How To Plant Sugarcane – A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Sugarcane is a high perpetual crop from South East Asia in parts of the South Pacific region. It grows in warm temperate or tropical climates. The plant stalk’s internodes are rich in sugar, and the plants can grow around two to six meters above sea level.

A complex hybrid between several species and subspecies is found in any crop of commercially grown sugar cane. Sugarcane is one of the greenest cultivations because it requires minimum nitrogen and pesticides. So, let’s see what are the things to consider before planting sugarcane.


Although sugarcane can be grown in temperate climates, production in tropical climates is much higher. Short, sunny and hot (1100 to 1500 mm over the whole) and warm, colder (12 ° C to 14 ° C, 54 ° F to 57 ° F) harvest season, is suitable in combination with a medium to high rain docks (32 ° C to 38 ° C, 90 ° F to 100 ° F). The sugar produced during the dry weight of harvest varies greatly, and during the various phases of plant growth depends on the environment.

Soil Type

Sugarcane is cultivated in a range of habitats, such as red volcanic soils and alluvial river soils. The perfect ground is a combination of organic material sand, silt, and clay particles. The fields are plowed and left for a while before subsoiling is carried out. The plant needs well-drained soil, and drainages are made concerning the topographic conditions of the fields on the surface, endured, or both.

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Sugarcane can thrive in the soil of different kinds: acid and alkaline soils, sandy, loamy, and rocky soils. A pH of approximately 6.5 well-drained loam is perfectly suitable, but mechanical considerations, such as compaction, are far more critical than soil composition and pH for cultivation.

Land Preparation For Sugarcane Farming

Deep tillage is required for the sugarcane. Deep tillage consists of molding board plastic, and farmers with no tractor use wood-based Sarkar tin. The sugar cane consists of two types of sowing. Cannes are planted in the moist field because the plant needs water. The width from the row is 3-5 ft.


The conventional method of preparing tillage is to plug the soil and tilt it. Sprinkle with the tractor driven disks or triumph plow 2 to 4 times at a depth of 50-60 cm.


In the sugar cane field, the secondary tillage has used those pullovers, smooth, and compacts the soil to retain humidity. Harrowing is carried out at a small depth of 12-15 cm to crush disks or rotators the clods

Know-How To Plant Sugarcane

Sugarcane is planted by replanting the mature stem of the cane. Farmers then cut some of the fully grown cane stalks to 40 centimeters in size. Special agro machinery plants sugarcane stalks that drop them into furrows and apply nitrogen to cover them in the dirt.

Poor sugar cane production results in reduced yields and a downward spiral of productivity. Efficient sugarcane production would increase productivity and levels of profit for a whole plant cycle over 5 to 7 years, as sugar cane is a multi-year crop.

Think About Mechanized Way

The average failure rate is 20–25 percent for mechanized sugarcane plantation. Considering that the grower can fix 50% of sugar cane seed failure via a secondary replant, up to 10-12% of the yield for all subsequent growing seasons can be predicted.

Culture Planting

Cuttings primarily propagate culture Sugarcane. The parts of the unmatured cane stalk, which were used to grow, are called cane seed or cane sets and have three or more buds (eyes). Seed cane in well-worked fields is cultivated. It is commonly used to open furrow artificial trees, fertilize the cane, lower this, and cover it with dirt.


Growing of Sugarcane requires 2,000 to 2,300 mm of water in the growing period to achieve good yields. If there is a lack of moisture, irrigation will account for the deficit by either watering or spreading water in furrows. In Texas, the USA, 8-9 months, 15 months, Japan, China, and 18–22 months, in Hawaii, South Africa, and Perú vary widely in the field. Thus, depending on the environment, growing sugarcane can take from 9 to 24 months for harvest.

One main crop is planted, followed by 3-4’ ratoon,’ or re-growth harvests. In areas with annual precipitation below 1500 millimeters, irrigation of the plant is essential. The lowest temperature is about 20 ° C (68 ° F) for good cane plant growth.

Continuous cooling weather, as well as water retention, leads to cane maturation. In a warm, relatively fresh season of the year, harvest and browning continue and last five to six months.

Using Fertilizers To Grow Sugarcane

From the start of planting, but not during the ripening phase, the fertilizer will be applied for sugar cane. Optimum fertilizer levels (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are very different from soil types and the environment and the form and length of the growth cycle.

Weeds in cane fields must be destroyed to secure a good crop until the cane stuffing establishes a healthy canopy to control the growth of plants. While mechanical cinnamon weeders with rakes have been built, still mostly manual, are made with a hoe. There is extensive use of chemical herbicides.


Matured for nearly three months, the stalk is dried out, and the sugar synthesis and its preparation accelerates. Natural sugars such as fructose during maturation are converted to sucrose. The application of foliar chemicals to increase the sugar cane yield was proved useful.

Polaris and Ethrelare commonly used in numerous chemistry tests. Spray Chemical Balsario in 1000 liters of water at 4.5 kg per hectare. Sugarcane ripens 6-8 weeks earlier with the spray of this compound. Chemical mûrers such as Polaris and Sodium Metasilicate, which are sprayed 6-8 weeks more first, boost sucrose milk.

Save From Diseases

There are many diseases in the sugarcane crop. Sarah is caused by an East Indian virus and is blackening and degeneration of the fanlike tops. Infection by any one of many illnesses is due to the mosaic that causes foliage mottling or spotting and sometimes curling, dwarfing, and narrowing of the leaves.

Red rot (essential in Indonesia and South Asia) has disrupted patches of red and white inside the cane, with a foul alcoholic odor when opening the rod. Caused by the Colletotrichumfalcatum fungus, red rot attracts attention by yellowing and withering of the skin and finally dies of the whole plant.

Gummy disease (important in New South Wales, Australia) is characterized by gummy development, which is induced by cell degeneration, defective gum production and by

Xanthomonas vascular bacterial. Fiji disease, an infectious disease that first occurs on Fiji Islands, has elongated white to brown swellings, followed by stunting and decay on the bottom of the stems.

Ripening In A Nutshell

Incidence of sunshine, temperature, and rainfall in sugarcane ripening (Saccharum spp.) was investigated by picking five interspecific subtropical hybrids. Ripening has been linked to sunshine and temperature events, but not precipitation.

Partial observations confirmed the freedom of sunlight ripening; however, it revealed that temperature ripening interactions had been falsified. The interacting influence of sunlight and temperature on maturation differed with the cultivar was also partly related. In the correlations between maturation and sample time, there was a significant difference between varieties.


Sugarcane harvesting is one of the most important and exciting parts of the whole cultivation process. As this is the time to see the results of your great work and dedication. To raising the full stalks and cut them into smaller segments, a cane harvester is used (approximately 30 cm). A cane transport that gathers the billets is used to track the reaper. Whether manually and mechanically, the mature cane is harvested. Any mechanical types of equipment can hack off or cut the tops of erect plants, which are transported by a tractor or light railcar into a bin trailer to the factory.

Sugarcane Farming In USA

Sugar has been a family business since its earliest days for most of the U.S. families. Today’s sugar family includes not only multigenerational farmers. The farmers who grow, harvest and care for sugar beets and or sugar cane, but also those truck drivers who transport the crops from the fields; the employees who work in factories, or processing plants and refineries.

As they collect, purify and store sugar; and all the people who work to get sugar from the packaging facilities to your table. And the best part is that Sugarcane Farming in the USA is seeing a hike. U.S. sugar industry grows sugar cane, and beets run sugar refineries and manufacture and sell refined sugars, sugar-sweetened foods, and other products.

Historically, sugar production has been significant in slavery development in Louisiana and Hawaii’s U.S. annexation. The Sugar Association is the U.S. sugar industry trade association.

Areas Where Sugarcane Farming Happens in the USA

Through the 2010s, sugar cane was produced commercially in Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Florida sugar cane production has increased significantly since the United States stopped importing sugar from Cuba in 1960. Florida is America’s largest cane-producing region.

The majority of sugar cane is grown in organic soil along Lake Okeechobee, Southern Florida, which is situated on the southern and south-east coast of Lake Okeechobee. Sugarcane production was primarily limited to the Mississippi River Delta, which is the Northernmost cane-producing state of Louisiana, with fertile soils and warmer climates.

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The Louisianan sugar industry has grown into non-traditional sugarcane-growing areas to the north and west. The bulk of sugarcane expansion happened when the return on rival plants, including rice and soya, has declined. Louisiana has also grown with investment in new mixed harvests as the launch of high-yield sugar cane varieties has been implemented.

A Bit About Sugar Beet

The other primary sugar source in the United States is sugar beets. This is a versatile crop cultivated and planted annually in a wide range of temperate climates. Sugar beets can be processed for a short time but must be handled before sugar degradation. Genetically-modified crop varieties have recently been introduced. GMO plants accounted for approximately 95% of crops in the 2009/10 harvest year, up from about 60% in 2008/2009.

To Sum Up

Therefore, there is no denying the fact that the Sugarcane industry is at its peak. With the continuous rise in demand for sugar and related products, this industry may even see a boom. However, a proper sugarcane planting to harvest is required to achieve the desired results. Or the results to be proud of. For that, some traditions, along with a significant part of modern cultivation techniques, should be used.

How Long Does Sugarcane Take To Grow

How Long Does Sugarcane Take To Grow

Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum ) is a widely grown crop and is the main source of sugar. It is a well-known cash crop that is of great commercial importance. It has also provided employment to a large number of people directly or in an indirect way hence contributes to the national economy.

Sugarcane is mainly a tropical plant and hence it runs across all the seasons whether it’s raining, summer or Winters.

Before knowing how long does sugarcane take to grow, check out the essentials that you must know about for sugarcane plantation.

Different requirements for sugarcane plantation

  • Suitable climatic conditions : As we know sugarcane is able to grow throughout the seasons, but they best grow in tropical hot sunny areas. 

A long warm growing season with high frequency of solar rays and sufficient amount of moisture can be said to be the ideal conditions for proper growth of this crop. For ripening it requires a cool but frost free season. 

  • Soil type : sugarcane can be grown in different varieties of soil such as alluvial soil or the red volcanic soil or the soil that is a mixture of  silt , sand and clay particles along with some organic material can be the perfect soil for sugarcane plantation. This crop needs a well drained soil for which the land is ploughed and left to weather for some time before subsoiling. 

The pH range of the soil for sugarcane cultivation should be from 6.5 to 7.5 pH. The minimum depth of the soil should be 45 cm and the soil should have an adequate amount of nutrients. 

  • Seed Quality: Accessibility of good quality cane seeds is must for good crop yield. Firstly the seed is grown in the nursery  for 10-11 months and then that nursery crop is planted in the field. After that some other chemical treatments need to be provided to the seed which are 0.05% Bavistin, 2.5%KCl , 2.5% urea KCl +Urea etc. After the above chemical treatments , a hot water treatment is also given for prevention of seed borne diseases. 
  • Land Preparation for Sugarcane plantation:  Every single time a new crop is grown , it becomes necessary that soil should be brought to a properly cultivated land for proper germination of seeds and good root growth.

There are some  reasons behind land Preparation which are:

  1. Land Preparation includes the preparation of seedbeds that allows optimal soil water relations.
  2. This activity also provides good physical conditions for early root proliferation and penetration.
  3. It is also helpful in destroying weeds and hibernating pests.It also helps to knock down the diseases causing organisms.
  4. It also helps the land to absorb the previous crop residue and organic manures.
  5. Land preparation also  facilitates proper soil chemical and microbial activities.

Tillage is an important operation under land preparation. Tillage is basically agricultural preparation of the soil with the appropriate tools or implements to loosen the surface soil layer.

The main function of tilling is to mix up the organic matter into your soil properly , break down the crusted soil, and loosen up the tiny areas for plantation. Anything in excess is never good and so is tilling, excess tilling can also cause more damage to the soil.

The best time for tilling is the spring season but can also be done in autumn for cool weather crops. However tilling must be avoided when the soil is wet as it can cause damage to soil structure.

Plantation methods of sugarcane:

Mainly, there are a few different methods for plantation of sugarcane described below- 

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Ridge and furrow method:

It is one of the most common methods for sugarcane plantation. In this method the ridges and the furrows are opened with the help of a ridger by maintaining a distance of 120cm between the furrows in the heavy soils and and a distance of 105cm in the light and medium soil. After this step, the main and sub irrigation channels are opened at suitable distances.

Initially the sets are laid on the end of the top ridge and later on these are planted in furrows by dry and wet method. 

Dry method :

This method is adopted for heavy soils to avoid pressing of the setts very deep into the soil. These sets are arranged in the furrows  end to end by

 facing eyes buds on the sides and sheltering it with a layer of soil. After completing the steps of plantation, the field is ready for irrigation.

Wet method :

This method is adopted for light to medium soil. In this method of plantation the field is irrigated initially before planting the setts. Then the sets are planted at the depth of 2.5 to 5 cm in the furrows with hands or feet. These sets are placed end to end in such a way that they face the bus on the sides. 

Flat bed method:

Flat bed method is another method for sugarcane plantation. In this method firstly the land is ploughed, harrowed and then leveled and then flat beds are prepared. After that the cane stes are laid down in the flat beds in end to end rows. A distance of 60-90cm is maintained between the rows depending on the soil type.

Afterwards they are pressed into the soil with the help of a hand or foot , about 2.5-5 cm deep and then it is covered with a layer of soil. During the plantation by this method one must keep in mind that the buds should face on the sides otherwise it would not be possible for lower buds to germinate. This method of cane plantation is usually adopted in the areas where there is abundant moisture.

Rayungan Method:

This method of plantation is usually adopted for adsali sugarcane plantation. Rayungan Method is followed in Riverside fields or in the areas with heavy rainfall. In these areas the cane fields are usually prone to floods during the rainy season which affects the germination of the seeds and in such conditions the sets cannot be directly planted in the main fields.

So firstly the single bud sets are planted in the nursery in a vertical manner which are prepared in a high lying area of the farm in summer. After about a period of 6 weeks the sets that have been sprouted are shifted in the main field when the danger of floods is over. 

Trench or the Java method:

In this method trenches ( a type of deep and wide depression in the ground) are made that depth is about 22-30cm and maintained at a distance of 90-120cm. The deeper soil is loosened and mixed up with manures. Then the sets are placed in the middle of  these trenches and then covered with a layer of soil.

After the completion of planting irrigation is carried out. Large clumps of cane are produced  in this method that do not lodge  when tied together. The danger from wild animals is least.

Manures and fertilizers: Sugarcane is a long durational crop, as well as a heavy feeder thus the requirement of manures is quite high.

During the land preparation about 25-50 tonnes of  FYM/ha has been used. 

It is recommended that different sugarcane fertilizers have to be used according to the planting season, it even varies from growing track to track. So basically for Adsali 250:115:115 is used and for pre seasonal  340:170:170kg nitrogen , phosphorus and potash respectively are suggested.


The water requirements for sugarcane generally range from 2000 to 2500 mm depending upon some factors like soil type, duration, and climatic conditions etc. Irrigation of sugarcane crops has been done during the different phases like  the germination phase, tillering phase, grand growth phase and the final maturity phase.

So firstly during the stage of germination, the soil needs sufficient moisture for better germination however water logging can result in rotting of sets. In this phase irrigation can never be done at intervals of a week however these intervals can be of 10 days in tillering phase.

Next comes the grand growth phase which is known to be a critical stage for water demand. This also needs to be irrigated at intervals of a week. It takes 12-14 months for sugarcane to grow. Now finally in the maturity phase, the irrigation has to be done fortnightly and has to be stopped about 15 days before harvesting.

Intercultural operations: These include mulching, hoeing, tying of the cane and earthing up.

In the initial period, spreading the paddy straw or sugarcane trash on the field can help to prevent more evaporation and hence the demand for water supply will also be less.

Hoeing and weeding is necessary in the first 3-4 weeks after plantation  for high yield and improved quality of sugarcane. After the germination phase two to three more hoeing and weeding may be required during the first three months depending upon the field conditions and frequency of irrigation.

The final earthing up has to be done before the monsoon rains and should be synchronized with the implementation of the last dose of fertilizers. This operation is helpful in keeping down the weeds.

Tying of canes is said to be a very desirable activity that prevents the canes to sway during wind. Bringing together the stalks from the adjacent rows and tying them all together along with their own trash and the old leaves  is considered as the best way of tying the cane.q

Sugarcane diseases:

There are a few plant diseases that can be controlled or cured with some simple methods. First comes the red rot disease which is a fungal disease. It’s symptoms are drying of top leaves, the leaves start withering, red lesions on the midrib of the leaves.

One should uproot and destroy all the clumps if you notice the above symptoms. Use diseases free and heat treated setts for plantation.

The next disease is whip smut which is also a fungal disease and the symptoms can be noticed before 1 month of harvesting season and to prevent this , diseases free and heat treated sets should be used.


When the lower leaves start withering up and leaving progressively, and fewer green leaves are left at the top, it can be marked as the maturity phase. Even a maturity testing device call a refractometer can be used to test the maturity stage. If the hand refractometer shows a reading of 20 , it can be said that the cane has reached the maturity level. 

The harvesting of sugarcane generally begins in early winters as is continued for about 150 days. Nowadays the harvesting and cutting of sugarcane is done after receiving the cutting orders from factory authorities and these cutting orders are issued depending upon the date of planting of which the records are maintained. Harvesting of sugarcane is done with the bog machines that contain rotating knives which cut the sugar cane from the base of the stalks.

How long does it take sugarcane to grow:  

sugarcane takes quite a long time to grow, we can say that it grows through the entire season. Sugarcane plants produce several stalks and each one of them can grow well over ten feet and this usually takes 12- 14 months. The best time to plant cane crops is in early Winter so that the sprouting can happen in early spring. These os basically one harvest of the primary crop and then 3-4 harvests of the regrowth.

Yield: The average yield of the cane crop under the commercial cultivation of170 tonnes per hectare for Adsali  and 120 tonnes per hectare in the case of pre seasonal sugarcane and 100 tonnes per hectare for suru 


Farmers that grow sugarcane want their farms to be sustainable and by using sustainable practices Farmers can keep the farms and crops healthy.