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What are the different methods for sugarcane cultivation?

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint: Planting time for sugarcane is – spring season (mid February to end of March) and autumn season (last fortnight of September to first fortnight of October). Sugarcanes need to be watered in a 10 days interval before the monsoon season, as per requirement in the monsoon season and at 25 days interval after the monsoon season.

Complete Answer:
Sugarcane belongs to the bamboo family of plants and is indigenous to India and is the main source for making sugar, gur and khandsari.
There are different ways to cultivate sugarcane, the native method of sowing sugarcane is to plough the given land for 3 – 5 times and forming a seed bed of about 10 – 15 cm deep, after this the field is levelled and the seeds are planted.

Ways of cultivating sugarcane:
1. Flatbed planting method – It is the simplest and the cheapest of the methods and is suitable for areas with low precipitation. In this method shallow furrows of around 8 – 10 cm deep are made at a distance of 75 – 90 cm and the seeds are planted end – to – end and the field must have adequate level of moisture.
2. Furrow planting method – This method is common to the area where soil has low moisture due to which irrigation is supplied immediately after irrigation. The furrows are dug 10 – 15 cm deep and are kept apart at 90 cm.
3. Trench method of planting – This form of cultivation is done to avoid lodging as in coastal areas and areas where the crops grow very tall and there are strong winds during rainy season they can cause lodging of the canes. The trenches are at a distance of 75 – 90 cm and the furrows are 20 – 25 cm deep. Here the trench is dug via help of a ridger or by manual labour.
4. Transplanting methods – This method includes both spaced transplant method and seedling transplant method. In this case the seedlings are primarily raised in the nurseries and later transplanted on the field (after around 50 – 55 days).
5. Wider or two row plantation method – In this method wide furrows are formed at a distance of 150cm and in the middle of the furrows sugarcane deposits are planted in two rows, they (the rows) have a space of 30 cm between them.

Other modern methods may include –
- Single bud raising method
- Ring pit method
- Tissue culture method
- Sablang or germination method
- Chip – bud method
- Ridge and groove method etc.

Note: There are several methods of sugarcane cultivation that have been perfected over the years as we have developed. The cane is used to make crystallised sugar. The molasses is used to make rum and industrial alcohol. Bagasse, the residual part of the cane is used as fuel in the mills or as cattle fodder.