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1 Role of Grower: As Grower is the main key factor which can help to increase the sugarcane production from the field. In Pakistan most of the grower doesnt know the proper method or procedure of sugarcane cultivation. So thats why the cane produced is of no good quality and we have less cane and sugar recovery. So it is recommended that there should be organizations who should guide the growers to increase their production. Here are some of the steps that if taken properly can improve the sugar cane production.

3.2 Improvement in Production Technology 3.2.1 Land preparation: Sugarcane is a deep-rooted crop and proper land preparation plays an important role in the development of cane root system, and achieving optimal growth of the crop. Land should be prepared by deep ploughing at least after every two years. The soil should be disked. It is very important that well-rotten farmyard manure (FYM) should be applied a month prior to land preparation. Press mud from the sugar industry is another excellent source of organic matter and nutrients. .Green manuring may also serve the purpose. Soil in the prepared field should be friable and well worked so that full germination takes place and later on plants grow without any inhibiting barriers (compact sub-soil layer). 3.2.2 Soil Insect Control at Planting Time

Growers should be ever mindful of practices they can use to decrease the possibility of soil insect damage. Only two crop conditions require use of a soil insecticide in Louisiana sugarcane fields and usually only in sandy soils. These are:

(a) When pasture, turf or grass-infested land is brought into cane production for the first time or after being out of cane production for several years. There are usually enough grubs or wireworms already established in this type of land to warrant a preventive application of insecticide at cane planting time. However, a soil insecticide application may not be needed with the second plant-cane crop if the field has been kept reasonably free of grass during the ratoon crops.

(b) When cane fields are extremely grassy, particularly when cane is planted in a field that was not kept free of heavy grass infestation when fallow. Ongoing wireworm and white grub infestations will persist in grassy fields. Again, this may be needed only on light or mixed soils. Growers with fields similar to those described should consider control measures for soil insects at planting time and base chemical control on verification of soil insect pest infestations (with fermented corn baits). Based on new research data, the economic threshold is slightly above one wireworm per bait sample before planting. Soil insecticides have had a suppressive effect on beneficial predators in sugarcane studies. 3.2.3. Planting time:

The selection of an appropriate planting method and schedule greatly influences crop growth, maturity, and yield. Since low temperature and moisture stress are detrimental to germination and subsequent establishment, the planting season in subtropical regions is preferably spring. But in areas where winter is severe enough to restrict growth or even kill sugarcane, planting material may only be available in autumn, thus necessitating pre-winter planting. In tropical regions, particularly where irrigation is not practiced, a sufficiently moist season should be selected for planting and establishment. There are two planting seasons: fall and spring. Fall planting starts from the first week of September and continues to mid-October in the Punjab and Sindh, while in the NWFP planting is done in October and November. Spring planting starts from mid-February and lasts until the end of March in the Punjab and Sindh. These planting times are strictly observed because late planting can reduce the yield by as much as 30 percent. September planted crop usually produces 25 to 35 % higher yield. In PakistanPlanting time of Sugarcane planting is usually carried out in autumn and spring seasons. Autumn planting is of high yield and high sugar recovery compared to spring planting. In fact, September planting gives very luxuriant growth, which is mostly vulnerable to lodging. The crop gives good appearance till June-July but is subject to lodging in July or even earlier if there are windstorms or excessive rains. Around 26 per cent of the growers plant sugarcane in October, 45 per cent in November, 2 per cent in December and 7 per cent in February. 3.2.4. Seed rate and planting pattern:

Appropriate seed rate and spacing are often ignored by farmers, with the result that the optimum plant population, which is the key factor in sugarcane production, is not achieved in the field. The seed rate and spacing between rows differ with variety. Thick-cane cultivars like 'BL-4', 'Triton', and 'PR-1000' require a higher seed rate and more space between the rows than thin and medium-cane varieties. Eight to nine tonnes of stripped cane per hectare for thick varieties, and six to seven tones for medium to thin varieties is sufficient to produce a desired plant population of about 0.15 million canes/ha. A spacing of 1 m between the rows of thick varieties, and 0.60-0.75 m for thin to medium varieties allows sufficient space for operations like intercultural and earthing up. 3.2.5. Method of Planting:

Sugarcane should be planted at a row spacing of 90 cm to 1 m. Two budded double sets should be placed end to end in the furrows covered with 2 to 3 cm soil layer. About 3.2 to 4 tonnes seed (80 to 100 maunds) of thin cane varieties and 4 to 5 tonnes seed (100 to 120 maunds) of thick varieties is sufficient to plant one acre. Research has shown good yield increases in tonnage and sugar per acre when the planted row was widened from the V-furrow to the 15- to 18-inch furrow. It showed further yield increases as the furrow width was increased from 15 to 18 to 24 inches. Based on this research and the problems encountered by growers in handling furrow widths of more than 18 inches, it is suggested that growers use a 15- to 18inch furrow for planting in 2001. Growers who can successfully handle the 24-inch width furrow are encouraged to do so. It is also suggested that the furrow opener be constructed to leave a wide bottom with a slight indentation on each side of the furrow and a slight ridge of loose soil in the middle of the furrow bottom. This opening configuration can be obtained by attaching a single disk on each side of the row opener to dig out the furrow sides and deposit the soil in the furrow middle. Some growers have found that packing rows ahead of opening will give more uniform furrows when opening with a three-row opener. 3.2.6. Depth of Planting with Relation to Water Furrow To avoid water damage to seed cane, it should be placed at least 3 to 4 inches above the final water furrow or middle. In soils with poor internal drainage, the seed cane should be placed even higher above

the final water furrow. Growers should be aware of the need to keep the seed cane above the area where water levels will hurt cane stands. Low row height at planting time could be a problem, especially with billet seed cane. 3.2.7. Hot water seed treatment 0 Seed may be treated with hot water at 52 C for 30 minutes and with fungicide. This will help in better germination and the control of many cane diseases. Soaking cuttings and treating with running water for 48 hours sometimes enhances germination of old cuttings. Soaking in hot water (500C) for 20 minutes greatly enhances germination. This, however, is difficult to control at a practical level. Treatment with running water has been suggested to remove fermentation products and inhibitors from the cutting. Indoleacetic acids (IAA) or naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) treatment enhances root growth but delays bud development. Acetylene promotes the growth of the cutting. Substances including ethyl alcohol, ammonium phosphate, complete nutrient solution, and ferrous sulphate have all on occasions proved beneficial to germination. On the other hand, at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, experiments have shown that soaking cane setts in water, cow urine, and 2% KmnO4 solution before planting reduced yield (Table 16.7). Table Effects of various pre-planting seed treatments on the cane yield of 'Co.L-54'. Treatment Normal setts (unsoaked) Soaked in water Soaked in cow urine Soaked in 20% KmnO4 Cane yield (t/ha) 82.76 62.05 61.19 67.16

Source: Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 3.2.8. Amount of Soil Cover over Seed Cane Research on depth of soil cover over seed cane indicates that soil cover in excess of 4 inches can cause yield losses even if the excess is removed in the spring following planting. Heat-treated cane should be covered with 2 inches of packed soil. After the cane is up to a good stand and before freezing weather occurs, add an additional 2 inches of soil to protect from freeze damage. Do not cover heat-treated cane with more than 2 inches of packed soil at planting. 3.2.9. Varieties: Use healthy seed of improved varieties of sugarcane. This can increase cane yield from 20 to 25 per cent. Sugarcane varieties recommended for various provinces are given in Table 4. Around 95 per cent planted BL-4 variety in the study area. This variety flourishes very well in heavy fertile and well-drained soil with good irrigation. As the variety occupied good fields, it established high yields. New variety BF-12-is yet in the stage of multiplication, while SPSG -26 and Th-10, has just been introduced. Results show that 87 per cent planted recommended varieties and the remaining 13 per cent planted non-recommended varieties The economic life span of sugarcane variety varies from 8 to 10 years and after that replacement the variety is necessary. Available Sugarcane Tissue Cultured Varieties: 1. CP-43-33

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

CP- 77-400 CP 81-1435 ABT super BF - 162 SPSG - 26 SPF - 234 BL - 4 T - 10

3.2.10. Recommended varieties of sugarcane. Punjab Early maturing: BL 4 , L 116, BF 162, CP 43-33,CP 72-2086, CP 77-400, SPSG-26, CPF-237 Mid season: TRITON, COL 54, SPF-213 Late maturing: L 118, COJ-84 Sindh Lower Sindh (areas south to Hyderabad) Early maturing: BL 4 Mid season: PR 1000, BF 129 Late maturing: NIA-98 Upper Sindh (areas north to Hyderabad) Early maturing: BL-4, L 113, L 116, TRITON, SPSG-26 Late maturing: NIA-98

N.W.F.P. Early maturing: CP 48-103, CP 51-21, CP 65-357, CPM 13, CO 1321, Mardan-93, 96, SPSG-26 Mid season: CP 77-400, CP 44-101, IM 61, L 62-96, JN 88-1, ABID-


Bannu-1 application

3.2.11. Fertilizer

According to rough estimate the farmers are using one fourth of chemical fertilizer against the sugarcane crop requirements due to non-availability as well as high cost of the same. Apart from this haphazard use of fertilizer brings no fruit and therefore the farmers do not get the crops to their expectations. The very important job getting the soil tested before the use of any particular fertilizer is not practiced in our country. As mentioned earlier fertilizer use in Pakistan is imbalanced, inadequate and improper. Most of the cane

growers in the country use only nitrogenous fertilizers while others use an imbalanced combination of N and P. Use of K is almost neglected in cane crop. It is very important to use proper doses of balanced fertilizers to exploit the maximum yield potential of cane crop. Fertilizer recommendations for sugarcane for various ecological zones are given in the table below. Table of Fertilizer recommendations for sugarcane in Pakistan:


Nutrients -1 acre ) N P2O5 50


Fertilizer (bags acre )


K2O 5060 5070 5060

Urea 2.253.50 2.25-4

DAP 2.25

MOP/SOP 1.75-2 / 22.5 2.5-1.75 / 2-3 1.75-2 / 22.5

The Punjab Sindh

70100 70110 7090






All phosphorus and potash and one fourth N should be applied at the time of planting. It is preferable that P and K may be applied in furrows where seed setts are to be placed. Rest of the nitrogenous fertilizer may be applied in three equal splits i.e. during April, May and by mid June to February-March planted crop. It will be beneficial if N is applied in four equal splits to September planted crop besides one fifth applied at planting. In this case it may be applied during March, April, May and June. September planted crop may be given an additional dose of 20 to 40 kg N (one to two bags of urea) per acre.

3.2.12. Starter Fertilizer Application: Recent fertilization trials have often shown yield responses to starter fertilizers applied in the planting furrow for cane planted after a fallow year as well as succession planted cane. Yield responses have been obtained in both plant-cane and stubble-cane crops with an application of 15-45-45 lbs/A of NP2O5-K2O. Based on these recent findings, it is suggested that growers apply 15-45-45lbs/A of N-P2O5-K2O into the planting furrow ahead of planting. Applying nitrogen at rates exceeding 15 lbs/A is not recommended. As an alternative to starter fertilizer, a rotational crop of soybeans might be considered. Although a nitrogen fertilizer credit has not yet been established, the organic nitrogen from soybeans should be sufficient to get the planted cane off to a good start in the fall. 3.1.13. Soil Testing

The best way to determine lime, phosphorus and potassium requirements is with a reliable soil test. The soil sample must be collected properly for the test to be valid. Large fields should be broken up into

smaller units for sampling purposes, and the smaller fields intensively sampled, because nutrient and pH levels often vary greatly within fields. Intensive, thorough sampling is the only way to detect these variations and adjust fertilizer and lime rates accordingly.Medium to heavy, pH 5.0-8.5. Liming required if pH < 5, or gypsum if pH > 9.5. Soil samples may be collected anytime before fertilizing or liming, but soon after harvest is recommended, if possible. Turn-around time in the soil testing laboratory is faster in the fall and early winter. You will get your test results in time to plan a fertilizer program tailored to each individual field. Also, Table 1. Effect of lime on sugarcane yields.*

Plant- FirstTreatment


Plant- First-


Cane Stubble Stubble Cane

Stubble Increase

lbs sugar/A

No Lime Lime Increase

6126 6382 +256

4431 4702 +271

4708 5348 +640

6372 6720 +348

5299 5515 +216


(*Initial soil pH was 4.8. Soil pH after liming was 6.0. Lime applied one time previous to the first plant year.) A complete soil fertility program is essential for maximum sugarcane yields and profits. Use soil tests properly. Know the lime and fertilizer requirements for each field on which you grow sugarcane, and apply the plant nutrients according to the recommendations and soil test results.

3.2.14. Weed


Good land preparation is a key factor in controlling weeds. For proper weed control, Gesapax combi (80 WP) may be applied @ 1.4 kg per acre in medium textured soils and @ 1.8 kg per acre in heavy soils in 100 to 120 litres of water. The weedicide should be used with the advice of the technical experts.

3.2.15. Irrigation It is very important to take care of the irrigation requirements of sugarcane, particularly in summer months. Farmers must plan their acreage to be planted under cane crop according to the available water at their farm. Keep in mind that each field should get at least 16 to 20 irrigations during the crop year adjusting the irrigation schedule according to rainfall in summer.

Table of Irrigation Schedule

March-April May-June July-August

12-14 days 8-10 days 10-15 days (if there is no rainfall, irrigation interval should be 8-10 days) 15-20 days 25-30 days

September-October November-December

3.2.16. Integrated





Insect pests play an important role in reducing the sugarcane yield. The most serious insect pests are sugarcane borers, Pyrilla, and whitefly. In some areas mealy bug, black bug and army worm are also causing damage. In Pakistan exact estimates of yield losses due to insect attack are lacking but it has been reported that top borer, stem borer, gurdaspur borer and Pyrilla cause a reduction in yield from 15-20, 10-20 and 30-35 percent , respectively. In some cases as high as 80-85 percent reduction in crop yield due to insect attack has been reported. These losses in sugarcane can only be minimized by proper protection of the cane crop from insect pests with scientifically designed IPM Programme throughout the year. Pesticides are applied as and when needed in combination with cultural practices, resistant varieties and introduction and conservation of natural enemies. Pesticides will continue to play an important role in the IPM Programme. The primary difference, however, is that these products will be used selectively and judiciously. Farmyard manure should always be used when it is fully rotten. This will reduce termite attack. Trash in the field should not be kept for longer time and it may be burnt. Dry shoots attacked by the bores must be pulled out and burnt. Always cut the crop as close to the ground as possible. Use of light traps will help controlling the spread of borers killing their adults. Earthing up during May-June will help in controlling Gurdaspur borer as the adults will not be able to come out of the ridges of the soil. In case of severe attack of any insect, do not keep the crop as ratoon. Besides using pesticides/insecticides, insects could also be controlled by biological measures. These control measures are safe for environment, and hazard free. Cotesia flavips is an important larval parasitoid of sugarcane bores. Its female lays eggs inside the borer larva and after hatching, its larvae feed inside the borer larva. Adult parasitoid attack more borer larvae in the field.Trichogramma chilonis destroys the eggs of sugarcane borers. Its female lays eggs inside the eggs of borers. Parasitoid larvae feeds in the host eggs, destroying them. Epi-pyropes destroys sugarcane pyrilla. These parasitoids are mass multiplied in the laboratory and then released in the cane fields.

3.2.17. Control



For controlling sugarcane diseases, use healthy seed which is disease-free and preferably plant diseaseresistant varieties. Treat the seed with fungicide/s before planting. The diseased plants from the field 0 should be removed and either buried or burnt. Seed may be treated with hot water at 52 C for 30 minutes. The practice of heat therapy is becoming more common at seed-production centers to rid seed of ratoon stunting disease, grassy shoot, and leaf scale. This treatment consists of submerging the cane setts in

water heated to 52 C for two hours. In the hot air treatment or the moist hot air treatment, whole cane 0 stalks are treated at 54 C for eight and four hours, respectively. The most hot air treatment is preferred, however, because the hot air treatment injures the buds which ultimately reduce germination. When planting a new crop, it is essential to use seed from samples of the best patches of cane crop, free of disease and insect pests. Disease-free, good-quality seed increases yield by 10-15%.

3.2.18. Ratoon



If the ratoon crop is properly managed, it could give higher returns than the plant crop because of savings in certain field operations and inputs. It is important to remember that ratoon crop requires 30 to 40 per cent higher fertilizers than the plant crop. The end of January to beginning of March is the best time to keep the crop for ratooning. Cane from the fields to be kept for ratoon should be cut at ground level. The sugar recovery in ratoon crop is also better and it matures earlier than the plant crop. However, remember that it has to be managed with extra efforts and care. Apply all the phosphorus and potash fertilizer plus one third of N during March. Plough the land in between the furrows to mix the fertilizer well in the soil and then irrigate the crop. Fill the gaps, control the weeds, insect pests and diseases properly. Rest of the nitrogenous fertilizer should be applied in two equal splits during April and May. Research work conducted on autumn ratooning of sugarcane at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, has shown that sugarcane planted in two row strips 90 cm apart not only ratooned well but also gave higher yields for each of three planting treatments than three and four-row strip planting systems.

3.2.19. Harvesting Stop irrigation 25 to 30 days before the harvest of crop and do not leave the harvested crop for long in the field. In case it has to be kept for a prolonged period, it should be covered with trash. Different varieties planted may be harvested according to their maturity. Harvesting of early maturing varieties may be started during November, mid season varieties during December and the late maturing varieties during January. The crop harvested during February-March gives good ratoon crop. Harvesting is done when the crop has fully matured and ripened. Early varieties and ratoon crops are the first to be harvested. When the stem is close to the surface, great vigilance is required in order to cut the maximum portion of the stem, which is valuable both for its weight and sugar content. The harvested cane should be immediately hauled to the mill otherwise weight and sucrose losses may occur. For this purpose, transport should be arranged in advance.