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Suagarcane Field.
Suagarcane Field.

Sugarcane Cultivation Information Guide

Sugarcane Cultivation Guide:

Sugarcane Cultivation.
Sugarcane Cultivation.

Introduction of Sugarcane Cultivation:- Sugarcane is a tropical and subtropical, perennial grass that forms lateral shoots at the base to produce multiple stems, typically 3 to 4 meters high and about 5 cm in diameter. The stems grow into cane stalk, which when mature contributes about 75% of the entire plant. A mature stalk is typically composed of 11 to 17 % of fiber, 12 to 16 % of soluble sugars, 2 to 3% of non-sugars, and 60 to 70% of water. As sugarcane crop is sensitive to the weather, soil type, irrigation, fertilizers, insects, disease control, cultivars, and the harvest period, care should be taken to follow best crop management practices for higher yield of sugar cane. Sugarcane cultivation is one of the major farming practices in the world. However, the sugarcane crop is highly susceptible to various insect pests, weeds. It requires best crop management practices along with input fertilizers to get maximum yield. Sugarcane can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas as well. Sugarcane belongs to bamboo family of plants and is indigenous to India. It is the main source of sugar. It also provides raw material for manufacturing alcohol. The part of sugarcane is also being used as fodder for animals. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family of “Poaceae” and genus of “Saccharum”. As sugar has worldwide demand, one can make decent returns in commercial sugarcane cultivation.

Top 10 Sugarcane Production Countries:- The following are top 10 sugarcane production countries in the world.

1) Brazil.
2) India.
3) China, mainland.
4) Thailand.
5) Pakistan.
6) Mexico.
7) Colombia.
8) Philippines.
9) Indonesia.
10) United States of America.

Health Benefits of Sugarcane:- The following are some of the health benefits of sugarcane juice.

Health Benefits of Sugarcane.
Health Benefits of Sugarcane.
  • Sugarcane juice helps in curing Acne.
  • Sugarcane juice is an instant energy booster.
  • Sugarcane juice prevents bad Breath & tooth decay.
  • Sugarcane is good for bone strength and development of teeth.
  • Sugarcane helps curing febrile disorders.
  • Sugarcane juice is good for Liver.
  • Sugarcane juice acts as a digestive tonic.
  • Sugarcane juice fights cancer.

Industrial use of Sugarcane:- The main objective of sugarcane crop is to produce sugar. However, there are many byproducts which can be made out of sugarcane.

  • Bagasse, molasses, press mud and green top, which are used by various industries like Bagasse based industries mainly produce pulp, paper, particle boards using bagasse as a fuel, cattle feed, medium for cultivation of edible mushroom, production of furfural.
  • Molasses based industries mainly produce potable alcohol for Distillery, Fuel Alcohol, Cattle feed, Acetic Acid, and many Pharmaceutical products.
  • Press mud based industries mainly produce fertilizer wax and compost industries, as animal feed.

Sugarcane Varieties (Cultivars):- There are many improved commercial hybrid varieties of sugar available throughout the world. The following are some of major sugarcane production countries varieties.

  • India: 687, CoPant.84211, CoJ.64, CoLk.8001, Co.1148, CoS.767, CoS.802, CoC.671, CoC.85061, Co.8021, Co.6304, Co.1148, CoJ.79, CoS.767, Co.6304, Co.7527, Co.6907, Co.7805, Co.7219, Co.740, CoM.7125, Co.7527, CoC.671, Co.740, Co.8014, Co.7804, Co.740, Co.8338, Co.6806, Co.7805, Co.8011.
  • Thailand: K 95 -84, 91- 2 -29, K 92 -181.
  • South Africa: N 12, N 14, N 16, N 17, N 19, N 21, N 22, N 23, N 24, N 25, N 26, N 27, N 28, N 29, N 30, N 31, N 32, N 33, N 35, N 36, N 37, N 39, N 40, N 41, CP 66 – 1043 and NCo 376.
  • Brazil: SP-77-5181, RB-85-5453, SP-81-3250, SSSP-71-5181, BR85-5113, BR72-454, BR83-5486, SP-80-1816, RB-85-5113, SP-80-3280, RB-1049.

Sugarcane Names in Other Parts of World:- Zuckerrohr (German), Kallam sheqeri(Albanian), Satang susu (Korian), air tebu (Indonesian, Malay), Kyan (Burmese), Nam (Thai),La canne à sucre (French),Canna da zucchero (Italian),Cana de açúcar(Portuguese), Suikerriet (Chinese),Şeker kamışı(Turkish), Umoba (Zulu),cây mía (Vietnamese).

Local Names of Sugarcane in India:- Ganna (Hindi),Cheraku (Telugu), Usacha (Marathi), Ganne(Punjabi), Karuppan (Tamil), Karumbin (Malayalam), Kabbina (Kannada),  Sherdina (Gujarati), Akhju (Oriya).

Climate Required for Sugarcane Cultivation:- Sugarcane can be grown as tropical and subtropical crop and grows well where temperature ranges between 20°C to 42°C. Sugarcane crop responds well to long period of sunlight, high humidity and Sugarcane requires an average annual rainfall of between 1800 and 2500 mm for best crop growth.  Sugarcane crop can be cultivated all along the year, if assured irrigation water is available. Sugarcane crop also withstands temperature variations of winter 6°C to 8°C and summer 40°C to 42°C.

Soil Requirement for Sugarcane Cultivation:- Sugarcane crop can be grown in wide range of soils as it tolerates most of the soils as long as there is enough moisture content is available in the soil. However, deep rich loamy soils are best for its growth and yield. Black to medium black soils up to 100 cm to 150 cm depth with good water drainage is most suitable for sugarcane crop. Sandy loam soils along the riversides are also good for sugarcane cultivation. The soil pH between 5.0 and 8.0 is ideal for sugarcane cultivation. As the sugarcane crop remains in the field for 12 to 20 months, good fertile soils are most desirable. Waterlogged  soils which have no drainage are not suitable for the cultivation of sugarcane. If the sugarcane is grown on large scale, it is advised to go for soil testing. Any soil nutrient deficiency should be compensated

Land Preparation in Sugarcane Cultivation:- Land preparation is another important task in sugarcane cultivation as this crop stands in the field for more than one year. With the help of tractor, land should be given 2 or 3 deep ploughings. First ploughing should be carried out immediately once the previous crop is harvested. Make sure to leave the land after ploughing for 2 to 3 months for sun expose. Any clods should be crushed and levelled. Second cross-wise ploughing should be carried by another plough and 3-4 harrowing should be given to bring the soil to fine tilth stage. Soil should be levelled with the help of planker for seed bed preparation. Supplement the soil with well-decomposed farmyard manure (FMY) of 30 tonnes/ha.

Propagation, Planting and Spacing in Sugarcane Cultivation:- The propagation in sugarcane cultivation is done through vegetative cuttings of matured cane called “setts”. Selection of disease resistant and quality setts is important for getting high yield in sugarcane cultivation. A few days before the cuttings are collected; the end of the canes should be removed to break the apical dominance of the cane. This is also helpful in promoting the breaking of buds. The cuttings should be taken from upper portion of the cane which will measure the length of 40-42 cm with 2-3 buds. There are some methods of planting in sugarcane cultivation are available. However, furrow method is one of the popular methods followed in sugarcane cultivation. Sugarcane setts should be planted horizontally or at an angle of 45° in furrows @ 15–30 cm depth. Make sure to cover the cane setts with a thin layer of soil. Can setts can be planted directly in the field or grown in local nurseries and transplanted to the field. When it comes to seed rate or planting density in sugarcane cultivation, on an average, 15,000–25,000 cuttings should be required to cover 1 hectare land. Some people may follow pit method of planting where more than two times of yield can be expected when compared to furrow method planting.

Sugarcane Setts Preparation For Planting.
Sugarcane Setts Preparation For Planting.

Ratooning in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • What is Ratooning: It is a practice of growing a crop from the stubbles of previous crop.
  • What are the advantages of Ratooning: Well, the main benefit of Ratoon is; it saves cost on preparatory tillage and planting material. Apart from this, Ratoon crop matures earlier and gives more or less same yield as regular sugarcane planting. The other benefit of Ratoon is, it gets benefit of residual manure and moisture.
  • What are the disadvantages of Ratooning: Only one Ratoon should be taken because incidence of pests and diseases increases. The deterioration of soil also a major concern.
Sugarcane Planting.
Sugarcane Planting.

Irrigation in Sugarcane Cultivation:- Irrigation is very crucial in sugarcane cultivation as this crop demands abundant water at various stages; sprouting, formative stage, ripening and initiation of sprouting in ratoons. During water scarcity periods, mulching and drip irrigation, alternate furrow irrigation methods should be followed for better utilization of water sources.

In case of tropical Irrigation should be given as follows:

  • Once in 7 days during germination (sprouting) stage which is 1-35 days after planting.
  • Once in 10 days during formative stage (tillering) (36-100 days after planting).
  • Once in 7 days during growth period (101-270 days after planting).
  • Once in 15 days during maturity stage which is 271 days after panting and up to harvest phase.

Over all sugarcane crops requires about 35-40 irrigations throughout its crop growth in tropical areas where as it requires 8-10 irrigations in sub-tropical areas.

Manures and Fertilizers in Sugarcane Cultivation:- The following are the  seasonal plantation manures and fertilizers.

Well-decomposed farmyard manure (FMY) of 30 tonnes/ha should be added as part of the land preparation.

When to ApplyN (kg)P (kg)K (kg)
During the time of planting (10% N, 50% P and K).256262
 6-8 weeks after planting (40% N).100NilNil
8-12 weeks after planting (10% N).25NilNil
20-24 weeks after planting (40% N, 50 % P & K).1006363
Total Application.250125125

Intercultural Operations in Sugarcane Cultivation:- Regular and proper intercultural operation in sugarcane cultivation results in higher yields.

  • Weed Control in Sugarcane Cultivation: The sugarcane yield is heavily impacted by weeds in the field. As the sugarcane crop is grown under abundant water and nutrient supply conditions, possibility of weed growth is very high. These weeds also share the nutrients/fertilizers provided to the main crop, hence controlling these weeds are very important. The first hoeing and weeding should be carried 3-4 weeks after planting the cane. Application of pre-emergence weedicides like Atrazine @ 2 kg a.i/ha , followed by 2,4-D spray @ 1 kg a.i/ha can control the weeds to certain extent. The final earthing up should be carried out before monsoon rains and should synchronize with application of the final dose of nitrogen (N). Integrated weed management should be followed to control the weeds as complete weed control cannot be achieved by using any one method. Proper combination of agronomical, cropping, rotational and biological methods with supplemental use of herbicides is the best method of controlling weeds in sugarcane cultivation.
  • Crop Rotation in Sugarcane Cultivation: Crop rotation is very important in sugarcane cultivation to control the weeds and enrich the soil fertility. In areas, where more rainfall is possible, sugarcane crop should be rotated with rice. In areas where low rainfall is expected, sugarcane crop can be rotated with cotton crop. Sugarcane crop can also be rotated with banana and turmeric, ground nut, soy bean and other gram crops. To get any supplemental income, inter-crops like potato, onion can be grown.

Pests and Diseases in Sugarcane Cultivation:- The following are common pests and diseases found in sugarcane cultivation.

Early Shoot Borer in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: This borer attacks the crop during the early stage of cane growth, generally before internodes formation. It also attacks the cane stalks in the years of scanty rainfall situation. Borer infestation during the germination (sprouting) phase kills the mother shoots resulting in the drying up of the entire clump.
  • Control Measures: Pest resistant plants should be selected for the crop. Spraying of Gamma BHC, Heptachlor or Telodrin emulsion @ 1 to 3 kg/ha mixed with 1500 liters of water will control this. Spraying should be done at the interval of 2 weeks for the first three months.

Internodes Borer in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: This attacks during and after internodes formation and its activity continues till crop harvest. This attack is mostly found in the top five immature internodes of cane. Loss in yield and juice quality will occur at sever stage of this infestation.
  • Control Measures: Avoid waterlogged conditions, lodging and high dose of nitrogen (N).

Top Borer in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: Severe yield loss and quality deterioration occurs due to top borer. Depending upon the incidence level yield loss may be up to 25-30%.
  • Control Measures: Water logging conditions causes this to attack, soil should have proper drainage.

Ratoon Stunting Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: Symptoms of this disease include the presence of pin head like orange coloured dots of bacteria on the internal soft tissue in the nodal region and stunted growth, thin stalks with short internodes; pale yellowish foliage and rapid tapering of the stem towards the top. The primary cause to spread this disease is through infected setts.
  • Control Measures: Select disease resistant setts for planting in the field.

Scale Insect in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: Infested crop losses its vigour, canes shrivel, growth is stunted and the internodal length is reduced drastically. Finally cane starts drying up. Those effected canes when slit open appear brownish red. In the affected crop, the loss in yield y could range from negligible to total crop failure.
  • Control Measures: Appropriate insect controls should be applied.

Pyrilla in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: When the infestation is heavy, canes leaves start turning yellowish white and wither away. Due to continuous desapping by large number of hoppers top leaves in the affected canes dry up and lateral buds germinate. Pyrilla is the most destructive foliage-sucking pest of sugarcane. The main reason for this is heavy rainfall followed by 80% humidity, intermittent drought periods, high temperatures, and wind movement favours rapid build up of pyrilla.
  • Control Measures: Don’t go for too much dense crop, avoid water stagnation. Going for plant pest resistant seeds will control this to certain extent.

Red Rot in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: Due to this infestation, the spindle leaves start drying. At a later stage, stalks become discolored and hollow. Black fruiting bodies develop on rind and nodes. After splitting open the diseased stalk, a sour smell emanates. The internal tissues are reddened with intermingled transverse white spots.
  • Control Measures: Healthy seed should be used for planting. Pest and disease resistant cultivars (varieties) should be used as planting material. As soon as disease is appeared, the affected clump along with root system should be uprooted and burnt. Ratooning of diseased cane crop should be avoided. Diseased crop should be harvested as early as possible. Crop rotation should be followed in affected fields. Avoid Ratooning of diseased crop and follow the crop rotation in affected fields.

Smut Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: Affected plants with smut have slender and thin canes with erect and pointed leaves.
  • Control Measures: Selecting disease resistant seed is important and pre-treatment of seed pieces by dipping in 2.5% organomercurial fungicide helps reduce the incidence of this disease. Affected clump showing smut whip should be removed during tillering phase effectively reduced the disease incidence.

Pineapple Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: The main symptoms of this disease are; setts not rooting; central soft portion of set has red discoloration which turns brown-black; cavities in infected internodes; in older canes leaves may be yellowing and plant appears withered; cut stem has a strong smell of pineapple.
  • Control Measures: The best way of preventing this disease is to select disease resistant seed setts and planting them in well-drained soils.

Wilt Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: These symptoms usually appear after monsoon. Infected clumps show stunting and yellowing of top leaves.
  • Control Measures: Selecting healthy and quality seed setts are important to avoid these kinds of diseases. Seed setts should be treated with organom­ercurial fungicide before planting in the field. Crop rotation with other crops like rice and cotton should be followed in affected field.

Grassy Shoot Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: With affected crop will have large number lean and lanky, pale sprouts in the clump appear like a ‘bunchy grass’.
  • Control Measures: By selecting health seed can control these diseases. Seed setts should be treated with antibiotics like Achromycin, Terra­mycin, Tylan, Erythro­mycin @ 250 ppm.

Leaf Scald Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: The main symptoms of this disease is white “pencil line” extending the entire length of leaf lamina, etiolated leaves and leaf tips drying out resulting in a scalded appearance.
  • Control Measures: Treatment of seed cane with hot water to clean the material prior to planting and selecting disease resistant material can help to prevent this.

Eye spot Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: The main symptoms of this disease are ; small water-soaked spots on cane leaves; elongated water-soaked spots in shape of an eye and straw coloured lesions with reddish brown center develop from water-soaked lesions.
  • Control Measures: This disease can be controlled by selecting health seed and through the application of appropriate foliar fungicides.

Mosaic Disease in Sugarcane Cultivation:-

  • Symptoms: This disease causes distinct patterns on contrasting greens on leaves; reddening of leaves; leaf necrosis.
  • Control measures: Virus resistant cultivars should be planted.

Note: Contact your local department of agriculture for pests and disease symptoms and their control. They are the best source for pest control solutions in Sugarcane cultivation. 

Harvest in Sugarcane Cultivation:- Sugarcane crop is a long duration crop and should be harvested at right maturity level. Make sure to stop the irrigation 2 weeks before cutting the crop. Manual or Mechanical harvesting can be carried out based on the facility available. While harvesting the crop, the canes should be given slanting cut at ground level by sharp cane cutting knife. All the dry leaves should be removed from the canes and roots. The immature top potion should be cut off along with 3 to 4 internodes. After harvesting, make the bundles of canes and  send them off to crushing machines. The harvested canes should be crushes after 24 hours to avoid reversion of sucrose into glucose.

Harvesting Sugarcane with Machine
Harvesting Sugarcane with Machine

Yield in Sugarcane Cultivation:- Yield of the sugarcane depends on the soil type, irrigation and fertilizers input. However, on an average a yield of  100 to 150 tonnes/ha can be obtained.

Marketing of Sugarcane:- Usually, the commercial crop can be transported to local sugar mills.

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