Sugar cane is a tall and relatively strong class of perennial grasses that are known to have a high sugar content. Strictly speaking, there is not a single plant that is known as sugar cane. Instead, there are as many as thirty-seven different grasses that are sometimes considered to be part of this particular cane family.Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of the Old World, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar and measure 2 to 6 meters tall. All of the sugar cane species interbreed, and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids.

Climate
Tropical or temperate climate is suitable for growing sugarcane but it also can be grown in the sub-tropical region.

Site Selection

The site should be provided with plentiful supply of water, for a continuous period of more than six months each year, either from natural rainfall or irrigation. It can be grown on different soils ranging from sandy, loam to clay and can tolerate salinity to some extent. Well drained loamy soil is ideal for its cultivation.

Seed Selection

The seeds should be free from red rot, wilt, smut, ratoon stunting and grassy shoot disease. Use only top two-third portion of the selected canes for seed


Plantation

It should be done by flat method and row distance should be 75 cm.


Manuring

Nitrogen: 150 kg/ha
Phosphorus: 75 kg/ha
Potash: 100 kg/ha
The full doses of P2O5, K2O along with half nitrogen should be applied at the time of planting. Remaining half nitrogen be applied at the time of earthing up. For ratoon crop, the dose of nitrogen should be increased to 225 kg/ha.


Plant Protection

Insect-pests / Diseases

Control

Insect-pests:
1.      Pyrilla (Causes losses in cane yield and sugar recovery)

 
Spray crop with 1 L malathion or 1 L endosulfan or 600 ml fenitrothion in 1000 L water per ha.

2.      Termites (Destroys the germinating buds)

3.      Early shoot borer (Produces dead hearts)

- Apply well rotton farm yard manure(FYM).
- Remove the stubbles and debris of the previous crop from the field.
- At the time of planting, apply 2 L chloropyriphos 20 EC mixed with 25 kg of sand per ha in furrows on setts

4.         Top borer (Shit holes in leaves, white or red streaks on upper side of the mid rib and bunchy tops)

 

Disease:
1.      Smut (Affected canes produce long whip like shoots)

- Rogue out the entire diseased clumps and destroy after carefully removing the smutted whips.
- Use disease-free seeds.
- Plant resistant varieties.

2.      Red root (The rind losses its bright color and emit an alcoholic smell)

- Rogue out the entire diseased clumps and burn..
- Setts for sowing should be procured from disease free areas.
- Burn all trash after crop harvest.
  Avoid flooding
  Sow resistant varieties


Harvesting

It is done both by hand and mechanically. In hand harvesting, the field is first set on fire. The fire burns dry leaves, and chases or kills any lurking venomous snakes, without harming stalks and roots. Harvesters then cut the cane just above ground-level using cane knives or machetes. Mechanical harvesting uses a combine, or sugarcane harvester. This machine cuts the cane at the base of the stalk, strips the leaves, chops the cane into consistent lengths and deposits it into a transport. After that, the harvester blows the trash back onto the field. The mechanical harvesting doesn’t require the field to be set fire so remains left in the fields such as dead leaves acts as mulch for next round of planting.


Processing

Harvested cane must be rapidly processed as it begins to lose its sugar content if unnecessarily delayed. Firstly, mills extract raw sugar from freshly harvested cane, and sometimes bleach it to make “mill white” sugar for local consumption. And then refineries produces refined white sugar, which is 99 percent sucrose. Sugar refining purifies the raw sugar.
Sugarcane processing produces cane sugar (sucrose) from sugarcane. Other by-products are bagasse, molasses, and filter-cake. Bagasse is a dry fiber which can be used as fuel for boilers, production of paper products, agricultural mulch, and as a raw material for production of chemicals.