Rinskor™ Active Improves Sugar Yield in Brazil

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An astonishing 85% of the world’s total sugar production comes from sugarcane. But in addition to the sweet stuff, sugarcane is also used to produce biofuels like ethanol, biochemicals such as solvents, and spirits, including rum and the Brazilian specialty cachaça, pictured above.

Brazil leads the world in sugarcane production and export, working to meet an increasing global demand. In fact, it’s the nation’s number three crop. Brazil supplies 50% of the world’s sugar, making it critical for the country’s farmers, despite that only a small portion of the country’s land — around 1% — is dedicated to sugarcane crops. Sugarcane is also vital to Brazil’s farming legacy — around 40% of the sugarcane processed there comes from independent farmers.1

The value of sugarcane harvest is determined by the amount of sucrose (sugar) that accumulates in the stalk. Sucrose is extracted from the stalk juice. The juicier the stalk, the easier it is to extract the sugar. And the more concentrated the sucrose is, the higher the quality of sugar produced by the cane. Stalks that are juicy and have high sucrose concentration will deliver the best profitability to farmers.

Preventing sugarcane flowering and dehydration

To maximize sucrose content in the stalks, farmers who grow sugarcane for processing want to prevent stalk flowering. During flowering, energy is diverted from sucrose production and deposition in the stalk. Many factors contribute to stalk flowering, including warm temperatures, high humidity and stress from lack of water, as well as shorter days during the growing season. These are factors that would create ideal growing conditions for many crops. But because the goal with sugarcane farming is to retain as much juice in the stalk as possible, growers want to inhibit flowering to promote higher stalk sugar content to protect their yield potential.

Sugarcane stalks
Sugarcane stalks

Cross section view of sugarcane stalks showing juice content as plant develops. As the plant moves closer to flowering, the amount of stalk volume holding valuable juice decreases.

As it ripens, sugarcane is also prone to stalk dehydration, called styrofoamization, which causes a number of undesirable effects, such as a decrease in mass and the reduction of sucrose content, greater risk for microbial contamination and the creation of more fiber in the stalk, which can make juice extraction more difficult. Products that reduce styrofoamization help protect the quality of sugarcane raw material harvest, for better marketability.

A new use for an effective herbicide

Several years ago, Corteva Agriscience researchers discovered that Rinskor™ active, an effective herbicide used primarily in rice crops, had potential as a flowering inhibitor in sugarcane. Researchers conducted field studies to confirm the ingredient’s efficacy as a growth regulator. In 2023, Relicta® flowering inhibitor with Rinskor active was approved for use in sugarcane in Brazil.

What makes Rinskor unique is its new mode of action. It’s a synthetic auxin that binds to specific receptors in plants.

Rinskor works systematically. It’s primarily absorbed by a plant’s foliage, metabolized, then moves through the plant’s vascular tissue. In sugarcane, the systemic, growth-regulation action of Rinskor works to inhibit flowering.

Sugarcane stalks with and without Relicta
Sugarcane stalks with and without Relicta

The untreated sugarcane shows much higher levels of styrofoamization compared to the sugarcane treated with Relicta with Rinskor active. Lower styrofoamization results in better yield quality, quantity and crop marketability.

Easy to use flowering inhibitor with a favorable environmental profile

One of the biggest benefits of Rinskor™ active, as both a flowering inhibitor and herbicide, is that it has very low use rates compared to other commonly used products. Relicta® flowering inhibitor has an active ingredient use rate of just 7.5 grams per hectare — that’s 63 times less than other commonly used products.

Relicta is effective at such low use rates in part because it’s formulated with NeoEC™ emulsifiable concentrate technology. The NeoEC formulation helps sugarcane absorb the product efficiently and has other convenience and sustainability benefits.

Thanks to this formulation, Relicta is ready to dilute in water, and there’s no need to add a pH reducer or other adjuvants. The NeoEC formulation also uses vegetable-origin solvents with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and it’s free from petroleum derivatives. This improves ease of handling and reduces the product’s environmental footprint. 

Relicta is also flexible for farmers to use. It’s applied before flowering induction. With flowering controlled, the plant can use its energy to maintain or increase its sucrose level. Relicta can be applied by aerial sprayer, which is important for treating thick cane fields which can be inaccessible at ground level.

Sugarcane field with and without Relicta
Sugarcane field with and without Relicta

This photo clearly illustrates the flowering inhibition activity of Relicta in sugarcane.

Improved sugarcane quality and yields

For sugarcane farmers looking for an option to prevent flowering and styrofoamization in sugarcane, Relicta® flowering inhibitor with Rinskor™ active offers a new treatment to help avoid loss of quantity and quality due to crop flowering and maintain a high amount of sucrose in the cane, with a favorable environmental profile compared to alternatives. By helping them grow a more profitable crop, Relicta with Rinskor can make an important contribution to Brazil’s 76,000 independent sugarcane famers,1 helping them leave behind a sustainable legacy for the next generation.

Learn more about Rinskor active

Relicta® flowering inhibitor is not registered for sale or use in all states or countries. Contact your local regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Always read and follow label directions.

1  “Sugarcane.” Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), September 9, 2022,