Sugarcane Farming: How to start a sugarcane farming business?

In this article, we are going to see how to start a sugarcane farming business.

Sugarcane Farming: How to start a sugarcane farming business?

Sugarcane Climate and Soil

Sugarcane is a long duration crop and grows well in tropical climate. A well drained loamy soil is considered suitable for sugarcane.  Ideal soil pH is about 6.5, but it can also grow with soil pH in the range between 5 to 8.5

Sugarcane Land Preparation

The soil should be plowed using different kinds of tractor-drawn implements to ensure good soil growth and furrows.

Sugarcane Crop Spacing

Under paired planting lines, 24,000 plants (2-budded sets) or 16,000 (3-budded sets) are required to plant one hectare of land. The row to row spacing varies by 90-120 cm depending on the soil conditions.

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Sugarcane Planting

There are 4 planting methods followed in sugarcane, they are:

1)Ridge and Furrow Method

-Wet Method

-Dry Method

2)Flat Bed Method

3)Rayungan Method

4)Trench or Jawa Method

Intercultural Activities

Regular activities should be done to move the soil in the trenches and remove weeds. Slight compaction of soil against plant rows is carried out when the sugarcane crop begins to grow rapidly at 3-4 months. Old leaves are removed to avoid pest infestation.

Sugarcane Nutrition Management

Sugarcane needs special attention in terms of its nutritional needs. Growers should use the required amount of macronutrients, second and micronutrients to better grow crops with higher yields and sugar regeneration. Deficiencies of N, P, K, S, Mg, Fe, Zinc, and Boron are often reported in sugarcane fields. Therefore, it is important that these nutrients are properly supplied by applying the right fertilizer at the right time.

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Irrigation Management

Average water requirement for sugarcane is 1800 to 2200 mm

Germination 0-45 days 300mm
Tillering Phase 45-120 days 550mm
Grand Growth Phase 120-270 days 1000mm
Ripening Phase 270-360 days 650mm

Weed Management

  • Common cultural practices including shovel digging; 30, 60 and 90 days after planting
  • Spray with herbicide herbicide (0.8 kg / ac) or Oxyflurofen (300 ml / ac) mixed with water (600 l / ha) as a herbicide before germination on the third day of planting.
  • Post emergence spray application glyphosate (1 l / ac) and 2% ammonium sulphate or 2,4-D sodium salt (1 kg / ac) mixed with water (600 l / ha).
  • If parasitic weed striga is a problem, infusion after sprouting of 2,4-D sodium salt (kg / ha) mixed with water (500 l / ha) can be done.

Pest and Pest Control

Early shoot borer Management

– Use resistant varieties & Growing sugarcane with Daincha

-Trash mulching along the ridges up to a thickness of 10-15 cm

-Removal and destruction of dead hearts. Install pheromone trap @ 10Nos. / ha

-Soil application of Carboryl + Sevidol 4% G 12.5 kg / ha, Carbofuron 3G 33 kg / ha or Chlorpyriphos Spray 1000 ml / ha.

White Grub Management

Provide adequate irrigation.

-Deep plowing immediately after harvest.

-Stagnating water for  24 hours in the field causes the grub to come out of the soil.

– Destryoing adult beetles

Sugarcane Aphid

–  paired row system planting lines

– Dipping  seed sets in Chlorpyripos 20 EC solution (2 ml / lit) before planting

-Soil infusion of phorate 10 G @ 5kg / ac or Acephate spray 75 SP @ 1g / lit or Chlorpyriphos 20 EC @ 2 ml / lit or Oxydemeton methyl 25 EC @ 1.3 ml / lit

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Pest and Disease Control

Fungus, bacteria and viruses cause diseases in the sugarcane plant. Some of the diseases of the sugarcane plant and their proposed control measures are listed below.

Red rot disease – Management

-Seed immersion in 0.25% Agallol or Aretan solution for 2-3 minutes

-Uproot  the infected plants and burn them

Smut – Management

– Sowing of resistant species.

– Carefully cut the apex of the plant in such a way that the seeds do not spread and burn them

Wilt – Management

-Sowing of resistant species.

-Remove the infected plants and burn them


  • Early varieties needs to be harvested 10 to 11 months of age.
  • Mid-season varieties at 11 to 12 months
  • Harvest sugarcane when ripe
  • Cut the sugarcane to a minimum for both plant and ratoon plants

Hope you enjoyed this article on how to start a sugarcane farming business and find it useful.

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