Sugarcane Cultivation: How to start sugarcane cultivation/farming?
Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) is the main source of sugar in India and holds a prominent position as a cash crop. India is the world’s largest consumer and the second-largest producer of sugar, topped only by Brazil. Nearly 2.8 lakh farmers have been cultivating sugarcane in the vast area of 4.4 lakh acres and over 11 crore people are directly or indirectly dependent on the sugar industry in the country. Sugarcane is one of the important commercial crops of India, grown in an area of 3.93 m.ha with an annual production of 170 M.T. Sugarcane productivity in India is around 67 t / ha. It is one of the most important food-cum-cash crops grown in the country, providing employment to a larger number of people, in addition to earning considerable foreign exchange.
Select a suitable sugarcane variety
Throughout the world, there are many hybrid and improved varieties of sugarcane available for commercial agriculture. However, below is a list of some high-yielding varieties from countries, which produce more.
Sugarcane Varieties Grown in India
In India, 687, CoJ. 64, Co Pant. 84211, CoLk. 8001, CoS. 767, Co. 1148, CoS. 802, CoC. 85061, Co. 8021, CoC. 671, Co. 6304, Co. 1148, CoS. 767, CoJ. 79, Co. 6304, Co. 6907, Co. 7527, Co. 7805, Co. 740, Co. 7219, CoM. 7125, CoC. 671, Co. 7527, Co. 740, Co. 7804, Co. 8014, Co. 740, Co. 6806, Co. 8338, Co. 7805, Co. 8011, etc.
They are the best-performing varieties of sugarcane, used for commercial agriculture depending on weather conditions and soil types.
Note: The Selection of a high-yielding sugarcane variety plays an important role in deciding yield or production. However, select only the best, depending on your atmosphere and weather conditions.
Ideal Growing Conditions for Sugarcane
Sugar cane can grow for a long season. In hot, humid conditions, it can continue to grow, unless it ends in bloom. Temperatures above 50o C stop its growth; those below 20 o C slow it down markedly and severe frosts are fatal. The crop works best in tropical regions that receive rainfall of 750-1200 mm. To mature, it needs a cool, dry season; but where rainfall is very intense and prolonged, the quality of the juice tends to be low and the climate remains comparatively.
Preparing the land for the cultivation of sugar cane
For optimal production, your soil should have a fine tillage shape for good germination. Therefore, first put your soil into fine tillage for proper germination and healthy stem growth of this crop. Typically, about two to three deep tractor plows are enough to carry your soil in fine tillage.
After first plowing, allow it to be exposed to bright sunlight for a period of about three months. In addition, it crushed the clods and leveled it well for optimal production. The preparation of the soil helps good aeration in the soil and eliminates the penetration of the roots of the previous crop. It is a good idea to incorporate the soil with well-rotted farmyard manure for more than 35 tons per hectare to increase soil productivity.
Read also: Greenhouse Farming
Irrigation in sugarcane cultivation
This crop is very sensitive to the water supply and needs water more than other crops. This crop requires a sufficient water supply at each crucial stage, such as the sprouting stage, the formative stage, the maturation stage, and also during the introduction of sprouts into the settlements. However, giving plenty of water is the best way to produce the maximum. Therefore, the supply of water by drip irrigation or with an alternative method of furrow irrigation in areas with water shortages for optimal production of sugarcane.
However, follow the following irrigation program for cultivation in the tropical region:
1. Once a week during the appearance of germination. Generally, the germination period in sugar cane productions varies from 30 to 40 days after planting in the main field.
2. After that, provide water at 10-day intervals during the tillering stage. Keep this scheduled for about three months after planting in the main field.
3. This crop then requires more water over a period of approximately six months because, during this period, the vegetative growth of this crop takes place in this time period.
4. Then, during the ripening stage, supply water to your crop at an interval of 12 to 15 days until harvest.
This means that this commercial crop requires irrigation approximately 40 times during its full growth. However, when cultivating this crop in the subtropical region, 10 to 12 irrigations are sufficient.