Studies have found that nitrate fertiliser is an inefficient source of nitrogen for commercial sugarcane crops.
Researchers said that sugarcane plants are much less effective in acquiring and storing nitrate in root and shoot tissue compared to grain crops such as sorghum and maize.
According to the study, growers should reduce nitrate content in soils in favour of ammonium and organic forms of nitrogen.
Researchers said further work was required to breed new sugarcane varieties that have an enhanced ability to use nitrate. Erianthus, a closely related giant grass, showed promising results and would provide an avenue for further investigation.Read more at The University of Queensland