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Crop Production :: Sugarcrops ::Sugarcane

SUGARCANE (Saccharum officinarum )

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arrow Tamil Nadu Cane Registration and Supply arrow The Sugar Technologists Association of India
arrow SugarCane Institute CANEINFO arrow Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow
arrow Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Department arrow Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore
arrow Tamil Nadu Cooperative Sugar Federation Ltd. arrow Directorate of Sugarcane Development
  arrow Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative

Crop Imporvement

A. Planted(Main)crop

1. Season and Planting

Sugarcane is grown chiefly in the main season (December - May) in the entire State. In parts of Tiruchirapalli, Perambalur, Karur, Salem, Namakkal and Coimbatore districts, it is also raised during the special season (June - September). The particulars in respect of each season are given below:

Season, Period of Planting

1.   Main season

i) Early   : Dec - Jan            ii) Mid : Feb - March            iii) Late: April - May

2. Special season : June - July

Early season varieties are suitable for special season.

Co 86032 

Co 99004

Co 99004 (Damodar)

II. Particulars of Variety

Variety Duration (Month) Cane yield (t/ha) CCS% CCS(t/ha)
COC 671 10 123.5 14.20 17.50
COC 771 10 140.0 13.10 18.30
COC 772 10 143.3 14.00 20.00
COC 773 10 97.5 13.20 12.60
COC 8001 (C 66191) 10 - 11 102.9 13.20 13.50
COC 774 11 159.8 11.90 17.90
COC 775 11 122.5 13.40 16.40
COC 776 11 112.3 14.00 15.50
COC 777 12 171.3 11.80 20.00
COC 778 12 165.5 11.00 18.10
COC 779 12 204.6 11.80 24.00
CO 419 12 112.5 10.50 11.80
CO 6304 12 115.0 13.50 15.50
COC 8001 10 - 11 102.5 13.20 13.50
COC 85061 10 - 11 128.5 12.90 16.60
COC 86062 10 - 11 133.5 12.60 16.80
COSi 86071 10 - 11 131.7 12.20 16.00
COC 90063 10 - 11 124.0 12.30 15.40
CO 8021 10 - 11 137.7 11.00 14.60
COC 91061 10 - 11 131.0 11.30 15.60
COC 92061  8 - 11 132.7 12.76 16.05
CO 8362 11 - 12 124.3 12.40 15.40
COG 93076 11 - 12 132.0 13.20 17.40
CO 8208 11 - 13 141.5 11.07 15.28
COG 94077 11 133.2 13.5 17.6
COG 95076 10 - 11 108.2 11.5 12.4
CO 85019 12 134.5 12.5 16.8
COSi 95071 10 152.0 12.9 21
COSi 96071 10 145.0 11.9 17.3
CO 86010 10 - 12 146.1 10.78 15.64
COC 98061 10 - 11 120.0 11.60 13.80
COSi 98071 12 144.7 12.3 17.7
CO 86249 10 - 12 128.7 11.3 14.3
COC 99061 10-12 130.3 11.9 15.6
CO 86032           10-12             110.0 13.0 14.3
COC (SC) 22 10-12 135.9 12.1 16.5
CO Si (SC) 6 10-11 142.0 13.1 18.6
COG (SC) 5 11-12 115.0 12.7 14.6
CoC 23 10-11 133.0 12.95 17.23
CoC 24 10-11 133.0 12.82 17.05
TNAU SC Si 7 10-11 156 13.4 20.9
TNAU SC Si 8 11-12 146 12.9 18.0

II. Morphological Characters

Characters COC 671 COC 771 COC 772 COC 773
Parentage Q63xCO775 CO419xCO658 CO740xCO658 CO658XCO1305
Leaf size Broad Broad Broad Broad
Leaf colour Green Green Green Green
Sheath colour Green with purple tinge Green with purple tinge Green with purple tinge Green with purple tinge
Clasping Loose Loose Loose Loose
Spines Present Present Present Present
Ligular process Present Absent Absent Present
Stem colour Green with Yellow with Yellow with Yellow with
  purple tinge purple tinge Green tinge green tinge
Girth Thick Medium Medium Medium
Joint Staggered Straight Staggered Straight
Bud Groove Absent Present Absent Absent
Size Medium Medium Medium Medium

Character COC 778 COC 779 CO 419 COC 85061
Parentage CO419xCO 853 CO419xCO853 Poj 2878xCO290 CO6304 GC
Leaf size Broad Broad Broad Medium
Leaf colour Green Green Green Light green
Sheath colour Purple Purple Green with Green tinge Green with pink tinge
Clasping Loose Loose Loose Tight
Spines Present Present Present Glabrous
Ligular process Present Present Lanceolate Present on one side
Stem colour Purple Purple with green tinge Purple Greenish yellow turns to pink on exposure to sunlight
Girth Medium Medium Thick Medium
Joint Staggered Straight Staggered Staggered
Bud Groove Absent Absent Present Absent
Size Medium Medium Medium Medium

Characters COC86062 COSi 86071 CO6304 C66191(COC 8001)
Parentage MS68/47GC CO775xCO842 CO419xCO605 PO2874XCO658
Leaf size Medium Broad Broad Broad
Leaf colour Green Dark green Green Green
Sheath colour Dark pink Yellowish green with pink tinge Green with Purple tinge Greenish
Clasping Loose Tight Loose Loose
Spines Glabrous Present Present Absent
Ligular process Absent Present on both sides Present Bow shape
Stem colour Yellowish green turns to dark pink on exposure to sunlight Purplish green turns to pink on exposure to sunlight Green with purple tinge Greenish with light yellowish tinge
Girth Medium Thick Thick Medium
Joint Staggered Staggered Staggered Straight
Bud Groove Absent Present Present Indicated
Size Small Big Medium Medium

Character COC 8201 COC 90063 CO 8021 COC 91061
Parentage CO740xCO62174 CO6304XCOC671 CO740xCO6806 COC779 G.C.
Leaf size Medium Medium Medium Medium
Leaf colour Green Green Green Green
Sheath colour Green with Pink tinge Green Purple Whitish Yellow
Sheath clasping Loose Loose Loose Tight
Spines Glabrous Present Glabrous Absent
Splits .. Absent Present Absent
Ligular Lanceolate Present on Present on one Absent
process   one side side Lanceolate
(4-5 cm)
Stem colour Greenish yellow Yellowish green Purple with heavy wax deposition Yellowish green
Girth Medium Medium Medium Medium
Joint Thick Staggered Erect Staggered
Bud Groove Present Absent Present and Prominent Absent
Size Medium Medium Medium/Big Small

Character COC 92061 CO 8362 COG93076 CO 8208
Parentage CO 7314 GC
(Natural cross) Involving CO6314 as female
CO 6304X COC 671 COC 772X CO 419 CO 62198X COC 671
Leaf size Broad Medium Medium Medium
Leaf colour Green Green Dark green Dark green
Sheath Colour Purple with heavy bloom Green Dark green Greenish purple
Sheath clasping Loose Loose
Spines Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous Deciduous
Splits Absent Absent Absent
Ligular process One side indica- ted and the other side rudimentary Present on both side One side Present Asymmetrical
Stem colour Greenish yellow with pink tinge Purple green Greenish light yellow Green with purple tinge
Girth - - - -
Joint Slightly staggered Straight Slightly staggered Straight
Bud Groove Absent Absent Absent Absent
Size Medium Medium Medium Small

Character COG 94077 COG 95076 CO 85019 COSi 95071
Parentage CO 740 x C0 775 COC 771 x CO 775 CO 7201 x CO 775 COC 671x MS 6847
Leaf size Medium Medium Length 140 cm Medium width 6.0 cm Medium
Leaf colour Dark green Green Light green at harvest Green
Sheath colour Greenish with
Purple tingle
Green Green with purple tinge Light greenish yellow
Sheath     Easily trashing Loose
Clasping Loose Loose    
Spines Absent Present,deciduous Hard few Absent
Ligular process Present on One side one side lanceolate and one side dentoid Absent Present, Asymmetrical
Stem colour Greenish yellow Greenish yellow with purplish tinge Exposed purple unexposed yellowish green with heavy waxy coating Greenish yellow
Girth Medium Medium Medium Medium
Joint Slightly staggered Slightly staggered Zig Zag Staggered
Bud groove Short, shallow Indicated Absent Present
Size Medium Medium Small Medium

Character CO Si 96071 CO 86010 COC 98061 CO Si 98071 CO 86249
Parentage C 82061GC CO 740xCo 7409 C80 172 GC Bo 91/Co 62198 CO J 64 x CoA 7601
Leaf size Medium Broad Medium Broad Medium
Leaf colour Green Light green Green Dark green Green
Sheath colour Light green with pink blotches Light green with pink blotches Green with pink tinge Yellowish green Light green
Spines Present & deciduous Absent Absent Deciduous  
Ligular Asymmetrical - Absent on both sides Short lanceolate Small, present on one side
Stem colour Purplish Yellowish with green tinge Greenish yellow with slight purple tinge Yellowish green Greenish yellow
Girth Medium Thick Medium Thick Thick
Joint Concave, convex - Cylindrical Cylindrical Cylindrical
Budgroove Absent Prominent Absent Numerous Absent
Size Small Big Medium Big Big

Character CoC 99061CoC     CO 86032 COC (SC) 22
Parentage CO 6806 X CO 740 Co 62198 x CoC 671
CO 62198 XCOC 671
CO 8208 GC
Leaf size Medium Medium Medium
Leaf colour Green Dark green Green
Sheath colour Green with pink tinge Green with purple Green with slight scarious border
Sheath clasping Tight Loose Loose
Spines Deciduous Few, hard, deciduous Absent
Splits Absent Present Absent
Ligular process Present, asymmetrical,
“O” Present asymmetrical
Stem colour Dark green (Exposed)
Yellowish green
Reddish pink (exposed)
Greenish yellow (unexposed)
 Reddish Pink with purple (exposed)
Greenish yellow(unexposed)
Girth Medium Medium Medium
Joint Cylindrical  Cylinderical Cylindrical
Bud groove Absent Absent  Absent
Size Medium Medium Medium

Character COC 23 COC 24
Parentage 69A591 GC CO 8371 x MS 6847
Leaf size Medium Medium
Leaf colour Light Green Dark green
Sheath colour Green Green with purple tinge
Sheath clasping Loose Loose
Spines Absent Absent
Splits Absent Absent
Ligular process Present Present
Stem colour Green with purple tinge (Exposed) Yellowish green (Unexposed) Green (exposed) Greenish yellow (unexposed)
Girth Medium Thick
Joint Straight Staggered
Bud groove Absent present
Size Medium Medium

Character TNAU SC Si7 TNAU SC Si8
Parentage Co 99034xCoG 93076 CoC 90063xCo8213
Leaf size Medium Medium
Leaf colour Dark Green Yellowish Green
Sheath colour Green with purple tinge Green with purple stripes
Sheath clasping Slightly tight Loose
Spines Present(de ciduous) Very few, soft and deciduous
Splits Absent Absent
Ligular process Present Present(Asymmetrical)
Stem colour Yellowish Green(exposed)
pinkish yellow(unexposed)
Greenish Yellow (Exposed) Greenish Yellow (Unexposed)
Girth Medium Medium
Joint Straight Straight
Bud groove Absent Present, shallow
Size Medium Big


COC (SC) 24

TNAU Sugarcane SI 7

III.District/Season - Suitable Varieties

All Districts(except  Kanniyakumari and Nilgiris)

Early Mid Late Special
Factory Jaggery Factory Jaggery Factory Jaggery Factory Jaggery
CO 658 .. CO 658 CO 419 CO 6304 CO 62175 Early varieties are suitable for Special ..
CO 62174 COC 671 CO 62198 CO 449 COC 8201 CO 419 .. ..
CO 62198 COC 771 CO 6304 CO 6304 COC 771 CO 6304 .. ..
COC 671 COC 772 COC 774 COC 776 COC 778 COC 8201 .. ..
COC 771 COC 773 COC 775 COC 8001 COC 779 CO 740 .. ..
COC 772 COC 8001 COC 8001 .. CO 419 .. .. ..
COC 8001 COC 85061 , .. .. CO 740 .. .. ..
COC 85061 COC 86062     CO 658 .. .. ..
COC 86062 .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
COSi 86071 COSi 86071 .. .. .. .. .. ..
COC 90063 COC 90063 .. .. .. ..    
COC 91061
COG 94077
COC 91061
 COG 94077
.. .. .. .. .. ..
CO Si 95071
COC 98061
CO   86010
CO   86249
CoC 23,
CoC 24,
  COG 93076
CO   85019
COC 99061
CO    86032
COC (Sc) 22, TNAU SC Si 8
.. COG 93076 CO   85019
COC 99061
CO    86032
COC (Sc) 22,
.. .. ..

Right seed

TNAU  in collaboration with  Sugar Cane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore released   many high yielding varieties with high recovery to suit various eco systems and other biotic and abiotic problematic area and  of which the following listed varieties can be recommended for higher cane productivity

Variety Performance
Co 86032 Performs well in all soil types and extremely well in garden land condition.  Good quality cane with higher yield.  Has multi ratooning capacity.  Can be grown throughout the year.  Gives higher recovery.  Self detrashing in nature.  Amenable for wide row spacing.
CoV 92102 High quality  variety with yield on par with  Co 86032.  Self stripping with good field habit.  Non flowering.  Performs well in red, clay and alkaline soils. Ratoon performance is satisfactory. 
CoSi 95071 Performs well in December, January and February planting.
CoC 90063 Non lodging, high tillering, high yield and good quality. Drought and alkaline tolerant variety and good ratooner.
Co 86027 Suitable for mid late planting.  Moderate yielder with high sugar.
 Non lodging and non flowering.
CoV 94101 Good ratooner.  Non lodging.  Suitable for early planting.  Thick cane with good tillering.
Co 85019 Drought tolerant variety.  Resistant to red rot.
Co 86249 Red rot resistant, Drought tolerant, high yielding
CoV 94102 Yield is on par with Co 86032 and quality is lower than Co 86032
Co Si(Sc)6 High yielder and high quality. Drought tolerant moderately resistant to red rot.
Co G (Sc)5 High yielder suitable for jaggary making and  tannery effluent soils
Co C (Sc)22 High yielder and high quality drought tolerant   moderately resistant to red rot.
CoC (SC) 23 High yielder and high quality, moderately resistant to red rot.
CoC (SC) 24 High yielder and high quality, drought and saline tolerant and moderately resistant to red rot.
TNAU SC Si7 High yielder and high quality, drought and saline tolerant and moderately resistant to red rot.
TNAU SC Si 8 High yielder and high quality, Tolerant to drought, water logging conditions and problem soils. moderately resistant to red rot. Suitable for mechanized cultivation.

Suitable varieties for Tamil Nadu

Place / District Suitable Varieties Salient features
Pudukkottai CoV 92102, CoC 90063, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Drought tolerance
Erode Co 86032, CoSi 95071, Co 86249, CoG 93076, CoV 94102, Co 85019 Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC(SC) 24 Drought tolerance, Good yielder
Vellore CoV 92102, CoC 90063 Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Good yielder even in drought suitable for late planting.
Sivaganga & Ramnad Co 86032, Co 85019, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, Co V 94102, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Performing well in drought
Thiruvannamalai & Kancheepuram CoC 90063, CoV 92102, Co 86032, CoG 94077, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Drought tolerance and better yield.
Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli & Tuticorin Co 86032, Co 85019, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Performing well in drought
Dharmapuri & Krishnagiri Co 86032, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, Co 97009, CoV 94101, CoC 90063, CoSi 95071, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Surviving better in drought. Drought tolerance and better yield.
Karur Co V 92102, CoSi 95071, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22., CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Drought tolerance
Trichy & Perambalur Co Si 95071, CoC Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Drought resistant high yield.
Cuddalore CoV 92102, CoC 90063, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Drought tolerant
Villuppuram Co 86032, CoV 92102, CoC 90063, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 23, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8 Drought tolerance and high yield.

Thanjavur, Nagapattinam & Tiruvarur

Co V 92102, CoG 93076, CoG 94077,
Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8

Dought tolerance and good yield

Co 86032, CoV 92102, Co 86027,
CoC 90063, Co 97009, Co Si(Sc)6,
Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8

Drought tolerance and good yield.

Co 85019, CoC 22, Co Si(Sc)6,
Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8

Drought tolerance and good yield

Theni, Madurai and Dindigul

Co 92012, Co 92008, Co 93001,
Co 86032, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5,
Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8

Drought tolerance and better yield.
Namakkal & Salem

CoV 92102, Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5,
Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8

Drought tolerance and better yield.

CoSi 95071, Co 85019, CoC 22,
Co Si(Sc)6, Co G (Sc)5, Co C (Sc)22, CoC 24 TNAU SC Si7, TNAU SC Si 8

Drought tolerance and better yield.

Source of seed

For the varieties released from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University  for supply of primary seed materials the Sugarcane Research Stations at Cuddalore, Sirugamani and Melalathur may be contacted. For other varieties promoted  by the factories, for seed materials the concerned factories may be contacted.    

Co 86032 Co 99004

Crop Management

Main Field Preparation for Planting Sugarcane

1. Preparation of Field

a) Wetland (Heavy soils): In wetlands, preparatory cultivation by ploughing the land and bringing the soil to fine tilth could not be done.

i. After harvest of the paddy crop, form irrigation and drainage channels of 40 cm depth and 30 cm width at intervals of 6 m across the field and along the field borders.

ii Form ridges and furrows with a spacing of 80 cm between rows with spade.

iii.Stir the furrows with hand hoes and allow the soil to weather for 4 to 5 days.

b) Problem soils with excessive soil moisture:

In problem soils, with excessive moisture where it is difficult to drain water, form raised beds at 30 cm intervals with Length - 5 m, Width - 80 cm, and Height -15 cm.

Garden lands with medium and light soils:

In medium and light soil irrigated by flow or lift irrigation adopt the following:

  1. The initial ploughing with two disc plough followed by eight disc plough and using cultivator for deep ploughing followed by one time operation of rotovator to pulverize the soil to get a fine tilth, free of weeds and stubbles.

  2. Level the field for proper irrigation.

  3. Open ridges and furrows at 80 cm apart with the help of victory plough or tractor drawn ridger. The depth of furrow must be 20 cm.
  4. Open irrigation channels at 10 m intervals.

 2. Basal application of organic manures:

Apply FYM at 12.5 t/ha or compost 25 t/ha or filter press mud at 37.5 t/ha before the last ploughing under gardenland conditions. In wetlands this may be applied along the furrows and incorporated well.

Preparation of reinforced compost from sugarcane trash and pressmud:

Spread the sugarcane trash to a thickness of 15 cm over an area of 7 m x 3 m. Then apply pressmud over this trash to a thickness of 5 cm.  Sprinkle the fertilizer mixture containing mussoorie rock phosphate, gypsum and urea in the ratio of 2:2:1 over these layers at the rate of 5 kg/100 kg of trash. Moist the trash and pressmud layers adequately with water.

Repeat this process till the entire heap rises to a height of 1.5 m. Use cowdung slurry instead of water to moist the layer wherever it is available. Cover the heap with a layer of soil and pressmud at 1:1 ratio to a thickness of 15 cm.

Leave the heap as such for three months for decomposition. Moist the heap once in 15 days. During rainy season, avoid moistening the heap. After three months, turn and mix the heap thoroughly and form a heap and leave it for one more month. Then turn and mix the heap thoroughly at the end of the fourth month. Moist the heap once in 15 days during 4th and 5th month also. This method increases the manurial value of trash compost by increasing, N, P and Ca content. It also brings down the C:N ratio by 10 times as compared to raw cane trash.

Composition of cane trash, pressmud and cane trash compost

Major nutrients Cane trash Pressmud Percent Cane trash compost
Nitrogen (N) 0.40 1.90 1.60
Phosphorus (P) 0.13 1.50 1.10
Potassium(K) 0.40 0.50 0.40
Calcium (Ca) 0.56 3.00 1.00
Magnesium (Mg) 0.30 2.00 0.60
Sulphur (S) 0.12 0.50 0.48

Micronutrients Cane trash Pressmud PPM Cane trash compost
Iron (Fe) 360 2240 2710
Manganese (Mn) 110 400 450
Zinc (Zn) 90 360 370
Copper (Cu) 30 130 80
C:N ratio 113:1 16:1 22:1

3. Basal Application Of Fertilizer

  • If soil test is not done, follow blanket recommendation of NPK @ 300:100:200 kg/ha Apply super phosphate (625 kg/ha) along the furrows and incorporate with hand hoe.
  • Apply 37.5 kg Zinc sulphate/ha and 100 kg Ferrous sulphate/ha to zinc and iron deficient soils.
  • Application of sulphur in the form of Gypsum @ 500 kg /ha to sulphur deficient soils to increase the cane yield and juice quality

Management Of Main Field Operations

1.Preparation Of Setts For Planting

Take seed material from short crop (6 to 7 months age) free from pests and diseases incidence.

  • Detrash the cane with hand before setts preparation.
  •  Use sharp knife or sett cutting machine developed by TNAU to prepare setts without splits.
  • Discard setts with damaged buds, sprouted buds, splits etc.
  • Sett treatment with Azospirillum: Prepare the slurry with 10 packets (2000 g)/ha of Azospirillum inoculum with sufficient water and soak the setts in the slurry for 15 minutes before planting.

2. Sett Treatment

  1. Select healthy setts for planting.
  2. The setts should be soaked in 100 litres of water dissolved with 50g Carbendazim, 200ml malathion and 1 kg urea for 15 minutes.
  3. Treat setts with Aerated steam at 50°C for one hour to control primary infection of grassy shoot disease.

 3. Seed Rate

          75000 two-budded setts/ha.

4. Planting

Different systems of planting is not found to influence the millable cane population, commercial cane sugar per cent, cane and sugar yield.

  • Irrigate the furrows to form a slurry in wet land condition (Heavy soil)

  • Place the setts along the centre of the furrows, accommodating 12 buds/metre length.    Keep the buds in the lateral position and press gently beneath the soil in the furrow.Avoid exposure of setts to sunlight.

  • Plant more setts near the channel or double row planting at every 10th row for gap filling, at later stage.In dry/ garden land dry method of planting may be followed.  First arrange the setts along the furrows, cover the setts with soil and then irrigate.

Distributed Setts in Field

Place the setts along the centre of the furrows

Sugarcane in ridges and furrows

V.Improved technologies on cane planting systems

Mechanisation of planting

  • TNAU  mechanical planter is useful for cost effective planting with saving of Rs.3750 / ha and it can cover an area of 1.5ha/day
  • Reduces the human labour drudgery and seed rate up to 5 tones/ha.
  • Paired row system of planting double side planting of sugarcane setts with 150 + 30 cm spacing for Astraf 8000 series (Mechanical  harvester) operated areas and 150 + 30 cm spacing for New Holland 4000 series operated areas may be adopted with single row of cane planting.
  • Sugarcane cultivates under subsurface drip system the laterals may be placed 20cm depth in the furrows and setts are placed 5cm above the laterals.
  • For sustainable sugarcane initiative system (SSI) transplanting young chip bud seedling raised in portray (25-35 days old) in wide spacing (5x2 feet) in the main field with drip fertigation system.
  • Daincha / Sunhemp intercropping in the wider spaced cane cultivated area for improving soil health and reduce the weed infestation. It also reduces early shoot borer incidences and increases cane yield.
  • Plant the setts on one side of the ridge for 80 cm spacing in heavy soil to avoid sett rot resulted better germination
  • Sow rhizobium treated green manure seeds @ 10kg/ha on the opposite side of ridge with 10cm. Spacing on or before 3 days after planting.
  • Incorporate the green manure crop 50-60 days after planting in between interow of wider spaced crop and give partial earthing up with recommended dose of N fertilizer on 90 – 100 day after planting.
  • Introduction of power weeder with rotovator for weeding and earthing up with ridger to save the cost on labour and also to reduce human drudgery.

Four feet row with two line planting in each row.
Daincha / Sunhemp intercropping for improving soil health; it also reduces early shoot borer incidences and increases cane yield.

  • Plant the setts on one side of the ridge.Sow rhizobium  treated green manure seeds @ 10kg/ha on  the opposite side of ridge with 10cm. Spacing on or before 3 days after planting.

  • Incorporate the green manure crop 50-60 days after planting and give partial earthing up with recommended dose of N fertilizer.

Introduction of power weeder for weeding and earthing up to save the cost on labour and also to reduce human drudgery.

5. Filling up gaps

  • Fill the gaps, if any, within 30 days after planting with sprouted setts.
  • Gap filling with two budded setts/ poly bag seedlings within 15 to 20 days after planting to maintain optimum plant stand.
  • Maintain adequate moisture for 3 weeks for proper establishment of the sprouted  setts.

6. Trash Mulching

Mulch the ridges uniformly with cane trash to a thickness of 10 cm within a week after planting.  It helps to tide over drought, conserves moisture, reduce weed population and minimise shoot borer incidence.  Mulch the field with trash after 21 days of planting in heavy soil and wetland conditions. Avoid trash mulching in areas where incidence of termites is noticed.

7. Raising Inter crops

In areas of adequate irrigation, sow one row of soybean or blackgram or greengram along the centre of the ridge on the 3rd day of planting. Intercropping of daincha or sunhemp along ridges and incorporation of the same on the 45th day during partial earthing up helps to increase the soil fertility, and also the cane yield. Especially Intercropping of Co.1 Soybean gives an yield of 800 kg/ha without any adverse effect on cane yield.

8. Weed Management

Weed Management in pure crop of Sugarcane

  • Wherever weed menace is higher, one line weeding along the crop row and spade digging of ridges have to be done on 30, 60 and 90 DAP
  • Spray Atrazine 2 kg or Oxyflurofen 750 ml/ha mixed in 600 liters of water as pre emergence herbicide on the 3rd day of planting, using deflector or fan type nozzle fitted with knapsack sprayer.
  • The pre emergence application of atrazine @ 1.0 kg a.i. ha-1 on 3 DAP followed by post emergence directed application of glyphosate @ 1.0 lit ha-1on 45 DAP with hood+ one hand weeding on 90 DAP registered the maximum cane yield.
  • If pre-emergence spray is not carried out, go in for post-emergence spray of Grammaxone litre + 2,4-D sodium salt 2.5 kg/ha in 600 liter of water on 21st day of planting.
  • If the parasitic weed striga is a problem, post-emergence application of 2,4-D sodium salt @ kg/ha in 500 litre of water/ha may be done. 2, 4-D spraying should be avoided when neighbouring crop is cotton or bhendi. Apply 20% urea also for the control of striga as direct spray.
  • Pre- plant application of glyphosate at 2.0 kg ha-1 along with 2% ammonium sulphate at 21 days before planting of sugarcane followed by post emergence direct spraying of glyphosate at 2.0 kg ha-1 along with 2% ammonium sulphate with a special hood on 30 DAP suppressed the nut sedges (Cyperus rotandus) and provided weed free environment.
  • If herbicide is not applied work the junior-hoe along the ridges on 25, 55 and 85 days after planting for removal of weeds and proper stirring. Remove the weeds along the furrows with hand hoe. Otherwise operate power tiller fitted with tynes for intercultivation.
  • Control of creeper weeds post emergence directed application of fernoxone (2, 4 –D sodium salt) @ 2 gm + 10 gm of urea per liter of water may be sprayed over the creeper weeds.

Spray pre emergence herbicide on the 3rd day of planting
(Atrazine 2 kg +500 ltr. of water)

(Oxyflurofen 750 ml/ha +500 ltr. of water)

Striga control in sugarcane

Weed management in Sugarcane intercropping system
Premergence application of Thiobencarb @ 1.25 kg ai/ha under intercropping system in Sugarcane with Soybean, blackgram or groundnut gives effective weed control. Raising intercrops is not found to affect the cane yield and quality.

9. Earthing Up

After application of 3rd dose fertilizer (90 days), work victory plough along the ridges for efficient and economical earthing up. At 150 days after planting, earthing up may be done with spade.

10. Detrashing

     Remove the dry cane leaves on 150th and 210th day to avoid borer infestation.

11. Propping

      Do double line propping with trash twist at the age of 210 days of the crop.

VI. Top Dressing with Fertilizers

a. Soil application
Apply 275 kg of nitrogen and 112.5 kg of K2O/ha in three equal splits at 30, 60 and 90 days in coastal and flow irrigated belts (assured water supply areas). In the case of lift irrigation belt, apply 225 kg of nitrogen and 112.5 kg of K2O/ha in three equal splits at 30, 60 and 90 days (water scarcity areas). For jaggery areas, apply 175 kg of nitrogen and 112.5 kg of K2O/ha in three equal splits on 30, 60 and 90 days.

Nitrogen Saving

a.  Neem Cake Blended Urea: Apply 67.5 kg of N/ha + 27.5 kg of Neem Cake at 30 days and repeat on 60th and 90th days.

Note: Neem cake blending:  Powder the required quantity of neem cake and mix it with urea thoroughly and keep it for 24 hours. Thus, 75 kg of nitrogen/ha can be saved by this method.

b.  Azospirillum: Mix 12 packets (2400 g)/ha of Azospirillum inoculant or TNAU Biofert –1 with 25 kg of FYM and 25 kg soil and apply near the clumps on 30th day of planting. Repeat the same on 60th day with another 12 packets (2400 gm). Repeat the above on the other side of the crop row on the 90th day (for lift irrigated belt).

c.  Band placement: Open deep furrows of 15 cm depth with hand hoes and place the fertilisers in the form of band and cover it properly.

d.  Subsurface application: Application of 255 kg of Nitrogen in the form of urea along with potash at 15 cm depth by the side of the cane clump will result in the saving of 20 kg N/ha without any yield reduction.

Nutritional Disorders :

Nitrogen deficiency : All leaves of sugarcane exhibit a yellow – green colour and retardation of growth.  Cane stalks are smaller in diameter and premature drying of older leaves.  Roots attain a greater length but are smaller in diameter.

Phosphorus deficiency : Reduction in length of sugarcane stalks, diameters of which taper rapidly at growing points.  The colour of the leaves is greenish blue, narrow and some what reduce length.  Reduced tillering, decreased shoot / root ratio with restricted root development.

Potassium deficiency: Depressed growth, yellowing  and marginal drying of older leaves and development of slender stalks.  An orange, yellow colour appears in the older lower leaves which develop numerous chlorotic spots that later become brown with dead centre.  A reddish discoloration which is confined to the epidermal cells of the upper surfaces and midribs of the leaves. The young leaves appear to have developed from a common point giving a “Bunched top” appearance.  Poor root growth with less member of root hairs.

Zinc deficiency: Mild zinc deficiency exhibit a tendency to develop anthrocyanin  pigments in the leaves.  Pronounced bleaching of the green colour along the major veins and also striped effect due to a loss of chlorophyll along the veins.  In acute cases of zinc deficiency there is evidences of necrosis and growth ceases  at the growing  point (meristem).

Iron deficiency: Symptoms of Iron deficiency are generally seen in young leaves where pale stripes with scanty chlorophyll content occur between parallel lines.  In advanced stages of deficiency the young leaves turn completely white, even in the veins.Root  growth also becomes restricted.

Boron deficiency : Boron deficiency could be seen in the cane by depressed growth, development of distorted and chlorotic leaves and the presence of definite leaf and stalks lesions.  In extreme cases of boron deficiency the plant will die.

Importance of Balanced Nutrition:The soil fertility has declined in many sugarcane  growing areas of the state due to improper and some times, distorted fertilizer schedules adopted over the years under intensive cultivation of the crop. Hence balanced application of fertilizer based on soil test values and crop requirement is essential.

How to Evaluate fertilizer requirement

Through STCR fertilizer prescription equations

a. Perianaickenpalayam series (Inceptisols) of Coimbatore
    and Erode STL Jurisdiction
    FN = 4.17 T – 1.09 SN – 1.11 ON
    FP2O5 = 1.01 T – 2.56 SP – 1.01 OP
    FK2O = 3.44 T – 0.84 SK – 1.03 OK

b. Gadillum series (Red laterite) of Cuddalore STL Jurisdiction
   FN = 4.06 T – 0.74 SN – 0.87 ON
   FP2O5 = 0.71 T – 1.09 SP – 0.72 OP
   FK2O = 2.67 T – 0.57 SK – 1.30 OK

c. Irugur series (Inceptisols) of Coimbatore, Erode, Trichy and Salem  STL Jurisdiction
   FN = 3.42 T – 0.56 SN – 0.93 ON
   FP2O5 = 1.15 T – 1.94 SP – 0.98 OP
   FK2O = 3.16 T – 0.73 SK – 0.99 OK

Micro nutrient fertilizers :

  1. (a) Zinc deficient soils : Basal application of 37.5 kg/ha of zinc sulphate.
    (b) Sugarcane crop with zinc deficiency symptoms: foliar spray of 0.5% zinc sulphate with 1% urea at 15 days internal till deficiency symptoms disappear.
  2. (a) Iron deficient soils: Basal application of 100 kg/ha of ferrous sulphate.
    (b) Sugarcane with Iron deficiency symptoms: foliar spray of 1% ferrous sulphate with 1% urea at 15 days interval till deficiency symptoms disappear.
  3. Soil application of CuSO4 @ 5 kg/ha in copper deficient soils. Alternatively foliar spray of 0.2% CuSO4 twice during early stage of crop growth.

Common Micronutrient mixture : To provide all micronutrients to sugarcane, 50 kg /ha of micronutrient mixture containing 20 kg Ferrous sulphate,10 kg Manganese sulphate, 10 kg Zinc sulphate, 5 kg of Copper sulphate, 5 kg of Borax mixed with 100 kg of well decomposed FYM, can be recommended as soil application prior to planting.

(Or) Application of TNAU MN mixture @ 50 kg/ha as EFYM for higher cane yield.

Recommended dosage of macro and micronutrients


  • Sugarcane – plant crop (meant for sugar mills) 300:100:200 kg N, P2O5 and K2O per ha
  • Sugarcane – Ratoon crop (meant for sugar mills) 300 + 25% extra N : 100 : 200 kg N, P2O5  and K2O per ha
  • Sugarcane for jaggery manufacture (plant as well as ratoon crop) 225 : 62.5 : 112.5 kg N, P2O5 and K2O per ha


Azospirillum is the common biofertilizer recommended for N nutrition which could colonize the roots ofsugarcane and fix atmospheric nitrogen to the tune of about 50 to 75 kg nitrogen per ha per year. Recently, another endophytic nitrogen fixing bacterium, Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus isolated from sugarcane can able to fix more nitrogen than Azospirillum. It colonizes throughout the sugarcane and increases the total N content. In soil, it can also colonize the roots and able to solubilize the phosphate, iron and Zn. It can also enhance the crop growth, yield of sugarcane and sugar content of the juice. Since it is more efficient than Azospirillum, this new organism was test- verified in various centres and released as new biofertilizer Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus TNAU Biofert-I. Phosphobacteria as P solubiliser are recommended for sugarcane crop.

Sett treatment with Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus

Before planting the sugarcane setts can be treated with ten packets (2 kg) per ha of Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus prepared as slurry with 250 L of water.

Soil application Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus

Twelve packets (2.4 kg) per ha is recommended for soil application each at 30th, 60th and 90th day after planting under irrigated condition.

Same method of application can be followed for Phosphobacteria.

  • If basal application is not followed apply the same with 30th day, 60th day and 90th day after planting and copiously irrigate the field.
  • Biofertilizer treatment should be done just before planting. Immediately plant/ Irrigate after biofertilizer application.
  • Do not mix biofertilizer along with chemical fertilizer.
  • Reduces 25% of the recommended N to reap the benefits of biofertilizer application.

VII. Water Management

Irrigate the crop depending upon the need during different phases of the crop.

Germination phase (0 - 35 days):

Provide shallow wetting with 2 to 3 cm depth of water at shorter intervals especially for sandy soil for enhancing the germination.  Sprinkler irrigation is the suitable method to satisfy the requirement, during initial stages.
Later, irrigation can be provided at 0.75, 0.75 and 0.50 IW/CPE ratio during tillering, grandgrowth and maturity phases respectively. The irrigation intervals in each phase are given below:

  Days of irrigation interval
  Sandy soil   
    Clay soil
Tillering phase (36 to 100 days)  
Grand growth phase (101 - 270 days)   
Maturity phase (271 - harvest)    

Drip Irrigation:

  • Planting setts obtained from 6-7 months old healthy nursery and planted in paired row planting system with the spacing of 30x30x30 / 150 cm.
  • Eight setts per metre per row have to be planted on either sides of the ridge thus making it as four row planting system.
  • 12 mm drip laterals have to be placed in the middle ridge of each furrow with the lateral spacing of 240 cm & 8 ‘Lph’ clog free drippers should be placed with a spacing of 75 cm on the lateral lines.  The lateral length should not exceed more than 30-40 m.Phosphorus @ 62.5 kg ha-1 has to be applied as basal a the time of planting.
  • Nitrogen and Potassium @ 275:112.5 kg ha-1 have to be injected into the system as urea and muriate of potash by using “Ventury” assembly in 10-12 equal splits starting from 15 to 150-180 days after planting.
  • Low or medium in nutrient status soil to be given with 50 per cent additional dose of Nitrogen and Potassium. Irrigation is given once in three days based on the evapo-transpiration demand of the crop.
  • The double side planting of sugarcane with lateral spacing of 120+40 cm under subsurface drip fertigation system improves the yield.  

Paired row – Drip layout in sugarcane

Concept of fertigation

  1. Fertigation is the judicious application of fertilizers by combining with irrigation water.
  2. Fertigation can be achieved through fertilizer tank,  venturi System, Injector Pump, Non-Electric Proportional Liquid Dispenser (NEPLD) and Automated system
  3. Recommended N & K @ of 275 and 112.5 kg. ha-1 may be applied in 14 equal splits with 15 days interval from 15 DAP.
  4. 25 kg N and 8 kg K2O per ha per split.
  5. Urea and MOP (white potash) fertilisers can be used as N and K sources respectively
  6. Fertigation up to 210 DAP can also be recommended

.Advantages of Fertigation

  1. Ensures a regular flow of water as well as nutrients resulting in increased growth rates for higher yields
  2. Offers greater versatility in the timing of the nutrient application to meet specific crop demands
  3. Improves availability of nutrients and their uptake by the roots
  4. Safer application method which eliminates the danger of burning the plant root system
  5. Offers simpler and more convenient application than soil application of fertilizer thus saving time, labour, equipment and energy
  6. Improves fertilizer use efficiency
  7. Reduction of soil compaction and mechanical damage to the crops
  8. Potential reduction of environmental contamination
  9. Convenient use of compound and ready-mix nutrient solutions containing also small concentration of micronutrients.

Fertilizer Tank


Fertilizer pump

Contingent plan

Gradual widening of furrow:

At the time of planting, form furrow at a width of 30 cm initially. After that, widen the furrow to 45 cm on 45th day during first light earthing up and subsequently deepen the furrow on 90th day to save 35% of water.

  Subsurface irrigation in sugarcane
Pit method of sugarcane planting under drip fertigation system


  • Pit to pit spacing - 1.5 x 1.5 m
  • Number of pits/ha - 4,444 pits
  • Pit diameter - 0.9 m
  • Pit depth - 0.38 m
  • Number of budded setts / pit- 32 (single budded setts)
  • Fill the pits to a depth of 15 cm with compost and native soil and mix it well. Place the healthy setts in circular fashion leaving 10 cm from the outer boundary of the pits with equal spacing between each setts and cover the setts with soil. On 50 to 60 days after planting give partial earthing up by sliding the soil from the outer boundary of the pit and full earthing up should be given leaving a depression of 2.5 cm from the ground level at 90 to 100 days after planting
  • Fertilizer dose - 275:62.5:112.5kg NPK/ha
  • The entire phosphorous dose can be applied as basal at the time of planting
  • The nitrogen and potassium as urea and MOP (white potash) should be applied through fertigation system in 14 equal splits starting from 15 DAP upto 210 DAP
  • Drip design -lateral to lateral spacing 3.0 m (alternate rows)
  • 8 mm micro tubes on either side of the lateral to a length of 1.0 m with one 8 LPH drippers / pit
  • Irrigation - daily or in alternative days


  • Higher cane yield
  • Multi rationing is possible
  • Suited in problem soils
  • More water saving
  • System maintenance is easy
  • Less labour for after cultivation operations
  • Higher net return


Pit planting of cane in 1.5 m x 1.5 m pit spacing registered the highest net return of Rs.1, 19,649 ha-1 and 1, 55,982 ha-1 with in BCR of 2.26 and 3.31 in plant and ratoon crops respectively compared to the net return of       Rs.1,16,650 and 1,27,360 registered in conventional method of cane cultivation in plant and ratoon crops.

Source: TNAU, Coimbatore, 2006

Pit method of sugarcane planting under drip fertigation system

Drought Management:

  • Soak the setts in lime solution (80 kg Kiln lime in 400 lit) for one hour.
  • Plant in deep furrows of 30 cm depth.
  • Spray potash and urea each at 2.5 per cent during moisture stress period at 15 days interval.
  • Spray Kaolin (60 g in 1 ltr. of water) to alleviate the water stress.
  • Under water scarcity condition, alternate furrow and skip furrow method is beneficial.
  • Apply 125 kg of MOP additionally at 120 day of planting.
  • Basal incorporation of coir waste @ 25 tonnes/ha at the time of last ploughing.
  • Removal of dry trash at 5th month and leave it as mulch, in the field.

VIII. Pre-Harvest Practices

a. Apply cane ripeners

i.Spray Sodium metasilicate 4 kg/ha in 750 litres of water on the foliage of crop at 6 months after planting.

ii.Repeat the same twice at 8th and 10th months to obtain higher cane yield and sugar percentage.

b. Assessing maturity of crops

i.Assess the maturity by hand refractometer brix survey and 18 to 20 per cent brix indicates optimum maturity for harvest.

ii.Top-bottom ratio of H.R.Brix reading should be 1:1.

15. Harvesting

i. Early varieties have to be harvested at 10 to 11 months age and mid-season varieties at 11 to 12 months age.

ii.Harvest the cane at peak maturity. Cut the cane to the ground level for both plant and ratoon crops.

Sugarcane management in saline soils

An integrated approach involving the measures indicated belowe to be employed to manage sugarcane under salinity and to improve productivity

Seed rate: Higher seed rate of 25 % is recommended to compensate for germination loss and to ensure adequate crop stand.

Trench planting: Modified trench system of planting in saline soils and salt irrigated areas has recorded improved yields around 15 %.

Use of organic manure: Organic manures viz., pressmud (10-15 t/ha), farmyard manure (25 t/ha), bio earth etc., improve the availability of essential nutrients (Zn, Fe, Ca, Mg and Mn).

Green manures: Growing green manure intercrop and in situ incorporation of green manures is highly beneficial to improve productivity in salt affected areas.

Nutrient management: 25% additional nitrogen dosage has been found to improve yields under saline conditions. Application of top dressing of nitrogen and potassium fertilizers through pocket manuring is advantageous and helps in improving yield significantly.

Sugarcane genotypes tolerant to salinity: Varieties Co 6806, Co 7219, Co 7717, Co 8208, Co 85004, Co 85019, Co 86032 and Coc 671 are suitable for salt affected soils.
Source: SBI, Coimbatore

Short Crop (Nursery Crop)

Selection fo proper planting months for raising nursery crop in relation to main field planting

Raise six to seven months old nursery crop prior to main field planting as follows:

Raise nursery crop during   Main field planting
June   December - January (early season)
July February - March (Mid season)
August April - May (Late season)
Dec - Apr June - September (Special season)

II. Precautions In Maintaining Nursery Crop

Adopt similar production techniques for raising short crop with the following modifications.
1.   Do not detrash
2.   Do not prop
3.   Harvest at 6 to 7 months age
4.   Remove trash by hand while preparing setts
5.   Avoid bud damage

  • Transport the seed material to other places in the forms of full canes with trash intact.
  • Apply 50 kg of urea as top dressing additionally before one month of cutting the seed cane.

Ratoon Crop

I. Management Of The Field After Harvest Of The Plant Crop

Complete the following operations within 10 days of harvest of plant crop to obtain better establishment and uniform sprouting of shoots.

1.Remove the trash from the field.  Do not burn it.  Irrigate the field copiously.

2.Follow stubble shaving with sharp spades to a depth of 4 - 6 cm along the ridges at proper moisture.

3.Work with cooper plough along with sides of the ridges to break the compaction.

4.The gappy areas in the ratoon sugarcane crop should be filled within 30 days of stubble shaving. The sprouted cane stubbles taken from the same field is the best material for full establishment. The next best method is gap filling with seedlings raised in polybags.

5.   Apply basal dose of organic manure and super phosphate as recommended for plant crop.

II. Management Of The Crop

  • 25% additional N application on 5-7 days after ratooning.
  • Spray Ferrous sulphate at 2.5 kg/ha on the 15th day. If chlorotic condition persists, repeat twice further at 15 days interval. Add urea 2.5 kg/ha in the last spray.
  • Hoeing and weeding on 20th day and 40th to 50th day.
  • First top dressing on 25th day, 2nd on 45th to 50th day.
  • Final manuring on 70th to 75th day.
  • Partial earthing up on 50th day. If junior-hoe is worked two or three times upto 90th day, partial earthing up is not necessary.
  • Final earthing up on 90th day.
  • Detrashing on 120th and 180th day.
  • Trash twist propping on 180th day.
  •  Harvest after 11 months.


Foliar spray of TNAU Sugarcane Booster @ 1.0, 1.5 and 2 kg/acre in 200 litres of water at 45,60 and 75 days after planting enhances cane growth and weight, internodal length, cane yield, sugar content and offers drought tolerance.

Crop Protection


Post Harvest Technology