Effective 50°C. 2 hour Hot Water Treatment of Seedcane against ratoon stunting disease (RSD).
For the Small, Medium and Larger Grower.

Upfold Hot Water Treatment of sugarcane

The 2 hour  TIME and 50�C TEMPERATURE combination for Hot Water Treatment is a compromise between destroying the RSD bacterium and retaining satisfactory germination.

Sugarcane varieties differ in their tolerance of Heat Treatment. The germination of many varieties, including NCo376, are usually not adversely affected by treatment for 2 hours at 50�C. However, some varieties such as N12, N17 and N19 are sensitive to HWT,  and may germinate poorly.

Therefore, the time that the cane is in the water, and the temperature of the cane, are the critical factors. It is imperative that the cane does not stay in the hot water for longer than is necessary for the treatment.

In a conventional bulk treating system, of necessity, the cane is in the water for longer than the required 2 hours, while the water reheats after insertion of the bundle of cane, and also, once the water is at 50�C it takes some time for the heat to penetrate the bundle and heat the inner canes. There is a very real possibility that some of the cane on the outside of the bundle will be overdone, or that some inside the bundle will be underdone .

This is not the case in the Upfold continuous flow system, where there is no appreciable drop in temperature when the basket of seedcane is introduced into the tank, the bundle being only about 2% of the volume of the tank, and the hot water easily circulates through the small bundle of cane, quickly bringing it to temperature. Also, the rapid circulation of water ensures an even temperature throughout the tank.

The seedcane eyes (buds) are very tender once treated and are very susceptible to damage in handling. The seedcane is transported from the field to the heat treating plant, and then to the nursery, in the basket, thus avoiding any damage during transport.

Because the baskets of seedcane are only 60-75 kg in weight, the baskets are easily handled by two men in the field.