Sanesh Ramburan

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Sanesh Ramburan

Crop Scientist (Variety Evaluation)
Manager: Variety Evaluation Project

(Plant and Environment Resource Centre)

PhD Plant Breeding (University of the Free State)
MSc Agric. - Crop Science (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal)
BSc Agric. - Crop Science (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal)

Email: Sanesh.Ramburan@sugar.org.za
Tel: +27-(031)-508-7444

Role

To conduct variety related agronomic research by managing projects aimed at improving knowledge of variety responses to environmental conditions and management practices. 

To use information gathered from research projects to provide advice to researchers, extension specialists and growers in the South African sugarcane industry.

To identify opportunities to optimise variety usage and accelerate sugarcane improvement to ensure productivity and profitability of the industry. 

 Research Focus

The statistical analysis of multi-environment variety trials and interpretation of genotype x environment interactions.

The response of varieties to management factors and abiotic stresses.

Integrating breeding procedures, statistical and crop growth models to accelerate crop improvement.

General sugarcane cropping systems research.

Mathematical solutions.

Development of decision support tools.

Expertise

Conceptualising, designing, and managing multi-environment variety trial networks. 

Analysing, interpreting and scientific reporting of trial results.

Data mining and collating variety information from various industry sources into user-friendly technical publications.

Providing specialist agronomic advice to growers, extension specialists, researchers and post-graduate students. 

Key Outcomes / Projects Managed

The Variety Evaluation Project involves the continual evaluation of post-release varieties under different environmental conditions and management practices. The trial network, consisting of more than 40 trials, identifies niche environment x management combinations for varieties and involves distribution of variety recommendations to industry roleplayers.

Investigating variety x trash interactions - tests the responses of commercial varieties to trashing. Evaluating emergence and growth characteristics of varieties under bare vs. trashed conditions and the subsequent effects on productivity. 

Investigating variety ratooning dynamics - is a project focusing on understanding genetic traits associated with good ratooning ability and to ultimately apply such traits in a selection index for ratooning ability in sugarcane.

Developing an interactive variety choice decision support program - to assist growers with variety choice.

Optimal harvest ages for different sugarcane regions - involves a multi-pronged approach (crop simulation, data mining, economic analyses) to identify most appropriate harvest ages for sugarcane in the industry.

Ratoon longevity - is a project focusing on quantification of long term benefits of contrasting ratoon cycles (short ratoon cycles vs. long ratoon cycles) in the industry. 

Agronomic performance of NovaCane - involves a field-based comparison of tissue culture derived planting material with conventional planting material at two propagation stages.

Key Publications

Ramburan, S., Nxumalo, B.N.G., 2017. Regional, seasonal, cultivar and crop-year effects on sugarcane responses to residue mulching. Field Crops Research 210, 136-146. 

Ramburan S, Tweddle P, van Heerden PDR, Ramouthar P, Miles N. 2016. A tool for converting conventional sugarcane trial results into economic terms. Proceedings of the International Society of Sugarcane Technologists 29: 1490-1497.

Ramburan, S, Wilkinson, D, Webster, T and Eggers, B. 2015. Improving sugarcane production in frost-prone environments in South Africa. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association 88, 55-89.

Ramburan, S. 2015. Optimising sugarcane cultivar choice and time of harvest for frost-prone environments in South Africa. Agronomy Journal 106, 2035-2042.

Ramburan, S. 2015. Interactions affecting the optimal harvest age of sugarcane in rainfed regions of South Africa. Field Crops Research 183, 276-281.

Ramburan, S., 2014. A multivariate illustration and interpretation of non-repeatable genotype x environment interactions in sugarcane. Field Crops Research 157, 57-64.

Ramburan, S., Wettergreen, T., Berry, S.D., Shongwe, B., 2013. Genetic, environment and management contributions to ratoon decline in sugarcane. Field Crops Research 146, 105-112.

Ramburan, S., Zhou, M., Labuschagne, M., 2012. Integrating empirical and analytical approaches to investigate genotype x environment interactions in sugarcane. Crop Science 52, 2153-2165.

Ramburan, S., Zhou, M., Labuschagne, M., 2012. Investigating test site similarity, trait relations and causes of genotype x environment interactions of sugarcane in the Midlands region of South Africa. Field Crops Research 129, 71-80.

Ramburan, S., Wettergreen, T., Berry, S.D., Shongwe, B., 2012. Effects of variety, environment, and management on sugarcane ratoon yield decline. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association 85: 180-192.

Ramburan, S., Zhou, M., Labuschagne, M., 2011. Interpretation of genotype x environment interactions of sugarcane: Identifying significant environmental factors. Field Crops Research 124, 392-399.

Ramburan, S., and Zhou, M. (2011). Investigating sugarcane genotype x environment interactions under rainfed conditions in South Africa using  variance components and biplot analysis. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association 84: 345-358.

Ramburan, S. (2011). Interpreting sugarcane varietal adaptability to time of harvest. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association 84: 375-388.

Ramburan, S., 2011. Sugarcane cultivar x time of harvest interactions in South Africa. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 28, 75-84.

Ramburan, S., Van den Berg, M., 2011. Review and analysis of post-release variety evaluation of sugarcane: A South African perspective. International Sugar Journal 113, 444-452.

Ramburan S, Paraskavoupolos A, Saville G and Jones M. (2010). Development of a variety selection decision support system: Genotype x environment analysis and system validation. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association 83: 80-91.

Ramburan S, McElligott DM, De Haas O. (2010). Integrating agronomic and economic principles through applications of variety trial data: The Illovo case study. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association 83: 106-116.

Ramburan S, Paraskavoupolos A, Saville G and Jones M. (2010). A decision support system for sugarcane variety selection in South Africa based on genotype-by-environment analyses. Experimental Agriculture 46(2), 243-257. 

Ramburan, S; Sewpersad, C & McElligot, D. (2009). Effects of variety, harvest age, and Eldana on coastal sugarcane production in South Africa. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association 82:580-588.

Ramburan, S & Sewpersad, C (2009). Investigating cultivar-by-cutting cycle interactions for coastal sugarcane production in South Africa. Sugar Cane International 27(4): 164-168. 

Ramburan, S (2009). Evaluating experimental and commercial yields: An analysis of a simple correction technique for sugarcane in South Africa. Experimental Agriculture 45: 199-208.

Ramburan, S.  2008.  Comparing variety trials and commercial data: trends and relationships for practical use in the South African sugar industry. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists Association. 81: 498-507.

Ramburan S, Redshaw KA, van den Berg M, 2007. Variety evaluation in the South African sugarcane industry: An overview.  Proceedings of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 26: 558-562.

Ramburan, S. & Greenfield, P.L.  2007. The effects of chlormequat chloride and ethephon on agronomic and quality characteristics of South African irrigated wheat. South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 24 (2),106-113.

Ramburan, S. & Greenfield, P.L. 2007. Use of ethephon and chlormequat chloride to manage plant height and lodging of irrigated barley (cv. Puma) when high rates of N-fertiliser are applied. South African Journal of Plant and Soil, 24 (4), 181-187.