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Sugarcane

Booklet No.130 Sugar & Starch Crops: SSCS - 1


Contents Preface 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 Preface 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 35N to 35S. 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. 2.80-74 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 waterlogging. 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 juice. 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 crystalline. 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 1 Andhra pradesh 2 3 Assam Bihar Early maturing CO-527 CO-997 CO-313 CO-997 CO-313 BO-10 B0-34 B0-43,47 CO-775 COL-9 CO-558 CO-740 Mid seasons CO-419 CO-975 CO-467 CO-419 CO-449 CO-419 BO-14 BO-50 CO-740 CO-955 CO-975 CO-1158 CO-419 Late maturing CO-449 CO-62175 CO-853 CO-421 POJ-2714 CO-617 BO-29 BO-65 CO-791 CO-62175 CO-1148 COJ-46 HM-320

4 5 6

Gujarat Haryana Karnataka

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharastra Nagaland Orissa Panjab Rajasthan Tamil Nadu West Bengal

GC-225 CO-658 CO-997 CO-954 CO-321 CO-775 CO-740 CO-740 CO-997 CO-997 CO-881 CO-129 COJ-64 CO-997 COL-29 CO-658 CO-526 CO-622 CO-997 CO-527 BO-11 CO-527 CO-395 C0-313 CO-5416 CO-1113 CO-859 CO-510 COS-541 BO-47 BO-10

CO-449 CO-740 CO-853 CO-717 CO-683 CO-678 CO-62175 CO-983 CO-5510 CO-1053 CO-897 CO-1158 COS-480-64 CO-419 CO-1148 CO-853 CO-6304 CO-1132 CO-1008 CO-846 CO-393 CO-1157 CO-1148 CO-659 COS-611 BO-70 BO-54

IC-26 CO-785 CO-419 CO-1301 CO-775 CO798 CO-419 CO-6304 CO-1158 CO-872 CO-419 COJ-46 COL-9 CO-1111 COS-245 CO-449 CO-419 CO-740 BO-17 CO-419 CO-356 CO-1158 CO-6613 BO-7678 BO-17

16 17 18

U.P. Eastern U.P. Central U.P. Western

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 mouldboard- 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 drainage. 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 23 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 25C. 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 soilmoisture 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 sprouting. 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 production. 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 54C 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 deadheart 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 stubbles. 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 him. 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 Gain Profit percentage = -------------- x 100 Total cost involved %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%