Sugarcane: Scienfic name, Economic Uses, Preparation of Land

 Scientific name:  Saccharum officinarum

Economic Uses of Sugarcane in India:

  1. Sugarcane is a cash crop gives ready cash to the farmers.
  2. It is mainly used for manufacture of jaggery (gul) and sugar.
  3. It is used for preparation of juice (raswanti), syrup and also for chewing purpose.
  4. Various by – products like bagasse, immature tops, molasses, pressmud cake etc obtained from cane are used for different purposes.
  5. Immature green tops are used as fodder.
  6. Bagasse is used as fuel and for making paper.
  7. Molasses is used for preparing alcohol and other chemicals
  8. Pressmud cake is used as manure
  9. Trash is used for thatching of huts, mulching and composting.
  10. The stubbles are used as fuel or for making compost.

3.Preparation of Land for Sugarcane Cultivation:

Sugarcane stands in the field for more than one year hence, land is prepared by giving two deep ploughing.

  1. First ploughing is given immediately after the harvesting of previous crop with mould board plough or tractor.
  2. The land is exposed to sun for one to two The clods are crushed with clod crusher or Norwegian harrow.
  3. 35-50 tons FYM/ha. is added to soil.
  4. Second crosswise ploughing is given by wooden plough.
  5. 2-3 harrowing are given and soil is brought to clod free tilt.
  6. Land is leveled with the help of planker and seed bed is prepared.

Factors Deciding the Maturity of Cane:

  1. The maturity of sugarcane depends upon following factors:
  2. Temperature during the growth period.
  3. Time of planting.
  4. Variety.
  5. Application of manures and fertilizers.
  6. Irrigation

Maturity Signs of Sugarcane:

  1. General yellowish colour of the whole crop.
  2. Cessation of growth and emergence of flowers in case of flowering varieties.
  3. Swelling of eye buds.
  4. Metallic sound of cane when tapped with finger nail.
  5. Breaking of cane at node region.
  6. Sweetness of juice.
  7. Brix saccharometer or hand refractometer reading is the sure sign of maturity and it should be between 21 to 240 brix.

Testing of Sugarcane Maturity by Hand Refractometer:

  1. Hand refractometer reading is a sure test of sugarcane maturity.
  2. It determines the T.S.S. (Total soluble solids) in the juice.
  3. The middle portion of the cane is punctured and a drop of juice is spread on the plate of the refractometer.
  4. Then refractometer is held against light and see through the lens.
  5. A film of juice on plate appears as divided into dark and light halves.
  6. Observe the point of intersection of these halves on the scale provided on plate itself and not down the reading.
  7. A few readings of canes selected randomly from the field are taken and average brix reading is calculated.
  8. The brix reading between 21 to 240 brix indicates the maturity of cane.

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