chromosomes for S. spontaneum is x = 8.
The S. officinarum x S. spontaneum hybrids
Modern sugarcane cultivars (Saccharum spp. hybrids) are derived from
interspecific crossings between S. officinarum (2n=8x=80) a domesticated high
sugar producing species, which is also called “noble cane” with S. spontaneum a
wild relative (2n=5x=40 to n=16x=128) (Sreenivasan et al., 1987; Butterfield et
al., 2001; Ming et al., 2006; Le Cunff et al., 2008).
The interspecific hybrids, especially those that involve S. officinarum as female
parent and S. spontaneum as the male parent, have a triploid (AAB) number of
chromosomes, which are related to their parents, for example, a cross between S.
officinarum (2n=10x=80) and S. spontaneum (2n=8x=112), results in hybrids
containing 2n=136 chromosomes (40+40 from S. officinarum plus 56 from S.
spontaneum; that is 2n+n) (Sreenivasan et al., 1987). These hybrids are
characterized by its low sugar content, slim stalks, high fiber content, high
ratooning ability and by their high resistance levels against biotic and abiotic
To minimize the negative effects coming from S. spontaneum and to maximize
the ability to retain the sucrose from S. officinarum, a series of backcrosses were
made between the interspecific hybrids and the female parent, S. officinarum
(Fig. 1). This process drives to the “nobilisation” of the original Saccharum spp.
hybrids (Sreenivasan et al., 1987). This was a turning point in the sugarcane
breeding. The result of the backcrosses was an offspring provided with 2n+2
The next generations coming from subsequent backcrosses only showed
gametes reduction. The continuous backcrosses drove to the chromosome losses
in the resultant offspring, in other words, the aneuploidy (Sreenivasan et al.,
1987; Butterfield et al., 2001; D’Hont et al., 1998). That’s why, modern
sugarcane cultivars are highly polyploids (~12x) and aneuploids with ~120
chromosomes (Le Cunff et al., 2008; Grivet et al., 2004).
Figure 1. Pedigree of POJ 2878 and POJ 2725 (Purseglove 1972; Sreenivasan et
The interspecific hybridization in the Saccharum genus was initiated
by Dutch plant breeders in the Java Island, around 1885. As an
outcome of this job, there was obtained the POJ-2725 and POJ-2878
cultivars. These two cultivars have significantly contributed as parents
for many modern cultivars throughout the world in the latest 100
years, especially POJ-2878 cultivar. Similarly, the cultivar Co205 was
obtained in the Coimbatore breeding program in India (Sreenivasan et
al., 1987; Purseglove, 1972).
100 X EK2
EK 28 2n=119
POJ 2725 y POJ 2878
Variety Introductions and quarantine
CENGICAÑA's sugarcane breeding and selection program, as well as other
sugarcane breeding programs throughout the world (MSIRI 2006 and BSES
2007) is emphasizing in the introduction of new varieties from breeding
programs from other countries. These varieties are elite and they are
obtained through special variety exchange agreements. The elite
varieties in this context are those that performs better than the Standard
varieties in each program
The objectives of these introductions in CENGICAÑA´s sugarcane breeding
and selection program were established since the beginning of the program
(Orozco et al., 2004 y 2008) as follows: a) widening the genetic base by
using the foreign varieties as parents in the crossing scheme and b) testing
the introduced varieties in the selection program for potential commercial
use. Since 1992 CENGICAÑA has introduced 1300 elite varieties from 12
breeding programs. The contribution of these introductions is significant, if
it is considered that in the future, there will be more restrictions for
germplasm exchange among the different sugarcane breeding programs.
The introduced varieties are treated in a local quarantine system. The aim of
CENGICAÑA´s quarantine is to reduce the risk of introducing sugarcane
crop pathogens, which are not found in the country or new strains of
pathogens already present in the country. The quarantine system consists of
two stages: closed quarantine and open quarantine.
The closed quarantine is located in Guatemala City, in a greenhouse made
of aluminium and glass, which has anti-aphid-mesh-protected windows and
internal split rooms for the isolation of the introduced plants according to
their origin. The introduced seed stalks are cut in one eye setts and four of
these are planted in 25Lt pots, containing a substrate composed of soil, sand
and, organic matter. Irrigation and fertilization are applied to obtain normal
plant development. The plants are evaluated every two months in order to
detect infections for smut (Ustilago scitaminea H Syd & P. Syd), Leaf scald
(Xanthomonas albilineans), Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV), Sugarcane
yellow leaf virus (SCYLV), and others (Ovalle, 1997). When symptoms of
any disease are found in a pot, the pot is isolated and the plants are dried and
burned. After a period of about eight to twelve months, the disease-free
varieties are cut and moved into the open quarantine.
The objective of the open quarantine is to allow the disease-free introduced
varieties grow in field conditions in an area located 300 Km away from the
commercial sugarcane fields. The field planting gives the chance to observe
infections that were not detected in the closed quarantine. The open
quarantine takes 12 months, with two crop cycles of six months each and
with evaluations at the end of each cycle. Symptomatic varieties infected
with the above mentioned diseases are eliminated from the field by pulling
them out of the soil and letting them dry for burning. Disease-free varieties
that successfully undergo quarantine period are prepared to be sent to
Guatemala's sugarcane growing area in the southern pacific so they can be
incorporated in the stage II of selection in the CENGICAÑA's breeding and
CENGICAÑA's Variety Program counts with a germplasm collection called
the National Collection, which consists of 2,040 accessions or cultivars,
most of them Saccharum spp. hybrids. The accessions or cultivars were
generated by different breeding programs throughout the world, such as:
United States (initials CP and L), Barbados (B), Puerto Rico (PR), Mexico
(MEX), Brazil (RB and SP), Colombia (CC), Ecuador (ECU), Cuba (C, Ha
My and others), India (Co), Australia (Q), Thailand (MPT), Mauritius (M),
Guatemala (CG) and others. The collection was established according to: a)
preserve, expand, and use the variability for breeding purposes, b) identify
suitable cultivars for commercial exploitation, and c) hold a genetic seed-
cane source to initiate the increase of any cultivar of specific interest.
The National Collection is established at the CENGICAÑA’s Sugarcane
Field Station Camantulul (300masl). The area is in a safe place, with
suitable soil characteristics, which allows proper management in
irrigation, fertilization, pest control, weed and others. The collection is
renewed every 3 or 4 years, and the previous plantation is left at least
for one year, while the new plantation is established successfully.