Hints for higher yields in Sugarcane

Hints to increase yields in Sugarcane cultivation


India stands first in the world in Sugarcane and Sugar production. Sugarcane is cultivated in about ten lakh acres with 28.3 crores tonnes production. In Andhra Pradesh, (Composite) Sugarcane crop is cultivated in 196 000' ha with 156 lakh tonnes production. In this half of production is useful for sugar preparation, for seed purpose and rest is for Jaggery preparation.

In Andhra Pradesh (Composite) average yield per acre is 28 tonnes only. To improve the yields and for serving the farming community Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited is giving these hints to be followed to increase yields in Sugarcane Cultivation.

Climatic requirements:

A growing season which is long and warm with adequate rainfall or irrigation, long hours of bright sunshine and higher relative humidity which permits rapid growth to build up adequate yield (more tonnage) and a ripening season of around 2-3 months duration having warm days, clear skies, cool nights and relatively a dry weather without rainfall and higher difference in day (maximum) and night (minimum) temperatures for build up of sugar are required.

Planting Season:

Optimum time for Sugarcane planting is December to March month ending. For coastal districts it is January to Middle of March month, for Rayalseema it is January to February middle, in Telangana for Eksali crop during December to January middle, for Adsali crop it is August September middle is the optimum time of planting.


Suitable Varieties for different situations

Late maturing varieties (12-13 months): Co 7219, Co7706, Co8011, CoR8001.

Mid-late maturing varieties (11-12 months) : CoA7602, CoT8201, Co7805, Co8021, 85R186, 86A146, 87A 397, 83V15, 83V288.

Early maturing varieties (9-10 months) : Co6907, Co7505, 90A 272, 81A99, 82A123, 83A145, 81V48, 85A261, 86V96, 84A125, 91V83, 93V297, 83R23, 87A298.

Under Rainfed Conditions for planting in February: Co6907, 81A99, 85A261, 81V48, 83R23, CoT820, CoA7602, 87A298, Co7210.

For Planting in May- June : Co6907, Co8013, 84A125, 85A261, 81A99, 87A298, 81V48, 91V83, 93V297.

For water logged (swamp) conditions: Co697, 84A125, CoR8001, 83V288, 83V15, 81V48, 91V83, 87A298, 85A261, 87A261, 87A397, 89V74.

For Moisture Stress conditions: Co6907, CoT8201, CoA7602, Co7219, 84A125, 85A261, 83V15, 81A99, 83R23, 89V74, 83V288, Co7508.

For Redrot affected areas: Co7508, CoA7602, Co8014, CoR8001, 85A261, 87A298, 90A272, Co6907, 86V96, 83R23, 91V83, 88R58, 92A126, Co7219, 86V96, Co7805, Co7706, 83V15, 89V74, 87A397.

Smut disease tolerant varieties: Co8013, Co8014, 81A261, 84A125, 81A48, 83V15, 83V288, 83V96, 89V74, 93V297, 90A272, C07805, 86A146, 87A397.

For Jaggery preparation: Co7706

For Saline / Alkaline Soils : 81V48, 81A99, CoT8201, 93A145


Seeds and Sowing

Land Preparation:

Soils to be worked to fine tilth to a depth of 20cm at least once in 2 to 3 years. Open trenches of 30cm width, 20cm depth and 50cm ridges have to be formed by manual labour or iron plough or ridger. Spacing of 80cm between cane rows for early varieties and 100cm for late varieties is to be adopted.

Seed material / planting:

Immature seed material taken from tops of narrowed canes or from entire canes of young crop of about 7 to 8 months age is to be planted. 16000 three budded setts are to be planted per acre. Water may be guided through planting furrows and allowed to soak in the soil. Then seed setts are to be planted walking backwards. The setts with the buds turned to the sides are to be pressed into wet soil to not more than 2.5cm depth. The depressions made in the furrows by walking have to be levelled while proceeding with planting.

Seed treatment:

Dipping of setts, which are sufficient for one acre planting for 15minutes in a solution containing 150gms carbendazim and 600ml of malathion mixed in 300 litres of water before planting will control pineapple disease and scale insect.

To avoid grassy shoot disease hot water treatment of seed material at 520C for 30 minutes or treatment with aerated steam at 540C for 4 hours to be done.


Manures and Fertilizer application

Farmyard manure @ 10 tonnes per acre or press mud cake@ 5 tonnes per acre to be applied in the last ploughing.

At planting 2kg Azotobacter, 3.5kg phosphobacterium mixed in 100kg powdered farm yard manure to be broadcasted in one acre field. 250kg super phosphate and 80kg muriate of potash to be applied at final ploughing and ridges to be formed. At first wedding nitrogen in the form of urea @ 100kgs, and at second weeding and earthing up time urea @ 100kgs to be applied. There should be a gap of 90 days between last dose of nitrogen application and harvesting which otherwise leads to loss of weight of cane yield.

For ratoon crop double the dose of nitrogen to the above recommended dose to be applied in two equal split doses. One dose at stubble shaving time and second at 45 days later. With this first dose of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash are to be applied at the same dose as applied to the plant crop, as above.

Fertilizer recommendations to different districts of Telangana

Region (districts) Fertilizer dose (kg/acre) Time of application of fertilizer
Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium
Medak Districts
At planting phosphorus and potash fertilizers to be applied. Nagarjuna Urea in two equal splits at 45 and 90 days after planting.
Nizamabad Eksali crop
At planting phosphorus and potash fertilizers to be applied. Nagarjuna urea in two equal splits at 60 and 150 days after planting.
Nizamabad Adsali crop
At planting phosphorus and potash fertilizers to be applied. Nagarjuna urea in three splits at 60, 120 and 180 days after planting.


Other management

Irrigation and drainage :

Irrigation to be given once in a week during summer and once in 15-21 days after rainy season till harvest. If rains are more to avoid water stagnation in the field drainage to be provided.

Weed Management :

Application of Altrazine @ 2kg/acre in 200 litres of water to be sprayed on the 3 rd or 4 th day after planting depending on soil moisture will keep the weeds under control for 30days.

At 20 and 60 days of planting spraying of 2,4-D (1.5kg) + Gramoxone (1litre) per acre in 500 litres of water is recommended.

Earthing up and propping:

Earthing up at 4months after planting to be done to prevent lodging. Trash twist propping 2 to 3 times depending on the growth of the crop to be done to keep the crop erect as lodged canes loose about 25% juice sucrose, reduced cane yields and quality.


Plant protection

Insect Management

Early shoot borer : Deep planting of setts in furrows. Application of phorate 10G granules @ 15kg/ha at the time of planting. Trash mulching @ 3t/ha at 3 days after planting in plant crop and immediately after stubble shaving in ratoon crop. Irrigation at frequent intervals during summer. Spraying endosulfan or chlorpyriphos @ 2ml/litre of water at 4, 6 and 9 weeks after planting in 450, 675 and 900 litres of water respectively will control this pest.

Internode borer : If infestation is severe during June-July, spray endosulfan @ 2ml/litre of water twice at 15 days interval for its control.

Scale insect : Plant sap is sucked and the plant is devitalised. Dipping three budded setts in Malathion 0.1% or Dimethoate 0.05% for 15 minutes before planting. Detrash the canes during the first week of July, August and september retaining eight top leaves and spray with Malathion or Dimethoate @ 2ml/litre of water for control. Dimethoate is preferred for spraying during heavy rains.

Mites : Red mite occurs in hot weather immediately after summer showers. Spraying wettable sulphur @ 3gms/litre of water twice at weekly intervals is recommended for its control.

White flies : To control Endosulfan 2ml/litre of water two times at 10 days intervals to be sprayed to wet the bottom of the leaves.

Leaf hopper / canefly : Spray Malathion or Endosulfan @ 2ml/litre of water.

Disease Management

Top rot : Spraying Mancozeb 3gms/lit or Carbendazim 1gm/litre two to three times reduces the disease incidence.

Redrot : Damage due to red rot is two fold. Reduction in cane yield and reduction in Sucrose content of the Juice

Growing resistant varieties like Co7706, Co8013, CoA7602, Co8021, CoT8201, CoR8001, 85A261, 83A30, 90A272 and Co7219.

Smut : The affected plants are stunted and the central shoot is replaced by a long whip-like, dusty black structure.

Treating three budded setts in hot water at 520C for 30 minutes or aerated steam at 510C for two hours followed by dipping setts in carbendazim and raise special seed nurseries to avoid this disease.

Grassy shoot disease: Uproot and destroy affected clumps. Severely affected plots should not be ratooned. Select seed material from disease free plots. Treat setts in hot water at 520C for 30 minutes and aerated steam at 500C for one hour and raise special seed nursery. Spray malathion or dimethoate @ 2ml/lit of water to check vector population.

Settrot / Pine apple disease : Carbendazim solution to be prepared @ 150 gms in 300 litres of water and dippling setts before planting in this solution reduces the disease incidence.

Harvesting : The crop has to be harvested when it contains a fairly high sucrose content of not less than 16% in Juice with about 85% purity. After harvest the cane has to be carted to the factory as early as possible.

For other technical advise contact :
K.V.K. Raju Krishi Vigyana Kendram,
Gandhi Nagar, Kakinada - 533 004. Phone: 0884 234651

Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited
Nagarjuna Hills, Hyderabad-500 082. Tel. 9140 23357200/204/23358149