The current research programme focuses on the key areas affecting the productivity – and thus profitability – of the sugarcane crop in the industry. These can be divided into four namely: varieties & chemical ripening, irrigation, crop nutrition and crop protection. The Varieties and Chemical Ripening programme is made up of two components: the Variety Release Programme which aims to ascertain the optimum performance of imported cane varieties with respect to soil type and season of harvest and the Chemical Ripening Programme which aims to establish the best ripening practice that maximizes sucrose yield for each cane variety. Irrigation Research addresses the need for efficient management of water resources as highlighted by the gradual expansion of the industry area under cane, introduction of new water laws and the impacts of climate change on the industry (e.g., drought and other inclement weather developments). Crop Nutrition Research is concentrated on fertiliser utilization in terms of addressing crop nutrition related factors that limit cane yield and enhancing the efficient and effective utilization of fertilisers. Crop Protection Research focuses on understanding the biology of new pests and diseases and, their impact on cane yield.