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Cultivation practices for higher yielding sugarcane variety

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PROTECTION FROM PESTS: The crop is found to be moderately resistant to infestations. - Photo: Sugarcane Breeding Institute
PROTECTION FROM PESTS: The crop is found to be moderately resistant to infestations. - Photo: Sugarcane Breeding Institute

M.J. PRABU

About 126 tonnes can be harvested from a hectare

RESEARCHERS AT the Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, have developed a high yielding sugarcane variety named Co 94008, which is suitable for growing in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.If farmers follow the recommendations (of the Institute) they can expect to harvest a cane yield of more than 126 tonnes per hectare. This yield production is based on farm trails done by the Institute

Planting methods

About 75,000 two-budded sugarcane setts are required for planting in one hectare. There are two methods of planting the setts. "For planting in light (loamy) soils, the buds should be planted facing the sides and covered lightly with soil. This method is called dry planting," said Dr. R. Thiagarajan, Senior Scientist and Head of Extension section."For planting in clayey soils, the furrows must be irrigated and the setts should be pressed into the soil. This is called wet planting," he said.Before planting, the setts should be soaked for about ten minutes in a solution of 125 grams of bavistin and 2.5 kg of urea diluted in 250 litres of water, he explained.

Green manure

According to Dr. N. Vijayan Nair, Director, of the Institute, raising green manure crops such as daincha or sesbania prior to growing sugarcane and incorporating them into the fields before flowering is advisable.In the absence of green manuring, about 25 tonnes per hectare of farmyard manure or compost can be applied in the field and ploughed into furrows.A basal fertilizer application of about 65 kg of urea and 394 kg of super phosphate mixed with the soil should be done in the furrows. On the third and fourth day after planting, about two kg of atrazine is sprayed to control weed menace followed by hand weeding on the 45th and 90th day after planting. Two side dressings of about 272 kg of urea and 100 kg of potash are applied on the 45th day and again on the 90th day after planting. To improve the efficacy of urea, it may be blended with neem cake (urea neem ratio should be 5: 1) and pocket-manuring technology may be adopted, according to Dr. Thiagarajan.

Bio-fertlizer application

Bio-fertilizers such as 5 kg of Azospirillum and 10 kg of Phosphobacteria each mixed with farmyard manure must be applied on the 30th day after planting and 5 kg of Azospirillum mixed with farmyard manure should be applied at 60th day after planting. "The field should be irrigated once a week and irrigation may be done based on the available soil moisture," he said. Dry leaves are stripped on the fifth and seventh month after planting and may be applied as mulches in alternate furrows. The variety is found to be moderately resistant to red rot and smut infestations, according to Dr. Thiagarajan.

Harvesting time

Harvesting should be done at 12 months for plant crop and 11 months for ratoon crop. Close harvesting (2-3 cm below ground level) is ideal. The cane should be crushed within 24 hours after harvesting.Readers can contact Dr. R. Thiagarajan, Senior Scientist and Head, Extension Section, Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 007, Mobile: 9443899945, Phone: 0422-2472621 extn: 219 or 238, email: sbiextension@yahoo.com


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