S U G A R C A N E
SugarCane (Saccharum officinarum)
SEASON AND VARIETIES
Sugarcane is grown chiefly in the main season (December - May) in the entire State. In parts of Tiruchirapalli, Perambalur, Karur, Salem, Namakkal and Coimbatore districts, it is also raised during the special season (June - September). The particulars in respect of each season are given below:
There are four main seasons in TN
- Early – Dec-Jan
- Mid-season – Feb-Mar
- Late – Apr – may
- Special season – June-July
- Spring – Feb-Mar
- Suru in Maharastra, Eksali in Gujarat & AP
- Autumn – Sep-Oct-
- 13-15 months, supplies sugar for early crushing
- Adsali – July Aug
- 16-18 months
- Increase e in yield & sugar recovery
- Though advantageous area is declining due to water problem
- Late planting – beyond March, reduction in duration and yield
- After the introduction of hybridization programme in early 20th century many improved varieties are available
- Varieties for region and season are available in plenty
- SBI, Coimbatore in collaboration with NARS has set up breeding programme
- Breeders of NARS will visit and at a specified period and carry materials
- Cultivated in wide range of soils
- Moderately heavy medium deep (1-2m) loams are better than
- Heavier and shallow soils
- The soil must be of good depth and drainage
- No salt and compaction
- Preparation of good seed bed is essential
- Since the same field is retained for 2-3 years
- Deep ploughing / sub-soiling is needed
- Field Layout
- In India - by adopting two systems viz.,
- Ridge and furrows system
- Flat system.
- There are some special systems
- Trench system
- Deep Trench system
- Paired - row system
- Ring or pit system etc.
- Vegetative propagation
- Known as seed pieces or setts
- Buds on sugarcane germinate and give plants
- Planting materials may be
- Single bud sett or Chip bud
- Two budded setts
- Three budded
- Seedlings raised from nursery
- Seedlings raised by poly bags or
- Tissue cultured seedlings
- For sett planting
- Sugarcane setts are prepared from nursery cane
- Nursery cane is younger than (6-8 months) juice cane
Ideal cane sett
- Ultimate plant stand and yield depends on the type of seed material used. The characteristics of good seed cane material are
- Free from disease and pest infestation
- Age of seed crop is around eight months
- Setts should have healthy buds without any damage in handling and transport
- Buds with higher moisture content, adequate nutrients, higher amount of reducing sugars
- Cane should be free from aerial roots and splits
- Pure in quality
Preparation of setts
- Use of sharp knife to cut setts
- Treat the setts immediately with fungicide solution
- Machine cutting and mechanical planting is also followed in developed counties
Seed rates & spacing
- Depends up on the spacing
- Spacing varies due to
- Method of establishment
- In TN
- 50,000 three budded setts
- 75,000 two budded setts
- 187,500 single budded setts
- Row spacing may vary
Method of planting
- In this method, shallow (8-10 cm deep) furrows are opened with a local plough or cultivator at a distance of 75 to 90 cm
- There should be adequate moisture in the field at the time of planting
- The setts are planted in them end to end
- Furrows are covered with 5-7 cm soil
- In most parts of northern India and some tracts of Maharastra, cane is planted by this method
- In this method furrows are made with a sugarcane ridger about 10-15 cm deep in northern India and about 20 cm in south India
- Setts are planted end to end
- The furrows are covered with 5-6 cm soil, leaving upper portion of furrows unfilled
- Immediately after covering the setts water is let into furrows
- This method is practiced in parts of eastern UP and in Peninsular India, particularly in heavy soils
- In some coastal areas as well as in other areas where the crop grows very tall and the strong winds during rainy season cause lodging of cane, trench method is adopted to save the crop from lodging
- Trenches at a distance of 75-90 cm are dug with the help of ridger or by manual labour
- Trenches should be about 20-25 cm deep
- Fertilizers (NPK) are spread uniformly in the trenches and mixed thoroughly in the soil
- The setts are planted end to end in trenches
- The tractor-drawn sugarcane planter is a very suitable device for planting cane in trenches
Modified trench system
- Ridges and furrows are opened at 120 cm using a tractor drawn ridger
- The furrow bottom is widened
- As the crop grows while each manuring, only slight earthing up is done so that a trough is maintained through the crop growth
- Here irrigation is given in the cane row itself
- The system has been found highly useful under :
- Saline water irrigated and saline soil conditions
- The salts are leached down from the root zone
- Higher cane yield compared to conventional ridges and furrows
- FYM or pressmud application and trash mulching in this system can further improve cane yield
Special methods of establishment
Single bud direct planting
- In this system single bud setts are planted directly in the field in the furrows at 30-45 cm spacing
- This method is highly economical and sowing of seed material.
- The buds should be healthy
Transplanting technique (STP technique)
- Seedlings are raised in a nursery bed using single bud setts.
- About 6 weeks old seedlings are transplanted
- Advantages by adopting this system are
- Saving in the seed cost
- Only about 2-3 t/ha against the normal 8-10 tonnes/ha.
- Synchronous tillering leading to uniformly maturity
- Sufficient time availability to prepare the main field
- Saving of 2-3 irrigations
- Possibility of increased cane yield
- Better weed management
- Efficient fertilizer management
- A technique developed by Mr. S.V. Parthasaradhy an eminent sugarcane scientist.
- Suggested for water logged or excess soil moisture conditions (coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu during N-E monsoon period)
- In this method
- Three eye budded setts are planted in a slanting position, 60° to the vertical, in the wet furrow or half-way on the ridges
- Usually one eye bud is thrust into the soil and the remaining two will be above, which will sprout
- Once the monsoon recedes, the in situ sprouted setts are pressed down into the soil and made to lie horizontally
- Soil is put to the base
- At this stage, the crop is manured
Measures to obtain higher germination
- Using disease free healthy setts
- Careful preparation of setts without damaging the buds or setts
- Planting freshly prepared and treated
- Trash mulching under moisture stress and hot weather and late planted conditions
- Seed treatment using a fungicide
Manures and Fertilizers
- Apply FYM / Compost during field preparation
- Inorganic fertilizers:
- For Coastal and flow irrigated areas
- 270 : 112.5: 60 N: P2O5: K2O kg /ha
- N & K applied in three equal quantities at
- 30, 60 and 90 DAG
- N may be coated with neem cake @20%
- For Lift irrigated areas
- 225 : 112.5: 60 N: P2O5: K2O kg /ha
- For Jaggery producing areas
- 175 : 112.5: 60 N: P2O5: K2O kg /ha
- For those soils deficient in …
- In iron : 100 kg ferrous sulphate /ha
- In Zinc : 37.5 kg Zinc sulphate
- Foliar application and drip fertigation can
- Reduce N dose
- Increase cane yield
- Save ground water pollution by fertilizers
- Azospirillum application can enhance the growth
- Band placement of fertilizer is another method by which losses can be minimized
- To support and sustain a vigorous nursery crop, irrigating at optimum levels in important
- Any shortage in the irrigation would lead to reduced sett yield
- Moisture stress would pre-dispose the crop to the attack of some pests and diseases
- Irrigation at IW/CPE ratio of 1.0 is ideal
- According to moisture depletion irrigating at 25% depletion of available soil moisture (ASM) may be ideal
- This in practical terms means:
- Once in 6-7days in a loamy soil and
- At around 10-12 days in heavy day soil
- A weed-free environment is absolutely essential
- Deep ploughing and removal of perennial weeds
- Pre-emergence application of
- Atrazine 1.75kg or Oxyflurofen 0.75 lit/ha on 3-4 days of planting using knapsack sprayer
- Post-emergence application of
- Gramaxone 2.5 lit + 2-4,D Sodium salt 2.5 lit/ha as directed spray on 21 DAP
- Hand weeding before each manuring
- Other cultural operations and precautions
- Important cultural operations in sugarcane in addition to weeding, manuring and irrigation are
- Earthing up
- Propping and
- Flowering control
- This practice is followed where furrows are practiced
- Earthing up are 2-3times during crop period.
- The first earthing-up is known as "partial earthing-up and
- To cover the fertilizers
- To provide anchorage to root system
- The second operation is "full earthing-up".
- Full earthing-up is done after final manuring (90-120 days coinciding with peak tillering
- The soil from the ridge is thrown on both sides towards cane rows and the furrows will become as ridges and ridges as furrows
- The furrows so formed are used for irrigation
Wet earthing up
- Done around 6months age of the crop
- The furrows are irrigated and the wet soil from furrows is taken and plaster the ridges
- It checks late tillering and watery shoots
- Heavy earthing up is useful during floods
- When the flood water recedes, the excess water from earthed-up soil drains out quickly thus providing aeration
- This operation is done where soil crust formation is very common
- In sub tropics hoeing is done after germination is over using a bullock drawn or a tractor - drawn harrows
- While carrying out this operation some of the germinated setts may be uprooted and they are pressed down manually
- On an average a stalk may produce30-35 leaves
- All are not useful for effective photosynthesis
- Only the top 8-10 leaves are sufficient
- Most of the bottom leaves are dried will not participate in photosynthesis
- At the same time they drain out the food materials which otherwise could be used for stalk growth
- Therefore it is important to remove the dry and lower leaves
- This operation is known as detrashing
- Detrashing helps in clean cultivation
- Easy movement of air within the crop canopy
- Reduce certain pests like scales mealy bugs, white fly etc.,
- Easy entry into the field
- Avoids bud germination due to accumulation of water in the leaf sheath
- Easy to take up cultural operations including sprayings
- Easy to harvest, obtaining clean canes for milling
- Detrashed leaves can be used for
- Mulching in the furrows or
- Used for composting
- Infested leaves with pest or disease may be burnt out
- Tying the canes by using the lower bottom leaves to check lodging of cane
- Propping can be either done for each row or two rows can be brought together and tied
- It is for:
- Prevention the lodging
- Extensively followed in coastal belt where cyclone effect is very severe
- Lodging also very common in
- Tall varieties
- Top growth is heavy and where the growth habit is not erect, and
- The varieties with less fibre content
Lodging leads to several problems
- Cane breakage and thus loss of stalk number at harvest loss
- Lodged canes are easily infested by certain pests and diseases
- Damage by rats and rodents
- Bud sprouting leads to reduced cane quality
- Aerial root formation affects cane quality
- difficult to irrigate and harvest the cup
To prevent lodging
- Heavy earthing up
- Paired row planting with earthing up
- Deep trench planting
- Selection of varieties resist lodging
- Raising wind breaks along the field borders
- Application of potassium
Removal of water shoots
- Water shoots are late formed tillers or side shoots which are robust and fast growing.
- They originate mainly due to excess water supply, heavy and late manuring, inadequate earthing up
- These water shoots contain lot of water, low sucrose and more of reducing sugars
- Water shoots affect the growth of adjacent stalks
- They harbor insect pests and when they are milled sugar recoveries are low because of reduced juice quality
- Therefore removal of water shoots whenever they appear
- Water shoots can be used as cattle feed
Control of flowering
- In commercial sugarcane cultivation, flowering is not desirable
- Once the plant flowered the cane growth stops and starts ripening
- If not harvested immediately reversion of sugars, increase in fibre, pith formation, cane breakage etc.
- The deterioration is much faster if it is summer
- Non-flowering or shy flowering varieties can be used where flowering is a severe problem
- Controlled irrigation
- Change of planting period
- Use of growth regulating substances
- Spraying of ethrel at 500ppm, twice or 1000ppm once at floral initiation
- The crop raised from planting cane sett is called plant crop
- After the harvest of plant crop stubble sprouts and gives rise to succeeding crop called as ratoon crop
- The practice of taking up ratoon crop is called ‘ratooning’
- Is generic, based upon ability ratoon varieties are classified as:
- Good or poor ratooner
- Co 1148, Co 419, Co 740 are some examples for good ratooners
- Ratooning has following advantages:
- Reduction in the cost of field preparation, planting material, operation cost
- Saving in field duration – ratoon matures earlier than plant crop
- Ratoon may give equal yield that of plant crop
Ratooning is common practice
- Number ratoon varies
- In Cuba 10-11 crops
- South Africa & USA 4-6 crops
- Hawaii, Brazil and Australia 2-3
- In India ratoon yield is generally poor since
- Very little attention to manure ratoon
- 30-40% area is under ratoon in India
- The average productivity is low
- Select variety suitable during plant crop
- Plant crop should be harvested at right maturity
- Delayed harvest to be avoided
- Harvesting close to the ground with sharp cutting
- Stubble shaving to 4-6cm is recommended if no uniform cut at harvest
- Remove the trash but do not burn it
- Irrigated the field properly
- Shoulder breaking or off-barring to remove decayed stubbles
- Gap filling with sprouted setts or seedlings
- Ratoon is less efficient in N utilization hence 25% additional N from 5-7 days after ratooning is desirable
- P & K should be judiciously
- Spraying of FeSO4 @ 2.5kg/ha in 150 litres on 15th day if chlorotic symptom is noticed
- If persists repeat twice at 15 days interval
- In the last spray add 12.5kg urea
- After cultivation practices to be done more effectively
- Ratoon requires more plant protection
- Grassy shoot disease, ratoon stunting
Maturity and harvest
- Ripening of sugarcane refers to rapid synthesis and storage of sucrose in the stalk
- Accumulation of sugar in the stalk starts soon after completion of elongation phase
- Glucose produced during photosynthesis is not utilized for conversion but stored as sucrose
- When the concentration exceeds 16% in the juice and 85% purity the cane is said to be matured
- As the crop advances in maturity:
- Water content decreases
- Sucrose content increases
- Reducing sugars decreases
- Both organic and inorganic non-sugars also decreases
- At peak maturity sucrose content is at maximum and non-sugars at minimum
- Assessing maturity
- Use of hand refractometer - Brix reading
- Assess the maturity by HR meter survey – 18-25% indicates optimum maturity
- When the reading between top and bottom is 1:1 – is right time to harvest
- If delayed
- Sucrose content decreases
- Non-sugars increases
- Fibre content increases
- Ripening is influenced by number of factors
- Cool dry weather is the key factor
- Bright sunshine
- Day temp 28-30C
- Night temp 12-14C
- RTD (Relative temp disparity) decides
- Spray Sodium metasilicate 4kg in 750 litres /ha 6 months after planting
- Repeat at 8th & 10th months
- and not at declining phase
- Polaris and Ethrel are most extensively used in Hawaii
- Polaris @ 5 kg in 600 l /h
- Since a slow grower during initial 2-3 months may be an intercrop raised
- The crop should not affect cane yield
- Marketability, ability and feasibility decides the short crops
- Pulses, potato, onion etc are some
- Sequential cropping - Rotations
- After sugarcane 1 or 2 or 3 crops
- Rice based cropping system for one year
- Wheat based
- Sugarcane-banana- rice based crop rotations
1. Shoot borer (Chilo infuscatellus)
Apply any one of the following insecticides:
- Trash mulching on ridges on 3DAP
- Intercropping with green gram, black gram, daincha effectively checks shoot borer.
- Spray Granulosis virus at 1.5 x 1012 PIB/ha twice on 35 and 50 days after planting (DAP) or release 125 gravid females of Sturmiopsis inferens /ha on 30 and 45 DAP
- Lindane 10 G 12.5 kg
- Carbofuran 3 G 33 kg
- Chlorpyriphos 10 G 12.5 Kg/ha
- Monocrotophos 36 WSC 1000 ml
- Endosulfan 35 EC 1000 ml
- Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 1000 ml
- Phosalone 35 EC 1000 ml
- NSKE 5 % 25 Kg/ha
2. Internode borer (Chilo sacchariphagus indicus)
- Release egg parasitoid, Trichogramma chilonis at the rate of 2.5 cc/release/ha. Six releases fifteen days interval starting from fourth month onwards will be necessary.
- During rainy weather and when ants are present, release the parasite through musquito net covered plastic disposable cups.
- Detrash the crop on the 150th and 210th day after planting.
3. Top shoot borer (Scirpophaga excerptalis)
Release Isotima javensis at 100 pairs/ha
4. Pyrilla (Pyrilla perpusilla)
Spray any one of the following on the 150th and 210th day (1000 l spray fluid):
- Malathion 50 EC 2000 ml
- Endosulfan 35 EC 2000 ml
- Monocrotophos 36 WSC 1000 ml
- Detrash on the above days
- Avoid excess use of nitrogen.
5. Termite (Odontotermes obesus)
Flood irrigate the furrows to avoid termite attack in the furrows at the time of planting
6. Mealy bug (Saccharicoccus sacchari)
Dip the setts in imidacloprid 70 WS 0.1% or Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 0.04 % for 5 min.
Apply lindane 1.3 D 125 kg/ha
Imidacloprid 200 SL at 250 ml in 250 l of water / ha
- Detrash as per schedule
- Drain excess water
- Apply any one of the following insecticides when theincidence is noticed spray on the stem only:
- Methyl parathion 50 EC 1000 ml
- Malathion 50 EC 1000 ml
7. Scale insect (Melanaspis glomerata)
Spray dimethoate 0.06% on the 120th and 150th day after detrashing.
1. Red rot (Colletotrichum falcatum)
- Selection of setts from healthy nursery programme
- Growing of recommended resistant and moderately resistant varieties viz., Co 86249, CoSi 95071, CoG 93076, CoC 22, CoSi 6 and CoG 5
- Adopt sett treatment with Carbendazim before planting (Carbendazim 50 WP @ 0.05% or Carbendazim 25 DS @ 0.1% along with 1.0% Urea for 5 minutes)
- The irrigation interval in a red rot affected field must be lengthened. Once in 15 days during tillering, growth phases and once in 25 days during maturity phase which restricts the spread
- Removal of the affected clumps at an early stage and soil drenching with 0.1 % Carbandazim 50 WP or 0.25 % lime.
- The trash of red rot affected field after harvest may be uniformly spread and burnt
- The red rot affected field must be rotated with rice for one season and other crops for two seasons.
2. Sett rot (Ceratocytis paradoxa)
- Sett treatment with Carbendazim before planting (Carbendazim 50 WP @ 0.05% or Carbendazim 25 DS @ 0.1% along with 1.0% Urea for 5 minutes)
- Proper drainage and planting of setts in 1-2 cm depth.
3. Smut (Ustilago scitaminea)
- Growing of resistant and moderately resistant varieties viz., Co 86249, CoG 93076, CoC 22, CoSi 6 and CoG 5
- Sett treatment with fungicides viz., Triadimefon @ 0.1% or Carbendazim @ 0.1% for 10 minutes.
- Treating the seed setts with Areated Steam Therapy (AST) at 50 ºC for 1 hour or in hot water at 50 ºC for 30 minutes or at 52 ºC for 18 minutes
- Roguing of smut whips with gunny bags/polythene bag and burnt
- Discourage ratooning of the diseased crops having more than 10 per cent infection
4. Grassy shoot disease (GSD)
- Rogue out infected plants in the secondary and commercial seed nursery.
- Treat setts with aerated steam at 50°C for 1 hour to control primary infection.
- Growing resistant varieties viz., Co 86249, CoG 93076 and Coc 22
- Spray dimethoate @ 0.1 % to control insect vector
- Avoid ratooning if GSD incidence is more than 15 % in the plant crop
5. Leaf spot (Cercospora longipes) : Spray Mancozeb 2.0 kg or Carbendazim 500 g/ha.
6. Rust (Puccinia erianthi) : Spray Tridemorph 1.0 litres or Mancozeb 2.0 kg/ha.
MAIN FIELD PREPARATION
PREPARATION OF THE FIELD
a) Wetland (Heavy soils):
In wetlands, preparatory cultivation by ploughing the land and bringing the soil to fine tilth could not be done.
After harvest of the paddy crop, form irrigation and drainage channels of 40 cm depth and 30 cm width at intervals of 6 m across the field and along the field borders.
Form ridges and furrows with a spacing of 80 cm between rows with spade.
Stir the furrows with hand hoes and allow the soil to weather for 4 to 5 days.
b) Problem soils with excessive soil moisture:
In problem soils, with excessive moisture where it is difficult to drain water, form raised beds at 30 cm intervals with Length - 5 m, Width - 80 cm, and Height -15 cm.
c) Garden lands with medium and light soils:
In medium and light soil irrigated by flow or lift irrigation adopt the following:
- Plough deep with tractor drawn disc plough or victory plough. Use junior hoe to break the clods and get a fine tilth free of weeds and stubbles.
- Level the field for proper irrigation.
- Open ridges and furrows at 80 cm apart with the help of victory plough or tractor drawn ridger. The depth of furrow must be 20 cm.
- Open irrigation channels at 10 m intervals.
2. Basal application of organic manures:
Apply FYM at 12.5 t/ha or compost 25 t/ha or filter press mud at 37.5 t/ha before the last ploughing under gardenland conditions. In wetlands this may be applied along the furrows and incorporated well.
Preparation of reinforced compost from sugarcane trash and pressmud:
Spread the sugarcane trash to a thickness of 15 cm over an area of 7 m x 3 m. Then apply pressmud over this trash to a thickness of 5 cm. Sprinkle the fertilizer mixture containing mussoorie rock phosphate, gypsum and urea in the ratio of 2:2:1 over these layers at the rate of 5 kg/100 kg of trash. Moist the trash and pressmud layers adequately with water. Repeat this process till the entire heap rises to a height of 1.5 m. Use cowdung slurry instead of water to moist the layer wherever it is available. Cover the heap with a layer of soil and pressmud at 1:1 ratio to a thickness of 15 cm. Leave the heap as such for three months for decomposition. Moist the heap once in 15 days. During rainy season, avoid moistening the heap. After three months, turn and mix the heap thoroughly and form a heap and leave it for one more month. Then turn and mix the heap thoroughly at the end of the fourth month. Moist the heap once in 15 days during 4th and 5th month also. This method increases the manurial value of trash compost by increasing, N, P and Ca content. It also brings down the C:N ratio by 10 times as compared to raw cane trash.
Composition of cane trash, pressmud and cane trash compost
Cane trash compost
Cane trash compost
3. Basal application of fertilizer
Test the soil and apply P fertilizer based on soil test values. Otherwise apply super phosphate (375 kg/ha) along the furrows and incorporate with hand hoe.
- Apply 37.5 kg Zinc sulphate/ha and 100 kg Ferrous sulphate/ha to zinc and iron deficient soils.
Management of main field operations
PREPARATION OF SETTS FOR PLANTING
- Take seed material from short crop (6 to 7 months age) free from pests and diseases incidence.
- Detrash the cane with hand before setts preparation.
- Use sharp knife to prepare setts without splits.
- Discard setts with damaged buds, sprouted buds, splits etc.
- Sett treatment with Azospirillum: Prepare the slurry with 10 packets (2000 g)/ha of
- Azospirillum inoculum with sufficient water and soak the setts in the slurry for 15 minutes before planting
- Select healthy setts for planting.
- The setts should be soaked in 0.1% Carbendazim or 0.05% Triademefon for 15 minutes.
- Treat setts with Aerated steam at 50°C for one hour to control primary infection of grassy shoot disease.
- 75000 two-budded setts/ha.
- Different systems of planting is not found to influence the millable cane population, commercial cane sugar per cent, cane and sugar yield.
- Irrigate the furrows to form a slurry in wet land condition (Heavy soil)
- Place the setts along the centre of the furrows, accommodating 12 buds/metre length. Keep the buds in the lateral position and press gently beneath the soil in the furrow.
- Avoid exposure of setts to sunlight.
- Plant more setts near the channel or double row planting at every 10th row for gap filling, at later stage.
- In dry/ garden land dry method of planting may be followed. First arrange the setts along the furrows, cover the setts with soil and then irrigate.
Improved technologies on cane planting systems
Mechanisation of planting
- TNAU mechanical planter is useful for cost effective planting with saving of Rs.3750 / ha and it can cover an area of 1.5ha/day
- Reduces the human labour drudgery.
- Four feet row with two line planting in each row.
- Daincha / Sunhemp intercropping for improving soil health; it also reduces early shoot borer incidences and increases cane yield.
- Plant the setts on one side of the ridge
- Sow rhizobium treated green manure seeds @ 10kg/ha on the opposite side of ridge with 10cm.
- Spacing on or before 3 days after planting.
- Incorporate the green manure crop 50-60 days after planting and give partial earthing up with recommended dose of N fertilizer.
- Introduction of power weeder for weeding and earthing up to save the cost on labour and also to reduce human drudgery.
FILLING UP GAPS
- Fill the gaps, if any, within 30 days after planting with sprouted setts.
- Maintain adequate moisture for 3 weeks for proper establishment of the sprouted setts.
Mulch the ridges uniformly with cane trash to a thickness of 10 cm within a week after planting. It helps to tide over drought, conserves moisture, reduce weed population and minimise shoot borer incidence. Mulch the field with trash after 21 days of planting in heavy soil and wetland conditions. Avoid trash mulching in areas where incidence of termites is noticed.
RAISING INTER CROPS
In areas of adequate irrigation, sow one row of soybean or blackgram or greengram along the centre of the ridge on the 3rd day of planting. Intercropping of daincha or sunhemp along ridges and incorporation of the same on the 45th day during partial earthing up helps to increase the soil fertility, and also the cane yield. Especially Intercropping of Co.1 Soybean gives an yield of 800 kg/ha without any adverse effect on cane yield.
WEED MANAGEMENT IN PURE CROP OF SUGARCANE
- Spray Atrazine 2 kg or Oxyflurofen 750 ml/ha mixed in 500 ltr. of water as pre emergence herbicide on the 3rd day of planting, using deflector or fan type nozzle.
- If pre-emergence spray is not carried out, go in for post-emergence spray of Grammaxone 2.5 litre + 2,4-D sodium salt 2.5 kg/ha in 500 litre of water on 21st day of planting.
- If the parasitic weed striga is a problem, post-emergence application of 2,4-D sodium salt @ 1.25 kg/ha in 500 litre of water/ha may be done. 2, 4-D spraying should be avoided when neighbouring crop is cotton or bhendi. Apply 20% urea also for the control of striga as direct spray.
- Pre- plant application of glyphosate at 2.0 kg ha-1 along with 2% ammonium sulphate at 21 days before planting of sugarcane followed by post emergence direct spraying of glyphosate at2.0 kg ha-1 along with 2% ammonium sulphate with a special hood on 30 DAP suppressed the nut sedges (Cyperus rotandus) and provided weed free environment.
- If herbicide is not applied work the junior-hoe along the ridges on 25, 55 and 85 days after planting for removal of weeds and proper stirring. Remove the weeds along the furrows withhand hoe. Otherwise operate power tiller fitted with tynes for intercultivation.
TOP DRESSING WITH FERTILIZERS
a. Soil application
Apply 275 kg of nitrogen and 112.5 kg of K2O/ha in three equal splits at 30, 60 and 90 days in coastal and flow irrigated belts (assured water supply areas). In the case of lift irrigation belt, apply 225 kg of nitrogen and 112.5 kg of K2O/ha in three equal splits at 30, 60 and 90 days (water scarcity areas). For jaggery areas, apply 175 kg of nitrogen and 112.5 kg of K2O/ha in three equal splits on 30, 60 and 90 days.
a. Neem Cake Blended Urea: Apply 67.5 kg of N/ha + 27.5 kg of Neem Cake at 30 days and
repeat on 60th and 90th days.
Note: Neem cake blending: Powder the required quantity of neem cake and mix it with
urea thoroughly and keep it for 24 hours. Thus, 75 kg of nitrogen/ha can be saved by this method.
b. Azospirillum: Mix 12 packets (2400 g)/ha of Azospirillum inoculant or TNAU Biofert –1 with 25 kg of FYM and 25 kg soil and apply near the clumps on 30th day of planting. Repeat the same on 60th day with another 12 packets (2400 gm). Repeat the above on the other side of the crop row on the 90th day (for lift irrigated belt).
c. Band placement: Open deep furrows of 15 cm depth with hand hoes and place the fertilizers in the form of band and cover it properly.
d. Subsurface application: Application of 255 kg of Nitrogen in the form of urea along with potash at 15 cm depth by the side of the cane clump will result in the saving of 20 kg N/ha without any yield reduction.
NUTRITIONAL DISORDERS :
Nitrogen deficiency : All leaves of sugarcane exhibit a yellow – green colour and retardation of growth. Cane stalks are smaller in diameter and premature drying of older leaves. Roots attain a greater length but are smaller in diameter.
Phosphorus deficiency : Reduction in length of sugarcane stalks, diameters of which taper rapidly at growing points. The colour of the leaves is greenish blue, narrow and somewhat reduce length. Reduced tillering, decreased shoot / root ratio with restricted root development.
Potassium deficiency: Depressed growth, yellowing and marginal drying of older leaves and
development of slender stalks. An orange, yellow colour appears in the older lower leaves which develop numerous chlorotic spots that later become brown with dead centre. A reddish discoloration which is confined to the epidermal cells of the upper surfaces and midribs of the leaves. The young leaves appear to have developed from a common point giving a “Bunched top” appearance. Poor root growth with less member of root hairs.
Zinc deficiency: Mild zinc deficiency exhibit a tendency to develop anthrocyanin pigments in the leaves. Pronounced bleaching of the green colour along the major veins and also striped effect due to a loss of chlorophyll along the veins. In acute cases of zinc deficiency there is evidences of necrosis and growth ceases at the growing point (meristem).
Iron deficiency: Symptoms of Iron deficiency are generally seen in young leaves where pale stripes with scanty chlorophyll content occur between parallel lines. In advanced stages of deficiency the young leaves turn completely white, even in the veins. Root growth also becomes restricted.
Boron deficiency : Boron deficiency could be seen in the cane by depressed growth, development of distorted and chlorotic leaves and the presence of definite leaf and stalks lesions. In extreme cases of boron deficiency the plant will die.
Importance of Balanced Nutrition
The soil fertility has declined in many sugarcane growing areas of the state due to improper and some times, distorted fertilizer schedules adopted over the years under intensive cultivation of the crop. Hence balanced application of fertilizer based on soil test values and crop requirement is essential.
Micro nutrient fertilizers :
1. (a) Zinc deficient soils : Basal application of 37.5 kg/ha of zinc sulphate.
(b) Sugarcane crop with zinc deficiency symptoms: foliar spray of 0.5% zinc sulphate with 1% urea at 15 days internal till deficiency symptoms disappear.
2. (a) Iron deficient soils: Basal application of 100 kg/ha of ferrous sulphate.
(b) Sugarcane with Iron deficiency symptoms: foliar spray of 1% ferrous sulphate with 1% urea at 15 days interval till deficiency symptoms disappear.
3. Common Micronutrient mixture : To provide all micronutrients to sugarcane, 50 kg /ha of micronutrient mixture containing 20 kg Ferrous sulphate,10 kg Manganese sulphate, 10 kg Zinc sulphate, 5 kg of Copper sulphate, 5 kg of Borax mixed with 100 kg of well decomposed FYM, can be recommended as soil application prior to planting.
Recommended dosage of macro and micronutrients
a. Sugarcane – plant crop (meant for sugar mills)
275 : 62.5 : 112.5 kg N, P2O5 and K2O per ha
b. Sugarcane – Ratoon crop (meant for sugar mills)
275 + 25% extra N : 62.5 : 112.5 kg N, P2O5 and K2O per ha
c. Sugarcane for jaggery manufacture (plant as well as ratoon crop)
225 : 62.5 : 112.5 kg N, P2O5 and K2O per ha
Irrigate the crop depending upon the need during different phases of the crop.
Germination phase (0 - 35 days):
Provide shallow wetting with 2 to 3 cm depth of water at shorter intervals especially for sandy soil for enhancing the germination. Sprinkler irrigation is the suitable method to satisfy the requirement, during initial stages.
Later, irrigation can be provided at 0.75, 0.75 and 0.50 IW/CPE ratio during tillering, grand growth and maturity phases respectively. The irrigation intervals in each phase are given below:
Days of irrigation interval
Tillering phase (36 to 100 days)
Grand growth phase (101 - 270 days)
Maturity phase (271 - harvest)
- Planting setts obtained from 6-7 months old healthy nursery and planted in paired row planting system with the spacing of 30x30x30 / 150 cm.
- Nine setts per metre per row have to be planted on either sides of the ridge thus making it as four row planting system.
- 12 mm drip laterals have to be placed in the middle ridge of each furrow with the lateral spacing of 240 cm & 8 ‘Lph’ clog free drippers should be placed with a spacing of 75 cm on the lateral lines. The lateral length should not exceed more than 30-40 m.
- Phosphorus @ 62.5 kg ha-1 has to be applied as basal a the time of planting.
- Nitrogen and Potassium @ 275:112.5 kg ha-1 have to be injected into the system as urea and muriate of potash by using “Ventury” assembly in 10-12 equal splits starting from 15 to 150-180 days after planting.
- Low or medium in nutrient status soil to be given with 50 per cent additional dose of Nitrogen and Potassium.
- Irrigation is given once in three days based on the evapo-transpiration demand of the crop.
Concept of fertigation
- Fertigation is the judicious application of fertilizers by combining with irrigation water.
- Fertigation can be achieved through fertilizer tank, venturi System, Injector Pump, Non ElectricProportional Liquid Dispenser (NEPLD) and Automated system
Recommended N & K @ of 275 and 112.5 kg. ha-1 may be applied in 14 equal splits with 15 days interval from 15 DAP.
- 25 kg N and 8 kg K2O per ha per split.
- Urea and MOP (white potash) fertilisers can be used as N and K sources respectively
- Fertigation up to 210 DAP can also be recommended
Advantages of Fertigation
- Ensures a regular flow of water as well as nutrients resulting in increased growth rates for higher yields
- Offers greater versatility in the timing of the nutrient application to meet specific crop demands
- Improves availability of nutrients and their uptake by the roots
- Safer application method which eliminates the danger of burning the plant root system
- Offers simpler and more convenient application than soil application of fertilizer thus saving time, labour, equipment and energy
- Improves fertilizer use efficiency
- Reduction of soil compaction and mechanical damage to the crops
- Potential reduction of environmental contamination
- Convenient use of compound and ready-mix nutrient solutions containing also small concentration of micronutrients.
Gradual widening of furrow:
At the time of planting, form furrow at a width of 30 cm initially. After that, widen the furrow to 45 cm on 45th day during first light earthing up and subsequently deepen the furrow on 90th day to save 35% of water.
- Soak the setts in lime solution (80 kg Kiln lime in 400 lit) for one hour.
- Plant in deep furrows of 30 cm depth.
- Spray potash and urea each at 2.5 per cent during moisture stress period at 15 days interval.
- Spray Kaolin (60 g in 1 ltr. of water) to alleviate the water stress.
- Under water scarcity condition, alternate furrow and skip furrow method is beneficial.
- Apply 125 kg of MOP additionally at 120 day of planting.
- Basal incorporation of coir waste @ 25 tonnes/ha at the time of last ploughing.
- Removal of dry trash at 5th month and leave it as mulch, in the field.
a. Apply cane ripeners
- Spray Sodium metasilicate 4 kg/ha in 750 litres of water on the foliage of crop at 6 months after planting.
- Repeat the same twice at 8th and 10th months to obtain higher cane yield and sugar percentage.
b. Assessing maturity of crops
- Assess the maturity by hand refractometer brix survey and 18 to 20 per cent brix indicates optimum maturity for harvest.
- Top-bottom ratio of H.R.Brix reading should be 1:1.
- Early varieties have to be harvested at 10 to 11 months age and mid-season varieties at 11 to 12 months age.
- Harvest the cane at peak maturity. Cut the cane to the ground level for both plant and ratoon crops.
B. RATOON CROP
MANAGEMENT OF THE FIELD AFTER HARVEST OF THE PLANT CROP
Complete the following operations within 10 days of harvest of plant crop to obtain better
establishment and uniform sprouting of shoots.
- Remove the trash from the field. Do not burn it. Irrigate the field copiously.
- Follow stubble shaving with sharp spades to a depth of 4 - 6 cm along the ridges at proper moisture.
- Work with cooper plough along with sides of the ridges to break the compaction.
- The gappy areas in the ratoon sugarcane crop should be filled within 30 days of stubble shaving. The sprouted cane stubbles taken from the same field is the best material for full establishment.The next best method is gap filling with seedlings raised in polybags.
- Apply basal dose of organic manure and super phosphate as recommended for plant crop.
MANAGEMENT OF THE CROP
- 25% additional N application on 5-7 days after ratooning.
- Spray Ferrous sulphate at 2.5 kg/ha on the 15th day. If chlorotic condition persists, repeat twice further at 15 days interval. Add urea 2.5 kg/ha in the last spray.
- Hoeing and weeding on 20th day and 40th to 50th day.
- First top dressing on 25th day, 2nd on 45th to 50th day.
- Final manuring on 70th to 75th day.
- Partial earthing up on 50th day. If junior-hoe is worked two or three times upto 90th day, partial earthing up is not necessary.
- Final earthing up on 90th day.
- Detrashing on 120th and 180th day.
- Trash twist propping on 180th day.
- Harvest after 11 months.
C. SHORT CROP (NURSERY CROP)
Selection Of Proper Planting Months For Raising Nursery Crop In Relation To Main Field Planting
Raise six to seven months old nursery crop prior to main field planting as follows:
Raise nursery crop during Main field planting
- June December - January (early season)
- July February - March (Mid season)
- August April - May (Late season)
- Dec - Apr June - September (Special season)
Precautions In Maintaining Nursery Crop
Adopt similar production techniques for raising short crop with the following modifications.
- Do not detrash
- Do not prop
- Harvest at 6 to 7 months age
- Remove trash by hand while preparing setts
- Avoid bud damage
- Transport the seed material to other places in the forms of full canes with trash intact.
- Apply 50 kg of urea as top dressing additionally before one month of cutting the seed cane.