Just like the species of plants, the sugarcane botanical name was also given. Saccharum officinarum is the botanical name for sugarcane. Sugarcane is a grass plant that is in the Saccharum genus and the Poaceae family. It has been believed to have come from New Guinea and been planted in both the subtropical and tropical parts of the country.
S.officinarum produces about 70 per cent of the world's sugar. Saccharum sinense, the Saccharum spontaneum and the Saccharum Barberi are several other sugarcane botanical names for the three different varieties This plant does have several other applications, in addition to the manufacture of sugar, such as the manufacture of ethanol, bio-plastics, and fertilizers. It is also used in livestock farming. Sugarcane products include rum, bagasse, and molasses.
Geographical Coverage and Distribution of Sugarcane
Tropical Asia, Mexico, and South America, Africa, South-western Europe, temperate Asia, the Pacific, Southeastern USA, Australia, are cultivating sugar cane. It was grown after 6000 BC in New Guinea and eventually spread across the human migratory routes to Asia and the Indian subcontinent from around 1000 BC on.
Cultivation of Sugarcane
Cuttings in different sizes from top parts of the older canes propagate the sugar cane. These seeds (cuttings) are situated in trenches and almost buried by soil. Within two weeks they will start to sprout. Every bud sprouts and develops a primary shoot under ideal conditions. The seed is harvested after germination from 10 to 20 months.
The stalks are chopped near the ground since the lower level of the sugarcane has the highest sugar content. Typically, rhizomes produce two or three more plants, referred to as ratoons until more plantation is required. The canes are transported by rail or another usable mode of transportation to the sugar factories.
Soil Suitable For Sugarcane Cultivation
Sugarcane is cultivated in many types of soils, like red volcanic and river alluvial soils. The perfect soil is a combination of the organic matter of sand, silt, and clay particles. The field is ploughed then left for quite a while before subsoiling takes place (stirring the subsoil). The crop requires well-drained soil and drains are generated – on the floor, under the ground, or at the end – depending on the field topography.
Sugarcane breeding has the objective of creating new hybrid varieties that are tolerant or resilient to diseases and pests of insects, and of improving the sugar production per unit, the yield of greater sugar levels, and the standards of production. Many of the initial noble canes have been prone to some severe diseases, but their ruggedness has increased. Wild cane S. spontaneum, for example, absorbs minimal sugar, is resistant to so many diseases, and has been commonly used by breeders to boost commercial varieties.
The first-ever step of breeding would be to get new seeds of cane by sexually exchanging selected parents and then picking them from the new seeds. Two flower cans of two caned types, chosen as male and female parents, shall be enclosed in a tube lantern. The better varieties on the market are not inherently perfect parents. Several of the best varieties were grown by non-commercial parents which is not ideal for use.
Basic Requirements to Cultivate Sugarcane
In tropical and subtropical regions, sugarcane is best cultivated because plants need a mild, sunny and humid climate. In situations where no frost is observed that will harm plants, crops are optimally planted at temperatures about 26 and 33 °C (78.8 – 91.4o F). Sugarcane could be cultivated successfully in various soils but is optimally produced in dense, well-drained soils that are rich in nutrients with a pH range from 5.0 to 8.0. For adequate output, sugar cane demands annual average precipitation of 1800 to 2500 mm every year. If the precipitation is far too little, crops with irrigation should be cultivated to increase yield.
Uses of Sugarcane
Sugar cane is a commodity for white sugar extraction. Sugarcane covers a wide variety of industries such as sugar mills which produce processed sugar, liquor ethanol distilleries, and millions of manufacturing units for jaggery. Sugarcane provides sugarcane juice which is a refreshing cocktail. Ethyl alcohol is provided by molasses as raw material.
Medicinal Uses of Sugarcane
Medicinally, sugar cane was also used. In South Asia, a wide range of health issues from indigestion to nicotine have been treated and externally further used to reduce inflammation. In Ayurvedic medicine, roots, as well as stems, have been used to cure diseases of the skin and also the urinary tract, including in the case of bronchitis, heart condition, development failure of milk, cough, and anaemia. Some transcripts have recommended its use with jaundice and low blood pressure. The paste was commonly used for the treatment of wounds and for helping recovery.
Economic Importance of Sugarcane
Sugarcane is a sugar crop of economic importance. The sugar cane produces sucrose that builds up in the internodes of the stalk. Sucrose, which is mined and purified at specialist mill facilities, is used in human food industries as the raw material or fermented for ethanol processing.
A plant stem juice is used to manufacture sugar and molasses. Stem juice is helpful for appetite for weakness, leprosy, bowel disorder, anaemia, and diarrhoea. Molasses are made from industrial ethyl alcohol. Molasses are commonly used as a food for stocks. The tops of cane are served to livestock. Bagasse, the fibrous remaining after the sugar cane juice is drained and is utilized by using it for the production of, wallboard, fiberboard, paper, and card boarding.