Sugarcane 130 by 8zpO116a


                                    Booklet No.130
                             Sugar & Starch Crops: SSCS - 1
I.     Introduction
II.    Climate
III.   Soil
IV.    Varieties
V.     Land Preparation
VI.    Sowing
VII.   Manures and Fertilizers
VIII. Water Management
IX.    Earthing
X.     Tying the Plants
XI.    Weed Control
XII.   Diseases
XIII. Insect Pests
XIV. Crop Rotation
XV.    Intercropping
XVI. Ratooning
XVII. Unfavourable Climate
XVIII. Harvesting and Yield
XIX. Uses and Importance
XX.    Economics of Cultivation

         Sugarcane is the most important sugar crop of the world. About 70% world sugar is
produced from sugarcane. Considering the high importance of sugar in modem life, sugarcane
is given as an important place as wheat and paddy. Besides, other products like vinegar,
molasses and wine are also produced from sugarcane. This booklet describes the scientific
cultivation of sugarcane in detail.

Dr. K. T. Chandy, Agricultural & Environmental Education

I. Introduction
        Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is an important commercial crop of the world,
occupying 13.5 million hectares of area. It is used for production of sugar. It grows between
latitudes 350 north and 350 south. The important sugarcane producing countries in the world
are India, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, China, Philippines, Columbia, Argentina, Australia,
USA, Thailand, and South Africa. India with 3.5 million hectares of area under this crop is the
largest sugarcane producing country. Uttar Pradesh is the leading state in growing this crop in
India. This is grown in all the states, but average yield per hectare is highest in Tamil Nadu,
Maharashtra and Karnataka. Cultivated sugarcane might have originated in Oceania, most
probably in New-Guinea, where some closely related forms of thick, tall canes and wild species
of Saccharum spontaneum are still found. The sugarcane is an important source of sugar and
related products.

II. Climate
         Sugarcane is grown mainly for its vegetative growth to extract juice. The crop grows well
in tropical and sub-tropical climates between latitudes 35°N to 35°S. Warm and humid climate is
favorable for its growth, a temperature range of 30 to400C with annual rainfall ranging
between70cm to 150 cm is the best for its successful cultivation. Higher temperature like 500C
stops its growth and very low temperature below 200C slows down its growth. In both cases
quality and quantity of juice deteriorates. Very low temperature stops the production of sucrose
by the photosynthesis. Long duration of sunlight (summer) helps in producing thicket and short
sugarcane, while short duration of sunlight (winter) produces thinner and long plants. Warm long
days produce plants with more tillers, juice and high sucrose contents.

III. Soil

       Sugarcane crop can be grown on a wide range of soils like sandy-loam, clay-loam, loam
or black cotton laterites, reddish or brown soil. It can be grown even on soil with pH 6.5 to 7.5.
The main characteristics of the. soils suitable for sugarcane cultivation are that it must possess
high contents of organic matter and is well drained. Therefore, heavy claysoil with proper
drainage or light soil with irrigation facilities are also favorable for this crop.

IV. Varieties

      Sugarcane grows in wide range of soil and climatic conditions and accordingly there are
a number of its forms and varieties to suit these conditions. Some of the important
recommended varieties are described here.

1. 80-70
        It is a mild season variety best for Uttar Pradesh. It is harvested by mid October and is
best for low and high fertile areas. Its gur is excellent in quality, light brown in colour, granular,
hard, having good keeping quality and taste. The variety has ~en released for south and north
Bihar in 1968 and for Uttar Pradesh in 1971. It is a good ratooner and is tolerant to drought arid
water-logging. It is slightly resistant to red rot. The plant is erect greenish yellow.

       This variety is best for Bihar, a very good ratooner and moderately resistant to red-rot
disease. Leaf is green and long, cane is erect and light green internal tissue. It gives yield of
about 100 tonnes canes per hectare.

3. BO-76
       This variety is good in sprouting, high yielder and best for Bihar. The foliage remains
green till late in the season. So it is also useful as fodder. It is resitant to red-rot and tolerant to

4. BO-54
        This variety is suitable for late planting in Uttar Pradesh and gives high tillering and fine
millable canes. It is a good ratooner but susceptible to red rot. It is moderately resistant to smut
and shoot borer but attack of top borer is heavy.

5. COS-633
        This variety is best for waterlogged areas of Uttar Pradesh. It is better in tillering and fine
millable cane production. It is a good ratooner and moderately resistant to red rot but
susceptible to smut. Cane is medium in girth. It is high yielding variety.
6. CO-419
         It grows well in all kinds of soils, both light and heavy. It is a good ratooner. It is
susceptible to borer, smut diseases and to the grassy shoot diseases. It is highly responsive to
irrigation and fertilization.

7. COA- 7601
        It has high sucrose contents. It gives good sprouting and early vigour. The plant is erect,
but susceptible to drought, and grows well under irrigated conditions. It's jaggery is of a good
quality, with light brown colour and is hard and crystalline. It contains about 20% of sucrose in

8. COJ-67
        It is a mid season variety. Cane is a tall, straight and goood as a ratooner. It is resistant
to top borer, red rot, wilt and smut diseases. It gives a very good quality gur.

9. CO-6907
        It is a high yielding variety, susceptible to smut, moderately resistant to red rot and
tolerant to earl y shoot borer. It responds to heavy doses of fertilizer and does not lodge. Under
drought conditions it produces about 63 tonnes of cane per hectare: It contains about 18 to 19
per cent of sucrose.

10. CO-853
         It withstands water logging and drought condition. It is suitable for medium and heavy
soils. It has good juice quality. Canes are medium, thick and yellow in colour. It is good ratooner
and grows well on medium and heavy soils. The gur is light yellow in colour, hard and

II. CO-62175
        This is a good variety for Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. It is a good ratooner. It
contains about 17% sucrose. It has high yielding potential of sugar and jaggery. It is thin, late
maturing variety with high yielding tendency.

12. CO-62399
        It is a good ratoon crop, resistant to lodging and red rot. It is a high yielding variety under
heavy fertilizer conditions. It is good in tillering and is suitable for western Uttar Pradesh and
Tarai region.

13. CO-740
        It is a good ratooner and yields high under heavy fertilization. It has high fibre content. It
can tolerate alkalinity to a certain extent but susceptible to stem borer and smut disease:

14. CO-6304
       This variety is good or Tamil Nadu. It yields about 150 tonnes per hectare. It has erect
cane, non lodging and nonsnapping. Canes are thick, slightly staggered with hard ring. It
performs well under garden as well as wet land conditions.

15. CO- 7717
         It is a mid season variety, mature in about 9 to 10 months and contains 17% sucrose.
This variety is moderately resistant to red rot and less top borer infestation. Canes are medium
thick. It flowers profusely.
16. BO-34
        It is fairly good sprouting with heavy tillering capacity results more canes at harvest. It is
a mid season variety with high yield and high sugar content. It is a good ratooner. It is resistant
to red rot, moderately resistant to smut, tolerant to drought and water logging. It has about 15%
sucrose. It grows fairly well in sandy soils.

17. CO-llS7
        It is a medium-thick and late ripening variety. It performs well under waterlogged
conditions in eastern Uttar Pradesh. It has high tillering alld good stalk population. Its foliage
remain green till late in the season. It is good in sucrose content. It is moderately resistant to red
rot but succumbs to wilt.

18. CO-62198
        It is a medium thick, early ripening and contains good amount of juice from January to
April but moderate in yield. Cane is medium erect, and resistant to the local strain of red rot in
Tamil Nadu. It is noted for its high fibre percentage even during the early parts of the crushing
season. It contains about 15% sucrose.

19. COU-46
        This is a late maturing with high sugar content. It is fairly resistant to top borer and shoot
borer. It is moderately resistant to red-rot disease but susceptible to drought and water logging.
The cane is medium, thick and slightly staggered with soft ring.

20. CO-650
        It is a drought resistant variety, moderately susceptible to early shoot borer, highly
susceptible to inter-node borer, and resistant to smut. Matures in 10-11 months and well suited
for early crushing.

        There are so many other high yielding varieties of sugarcane in this country. They differ
from each other according to location, climatic conditions, soil fertility etc. They are detailed in
table 1.

             Table: 1 Recommended sugarcane varieties for various states of India

     Sl.No State                         Early maturing     Mid seasons        Late maturing
     1     Andhra pradesh                CO-527             CO-419             CO-449
                                         CO-997             CO-975             CO-62175
                                                            CO-467             CO-853
     2       Assam                       CO-313             CO-419             CO-421
                                         CO-997             CO-449             POJ-2714
     3       Bihar                       CO-313             CO-419             CO-617
                                         BO-10              BO-14              BO-29
                                         B0-34              BO-50              BO-65
     4       Gujarat                     CO-775             CO-740             CO-791
                                                            CO-955             CO-62175

     5       Haryana                     COL-9              CO-975             CO-1148
                                         CO-558             CO-1158            COJ-46
     6       Karnataka                   CO-740             CO-419             HM-320
                                        GC-225             CO-449             IC-26
     7       Kerala                     CO-658             CO-740             CO-785
                                        CO-997             CO-853             CO-419
     8       Madhya Pradesh             CO-954             CO-717             CO-1301
                                        CO-321             CO-683             CO-775
     9       Maharastra                 CO-775             CO-678             CO798
                                        CO-740             CO-62175           CO-419
     10      Nagaland                   CO-740             CO-983             CO-6304
                                        CO-997             CO-5510            CO-1158
     11      Orissa                     CO-997             CO-1053            CO-872
                                        CO-881             CO-897             CO-419
     12      Panjab                     CO-129             CO-1158            COJ-46
                                        COJ-64             COS-480-64         COL-9
     13      Rajasthan                  CO-997             CO-419             CO-1111
                                        COL-29             CO-1148            COS-245
     14      Tamil Nadu                 CO-658             CO-853             CO-449
                                        CO-526             CO-6304            CO-419
     15      West Bengal                CO-622             CO-1132            BO-17
                                        CO-997             CO-1008            CO-419
     16      U.P. Eastern               CO-527             CO-846             CO-356
                                        CO-395             CO-393
     17      U.P. Central               CO-5416            CO-1157            CO-1158
                                        CO-1113            CO-1148
     18      U.P. Western               CO-510             CO-659             CO-6613
                                        COS-541            COS-611            BO-7678
                                        BO-47              BO-70              BO-17
                                        BO-10              BO-54

V. Land Preparation

          Sugarcane crop requires well prepared soil to ensure sufficient moisture retention, well
leveled soil for easy irrigations and intercultural operation, soil with good tilth to facilitate
earthing up and well drained soil to save the crop from waterlogging in case of heavy rains. To
prepare the field for sugarcane a number of ploughings are given with a country plough, clods
are broken, and stubbles are removed. This is followed by deep-ploughing with tractor or mould-
board- plough and planking. Finally, 2 or 3 harrowings are given to bring the seed-bed into fine
tilth. After sowing, ridges are made to divide the field into convenient size beds for irrigation and

VI. Sowing

      Efficient care and precautions should be taken while selecing the cuttings, treating it with
chemicals at the time of planting.

a. Selection of stem cuttings
        Sugarcane crop is propagated by stem-cutting. The upper- half-portion of the plant bears
buds of high viability and are best for raising new crop. Cane setts of two or three nodes,
bearing 3 or 4 vegetative buds are made from the healthy, free from insect pests and diseases,
top portions of the plants after hand peeling. About 35,000 sets are required for one hectare.

b. Sett treatment
        Cane-seed-setts are wet and sugary, therefore, while in soil, before sprouting into new
plant, these are mostly damaged by insects (termites) and fungus. To avoid these losses, the
sets, before planting, are dipped into 0.5% Agallol (3%), or 0.25% Aretan or Tafasan (6%) for 2-
3 hours.

c. Time of planting
        The best time of planting the sugarcane setts for spring crop is the period when the
atmospheric temperature records an average of 25°C. Therefore, the time of sowing in Tamil
Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka is earlier (i:e. December -January) than the
time of sowing in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (Le. February -March). The crop can be sown
round the year. Crop planted before winter season gives less sprouting and tillers due to cold
weather, during early sprouting stage.

d. Method of sowing
       Sugarcane crop is sown by various methods, depending upon the field problems.
Common methods of planting are described here.

1. Flat planting
        Flat planting method is mostly common in intensive sugarcane growing areas where soil-
moisture is available in plenty. Sets are kept in shallow (8-10 cm) deep furrows at 75 cm apart.
On an average, one viable bud per ten centimeter length in each furrow is planted (i.e. one
sett/feet). The field is heavily planked. This method of sowing is popular in North India.

2. Furrow planting
         Furrow planting method is mostly common under low soil moisture condition. After
sowing irrigation is given immediately. Sets are kept deep (10-15 cm) furrows, at 90 cm apart.
On an average, a 3 budded sett/feet length is planted. Furrows are covered with 5-6 cm soil and
irrigation in furrows is applied.

3. Trench method
        Trench method of sowing sugarcane is mostly used in areas where strong winds and
rainy season cause lodging of the cane i.e. in coastal areas where crop grows tall. Furrows are
not made, but in place of these only trench 25 cm deep at 90 cm distance in line are made by
manual labour. Fertilizers, and insecticides are mixed with soil and trenches are again filled with
soil, keeping one set/trench at the depth of 5 cm. irrigation is applied only on successful

e. After care
        After sowing, the sugarcane field requires some immediate cares like hoeing and
protection from insects and farm animals. The fields are irrigated within a few days after sowing
to get required soil conditions for hoeing. Hoeing assists in the emergence of sprouts and
increases the plant population in the field. The new emerging shoots are tender and palatable
for animals to eat. Therefore, a number of insects and farm animals are attracted towards it and
they require due protection measures.
VII. Manures and Fertilizers

        Farmyard manure is added one month before planting at the rate of 10-12 tonnes of well
decomposed manure, to improve the soil texture and water holding capacity. Chemical fertilizers
are applied based on the recommendation of the soil test. For general purpose 300 kg nitrogen,
80 kg phosphorus, 80 kg potash and 80 kg calcium per hectare are applied. Half dose of
nitrogen and full dose of other fertilizers are placed in furrows below or on the side of cane-sets,
at the time of sowing as a basal dose. The rest of the nitrogen is applied in two split doses as
topdressing during plant growth period. The application of fertilizer at the early stage of plant
growth is advantageous, and increases the sucrose contents in the juice.

VIII. Water Management

          The vegetative growth period of the sugarcane crop can be looked upon in four stages
i.e. (i) sprouting stage, (ii) formative stage, (iii) grand growth stage and (iv) maturity stage. The
water requirement during second and third stages are most important, therefore, depending
upon the soil type and weather conditions, timely irrigations result in more juice with high
sucrose contents. After the monsoon, mostly 6-7 irrigations are required for successful crop

IX. Earthing

        Soil between the furrows of canes, is taken with the help of spade and applied to the
sides of the plants. This earthing up is advantageous in many ways: (i) acts as hoeing, (ii) mixes
the top dress fertilizers well in the soil, (iii) support the plant, to save them from lodging, (iv) help
the bud to sprout profusely and (v) makes watering and drainage easy.

X. Tying the Plants

       Sugarcane is 6-7 feet tall growing plant. Winds and heavy rains usually make it to fall
down on the ground. This lodging spoils both yield and quality of the juice. To avoid
such10sses, plants are frequently (2 or 3 times) tied with sugarcane leaves in groups, to make
the group of plants strong enough to face high winds and rains.

XI. Weed Control

        Sugarcane is a perennial crop and remains 3-4 years in the same field. Therefore, all
types of weeds, seasonal, annual and perennial grow in the field. These compete for nutrients,
space, light and create a favourable environment for disease and insect development. Weeds
which emerge only during rainy season are Echinochloa colonum and E. crusgalli (grasses),
Dacryloctanum aegyptium (makra), Amaranthus viridis (cholai) and Celosia argentia (safed
murg). Their rate of growth is very high. Weeds which emerge before the start of monsoon are
Cyperus rotundus (motha), Cynodon dacrylon (doob) and Sorghum halepense (banchari) and
some annual weeds like Chenopodium album (bathua), Lathyrus sativa (matri), Vicia spp.
(ankrni), Angallis arvensis (krishna Neel) and Fumaria parviflora (gajri).

        Weed control in sugarcane is done by adopting mechanical method or chemical method.

1. Mechanical method
       Fields are given a hoeing with help of kurpi or spade, after a month of sowing and the
process is repeated frequently. This method not only removes the weeds but also increases the
sprouting and tillers and destroys insects and enhances aeration in the soil. Some growers
make best use of this laborious operation by cultivation of second crop in between the
sugarcane crop as a mixed crop.

2. Chemical method
        Weeds of the sugarcane can be classified into two groups i.e. one with broad leaves or
dicotyledonous and second as narrow leaved grassy or monocotyledonous. Spraying with 2-40
@ I kg in 800 litres of water after a month of sowing destroys all broad leaved weeds like
'bathua', matri, krishna neel, gajri, motha, cirola; etc. The second group of grassy weeds, are
really a most problematic, since sugarcane crop belongs to the grassy group of
monocotyledonous. Hand hoeing is the best method to control these weeds. Sometimes,
pai1icularly when the field is sown afi'esh, spraying with 2 kg of Dilapon or Paraquat in 500 litres
of water is done before the sprouting of the sugarcane crop appears. This kills all grasses that
stand in the field at that stage. Sometimes spraying is done with 2 kg Atrazine or Simazine in
500 litre water after the sprouting of the sugarcane crop to check the weed's growth and spread.
This is done with utmost care that a minimum dose, of weedicide (sub-lethal), falls on the
sugarcane crop and optimum dose (lethal doze) falls on the weeds.

XII. Diseases

       Fungus, bacteria and virus cause diseases to sugarcane crop. These are transmitted
from one plant to another and one field to another field either by original seed set or causal
organism already in the soil or spores are carried by blowing wind. Some of the diseases of
sugarcane crop and their suggested control measures are discussed here.

1. Red rot disease
        This disease is caused by a fungus Colletotrichum falcatum: Red rod disease appears in
July. Leaves start loosing colour and withering. The stalk becomes dry, wrinkled, hollow and
alcoholic smell is emitted. To control disease, if a very few plants are affected then uproot these
plants and burn them otherwise discord the whole of the field and do not grow this crop in the
same field for at least three years. Fresh sowing should be done with seed-sets from resistant
variety, dipping these in 0.25% solution of Agallol or Aretan for 2-3 minutes.

2. Smut
        The disease is caused in April by Ustilago scitaminea in the form of a long, black
whiplike structure at the apex of the stalk. It spreads by wind. To control the disease, if affected
plants are very few, carefully cut down the apex of the plant in such a way that spores do not
spread, by covering with suitable paper-bag and burn it out along with the uprooted affected
plant. Otherwise discard and burn the whole field and do not grow sugarcane crop at least for
three years in the same field. Fresh sowings are done with resistant varieties.

3. Wilt
        The disease is caused by a fungus Cephalosporium sacchari. The crown leaves become
yellow during late season and cane dries. To control the disease, if the affected plants are very i
few, then uproot these and bum them otherwise discard or bum i the while field. Fresh sowings
are done with resistant variety.

4. Albino (grassy shoot)
        The disease is caused by a virus. Pale yellow narrow leaves appear in abundance. The
plant look like a grass. To control the disease, if the number of the affected plants is not large,
uproot and destroy the affected clumps, otherwise discard the field. Fresh sowing is done after
3-4 years with seed-sets from resistant variety and treat sets at 54°C for 8 hours to inactivate
the casual Virus.

5. Red stripe
        The disease is caused by bacteria Xanthomonas rubrilineans. It appears in May. Leaves
show red streaks. To control this disease, if affected plants are a few in number, then rogue out
these and bum them, otherwise discard tile whole field. Fresh sowings are done with resistant
variety in well drained soils.

XIII. Insect Pests
         Sugarcane crop is attacked by a large number of insects pests, at various stages of its
growth. Important ones are described here.

1. Top borer
        Female moth lays eggs on the dorsal surface of the leaf. Larva is potent to make bores
in mid-ribs, top of shoots and can move through them, thus causes much damage to the
growing points, and makes dead-heart in the stalk. To control it, all its eggs are collected from
the surface of leaves and burnt. Spraying with 1.5 1itres Endosulfan 35 EC or Nuvacron 40 EC
in 1000 litres of water gives reasonable control.

2. Pyrilla
          The insect pyrilla lives on the dorsal surface of the leaves and sucks the cell sap and
leaves become yellowish white. Moreover, the insect secretes a substance called honey dew,
on which black fungus grows and reduces the photosynthetic activity of the leaves. To control it,
the eggs on the leaves are collected and burnt. Dusting with 10% BHC at the rate of 25 kg
hectare or spraying with Malathion 50 EC or Endosulfan35 EC at the rate of 1.25litres/hectare in
1000 litres of water. In some localities another insect known as pyrilla-egg-parasite-
(Tetrastichus pyrillae) also lives on the dorsal surface of the sugarcane leaves. The eggs of this
parasite are metallic black, while the eggs of the pyrilla are pale yellow. On careful examination
of these two kinds of eggs, one can evaluate the success of this parasite in controlling the pyrilla
i.e. if its eggs are more than 30% of the eggs of pyrilla, then there is no need of spraying or
dusting against pyrilla.

3. Root borer
         The insect lives on the dorsal side of the leaves. The female lays eggs and larva
develops and falls to the ground, thereby making hole into the root tissues. It makes a dead-
heart ill the roots and leaves and plant dry up. To control this insect, fields are irrigated to
increase the moisture level in the soil and air, which are detrimental to the pest. Spraying with
20 EC BHC, 5 litres in 500 litles of water, over the seed-sets, at the time of sowing will not only
control the root-borer but also shoot -borer and termites. Standing crop is given a spraying with
1.5 litres of Endosulfan 35 EC or Nuvacron 40 EC in 600 litres of water when eggs and moths
are visible in the field.

4. Sugarcane white fly
       Adults as well as nymphs of the insect suck the sap from the dorsal surface of the leaves
as a result leaves turn yellow. This also result in poor quality of juice. To control the pest,
spraying is given with I.5 litres of Endosulfan 35 EC or Nuvacron 40 EC in 500 litres of water.
The crop is discarded when severe attack of the insect is observed.

5. Lygaeid bug
        This insect is more common on ratoon crop and attacks in May-.Tune. The bug is about
10 mm long. The adult is black while nymph is pink in colour. Both adults and nymphs suck the
sap from leaf sheath and reduces the crop growth considerably and the plants look pale in
colour. Foul odour is omitted from the bug's body. To control: (1) spray Thiodan 35 EC at the
rate of 2 Iitres in 800 litres of water/hectare, (2) adopt crop rotation and (3) if ratoon is taken,
then bum all trash and leaves after harvest.

6. Shoot borer
        The moth lays eggs on the dorsal surface of the leaves. The eggs are creamy white in
colour. The caterpillar feeds on epidermis of the leaf sheath. On reaching at the base of the
shoot, it bores into the shoot. The leaf-sheath gets rotten and gives offensive smell. To control:
(1) spray 5 litres of Gama BHC 20 EC in SOO Iitres of water, (2) dip the seed-sets in it for 2-3
hours/at the time of planting, (3) use long crop rotation, and (4) burning the fallen leaves and

7. Gurdaspur borer
        The moth is brown in colour and lays eggs on the ventral surface of the leaves. Its
caterpillars live in groups. They enter into the plant through a common hole made on internode
and feed for 10-12 days and leave the stem/plant for next plant. The cane become weak and
may-break with slight jurk. To control: (1) affected plants are cut well below the point of attack,
(2) spray 1.5 litres Endosulfan 35 EC or Nuvacrone 40 EC or Ekalux 25 EC in 800 litres of
water, and (3) do not ratoon a heavily affected crop.

XIV. Crop Rotation

        Sugarcane, grows in the same field for 2- 3 years during this period, a number of
diseases and insects accumulate their spores or eggs and make the field conditions impossible
to grow a healthy crop for a number of years. Moreover, soil becomes deficient in some plant
nutrients as the crop feed large amount of nutrients from the soil. This requires their
replacement. For these reasons crop rotation, by growing non-sugar-cane crops for 2- 3 years is
required. The common crop rotations are given here.

1. Crop rotations requiring two years
       (a) Maize -potato -sugarcane
       (b) Maize -sugarcane -wheat
       (c) Paddy -sugarcane -wheat
       (d) Cotton -sugarcane -rabi jowar
2. Crop rotations requiring three years
        (a) Iowa, (fodder) -potato -sugarcane -wheat
       (b) Paddy -gram -sugarcane -ratoon -wheat
       (c) Cotton -sugarcane -ratoon
       (d) Paddy -toria -sugarcane -ratoon -wheat
       (e) MaIze -wheat -sugarcane -ratoon -wheat
       (f) Paddy -sugarcane -ratoon -wheat
       (g) Cotton -sugarcane -ratoon -wheat
       (h) Cotton -sugarcane -gram i
       (i) Sugarcane -ratoon -kharif paddy -winter paddy
       (j) Paddy -groundnut -jowar -ragi -sugarcane

XV. Intercropping
       Intercropping with sugarcane is a profitable practice. It can be done both with
leguminous and non-leguminous crops. Intercropping has additional advantage of interculture
and earthing up. Some of the intercropsused as intercrop are given here.

1. Sugarcane + potato (autumn).
2. Sugarcane + wheat. (autumn)
3. SugaI"cane + toria (autumn)
4. Sugarcane + lentil (autumn)
5. Sugarcane + moong (spring)
6. Sugarcane + urd (spring)

XVI. Ratooning

         Sugarcane is a perennial crop i.e. it does not require fresh planting year after year. The
crop of the second year and the subsequent years is called ratoon. Based upon practical
experience, the growers can decide to keep the ratoon for 2-3 years. The main problem in
keeping the ratoon is the accumulation of insect pests and diseases which deteriorate yield and
quality of the juice. It never recommends to keep ratoon of diseased crop. The crop which is to
be kept as ratoon is harvested in January after dismantling the ridges at ground level. All the
stubbles and leaves are cleared and burnt. An interculture with hoe or plough is given for
incorporating the recommended doses of fertilizers and manures. Gap-filling is done. A light
irrigation is applied to enhance sprouting. A ratoon crop matures earlier than fresh planted crop.

XVII. Unfavourable Climate

         The climatic conditions like very high temperature or very low temperature deteriorate
the juice quality and thus affecting the sugar quality. Favourable climate like warm and humid
climate favour the insect pests and diseases, which cause much damage to the quality and yield
of its juice and finaly sucrose contents. Short days of winter reduce tillering, produce thinner
long plants, with less sucrose contents. Heavy rains create water logging conditions.

XVIII. Harvesting and Yield

         Sugarcane is a cash crop and after harvesting it is used in making 'gur' or sugar.
Therefore, harvesting at the right stage of maturity is an important c0nsideration. Experienced
growers judge the maturity by process of withering leaves or by taste of the cane juice. But to
facilitate the judgment, a hand-sugar refractometer is used. The juice from the central portion of
the stalk having reading 17-18 by. the refractometer is suitable for, harvesting for sugar factory.
In North Indian condition the crop ) matures in early December and maintains its juice quality till
March. Harvesting is done with the help of sickle. Stalks are cut at ground level, leaves are
stripped off and green top is cut. The canes are tied in bundle, and carried to the factory for
sugar or gur making. The average yield of cane 'is 500 q/ha, but under scientific management it
may yield about 800 quintals/hectare. Ratoon crop gives lower yields than fresh crops.

XIX. Uses and Importance

       Sugarcane is mainly an industrial crop as the cane is supplied to sugar industries, where
various products, from its juice are prepared by using a series of industry. The by-products from
sugarcane further require some form of industry. Only a fraction fraction of its production is used
in small scale industry for making local Khandsari' and 'gur'. Sugarcane's products like sugar
and fermented products are very important in making and preserving various kind of medicines
like syrups, liquids; capsules etc. Sugarcane provides a juice, which is used for making white
sugar, and jaggery (gur) and many by-products 1ike bagasse and molasses. Bagasse is used
as a fuel, for production of fiber board, papers, plastics and furfural. Molasses is used in
distilleries for the manufacture of ethyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, citric acid etc. Rum is the best
potable spirit made from molasses. Molasses, also, is used as an additive to feeds for livestock.
Green tops of cane are a good source of fodder for cattle. Its remains are good manure in
alkaline and saline soils.

XX. Economics of Cultivation

         Most of the sugarcane growers do not maintain farm records or accounts properly. So it
is very difficult to make out whether the enterprise is at a loss or profit. This is due to ignorance
of proper methods of cost-benefit calculations. Given below is the format for determining the
cost of sugarcane cultivation. From this format a farmer can choose whatever is applicable to

A. Recurring cost
1. Land preparation
       a. for removing stubbles etc Rs
       b. for ploughing Rs
       c. c. Leveling Rs
2. Cost of fertilizers
       a. Cost ofFYM Rs
       b. Cost ofm, N.P.K Rs
       c. Cost of any other item Rs
3. Cost of insecticides/weedicides Rs
4. Cost of farm power and electricity Rs
5: Cost of seed (setts)
       a. Cost of setts Rs
       b. Cost of sowing
6. Cost of irrigation Rs
7. Labour charges
       a. for irrigation Rs
       b. for weeding Rs
       c. for watch and ward Rs
8. Transport charges Rs ;
9. Harvesting Rs
       a. Labour charges for harvesting Rs ,
       b. Cost on removing dry leaves and tops Rs
       c. Cost of packing into bundles Rs
       d. Labour charges up to store factory Rs
10. Rent/cost of farm tools etc. Rs
11. Crop insurance Rs
12. Land rent Rs
13. Miscellaneous charges Rs

B. Income
Cost of crop Rs
Cost of dry matter Rs
Cost of other output Rs
C. Profit (for one year) Total cost of product Rs
Total cost of input
Net profit = Total income -Total recurring costs

Profit percentage = -------------- x 100
                      Total cost involved


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