Sugar: Atlas Trial Richmond

Plant cane nutrition for the best possible start

The health of cane is directly related to the nutrition supplied. Healthy vigorous cane is prone to develop better growth nodes and thus increase stick count.

Agent: Dave Launder (+27 82 381 8248)

Area: Richmond

Farm: Confidential



Preplant Treatment of Block D9:

  • 5 tons calcitic lime
  • 3 tons gypsum
  • Planted with saia black oats, June 2015
  • Prepared and planted December 2015


  • At the time of analysis, the cane was experiencing a drought and had not had rain for 4 months.
  • Cane was analysed at 17 months before the 18 month ripener was applied for harvest at 24 months.
  • The farmer does a once-off application i.e. no topdressing on either the chemical or ATLAS approach.


Fertilizer ATLAS 5:1:4 (21) Si Zn B Chemical 4:3:4 (40) + Zn
Quanttity/ha 1200kg 800kg
Cost per ton R5250.00 R8030.00
Pelleting Cost R450
Fertilizer cost per ha R6840.00 R6424.00


Using industry recognised data capturing techniques, some key properties are reflected below.






Quality in = Quality Out… The increased RV and Brix of this trial are of significant importance to sugar mills. Combined with the increased tonnages taken off each hectare, this simple once-off application of balanced fertilizer has major advantages to both farmers and processors.


Fertilizer ATLAS Chemical
Tons/ha x RV ÷ 100 11.8 9.97
Value R53088.75 R44850.00
Less cost of Fert. R6840.00 R6424.00
Rand Value R46248.75 R38426.00


End Difference = +R7822.75 /ha

20.36% increase in profit


It should be noted that the application of this fertilizer erases the need for a top-dressing yet it has the “legs” to carry a crop from planting to harvesting. This results in major savings in tractors, labour, compaction effects and crop variation.

The increase in root development and subsequent increased uptake potential of the plant result in a hardy specimen during stressful times. This coupled with correct physiological growth enable the plant to produce excess sugar even during the toughest seasons.

The sustained release of nutrients allows the plant to access food when it wants it. Imagine its a hot and sunny week just before top dressing with a chemical program, the conditions are optimal for photosynthesis but nutrient levels are at their lowest. Nitrogen has leached and other elements are fixated in non-compatible forms. ATLAS increases the “nitrogen pool” in the soil through microbial stimulation. These microbes in turn exude organic acids which chelate cations making them available to the plant.

ATLAS has a high quality pellet which enables accurate and efficient broadcasting on prepared lands.


There is 1 comment
  1. Thanks to the terrific manual

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