Package of Practice for Sugarcane


1. Introduction 

Sugarcane is the most important cash crop of India. It involves less risk and farmers are assured up to some extent about return even in adverse conditions. Sugarcane provides raw material for the second largest agro-based industry after textile. The sugar industry is instrumental in generating sizable employment in the rural sector directly and through its ancillary units. It is estimated that about 50 million farmers and their dependents are engaged in the cultivation of sugarcane and about 0.5 million skilled and unskilled workers are engaged in sugar factories and its allied industries. The sugar industry in India has been a focal point for socio-economic development in the rural areas by mobilizing rural resources, generating employment and enhancing farm income. 

2.Major Sugarcane Growing States

Sugarcane is grown in various states in subtropical and tropical regions of the country. Main sugarcane growing States are: a) Subtropical: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar with an annual rainfall of 180 to 2000 mm. The climate ranges from humid, moist sub-humid and dry sub-humid to cold arid, semiarid and arid. b) Tropical region: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh with an annual rainfall of 602 to 3640 mm having moist to dry sub humid and semi-arid to dry semi-arid climates.

Nursery Management

  • Soil should be without problems like alkalinity, salinity, water logging etc.
  • There should be adequate irrigation facility.
  • The seed plots should be distributed in different divisions or sections and accessible for easy distribution.
  • There should be good road facility for easy and quick transport.
  • The farmers should be progressive.
  • Primary nurseries should be located in the factory farm/research station farm/Government seed farm.

    Soil preparations

  • Ploughing and cultivation is essential so that a good seed bed is prepared.
  • A higher amount of organic manures is advantageous for nursery crops for obtaining a vigorous crop.
  • Apply 25 to 30 tonnes of FYM or cured press mud may be applied about 15 days before planting.


Sugarcane planting is done in December-February for the 12-month crop which is called Eksali, in October-November for the 15 to 16 month crop which is called Preseasonal, and in July-August for the 18-month crop, which is called Adsali.

Sl No.




Planting Season

Age at harvest (months)

Expected Sugar
Recovery %


Co 8371
Co 86032


Southern & Coastal & Karnatak

Aug. 1st week onwards

12 to 14

11.0 to 12.0


C0 7804
Co 62174
Co 740, Co 98014


Central Karnataka

June, July, Aug, Oct & Nov.   

12 to 14

11.0 to  11.5


CoC 671
Co 94012
Co 86032
Co 92020
Co 7704


Central& North Karnataka

Oct to Jan.

12 to 14

12.0 to 12.5


CoC 671
Co 86032
Co94012 SNK 754
SNK 61


North Karnataka

June  to February

12 to 14

12.0 to 12.5




3. Temperature requirement for different growth stages of sugarcane


Critical Stages of sugarcane

Max. Temp. ( oC)

Min. Temp. ( oC)

Relative Humidity (%) 












Grand growth









  1. Soil:
    Heavy soils with good drainage are preferred for sugarcane cultivation, though it grows well on medium & light-textured soils also with assured irrigation. Soils with 0.5-0.6 % carbon content & pH 6.5 to 7.5 are most suitable for sugarcane growth. In northern India, it is cultivated largely on the loams & clay loams of Gangetic & other alluviums, and in peninsular India, it is grown on brown or reddish loams, laterites and black cotton soils.
    5. Method of planting:
    Sugarcane can be planted as per the recommendation for the region i.e. Autumn Planting (15 Sept. to Oct.) and Spring Planting (Feb. to March). Improved method of planting should be adopted like, deep furrow, trench methods, ring pit method and paired row method instead of furrow system.
    6. Seeding technologies
    Seed rate: Seed rate in sugarcane varies from region to region. Generally higher seed rates are used in north western India (Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan) because of the lower germination percent and also adverse climatic conditions (very hot weather with desiccating winds) during tillering phase. A northern region seed rate generally varies from 40,000 to 60,000 three budded setts per hectare while in the southern region it ranges between 25,000 to 40,000 three budded setts.
    Row spacing: Effect of row spacing from 45 to 120 cm has been tried on growth, yield and quality of sugarcane. Optimum inter rows spacing range between 60-100 cm under different situations and location.
    Depth: About 80% of the sugarcane roots go up to a depth of 60 cm. Hence deep ploughing of sugarcane fields is necessary. Initially one or two deep ploughings with tractor drawn disc plough or mould board plough or animal drawn mouldboard plough have to be done at least to a depth of 30 cm. This has to be followed by ploughing with other light tillage implements.
    7. Water management
                          In sugarcane, maintenance of optimum soil moisture during all stages of crop growth is one of the essential requisites for obtaining high yield. The crop should, therefore, be grown in areas of well-distributed rainfall or under assured and adequate irrigation. In tropical India, total water requirement of the crop for optimum growth varies from 2000 to 3000 mm inclusive of rainfall. The requirement of an adsali crop is proportionately higher (3200 to 3500 mm). In sub-tropical India, the water requirement is 1400-1800 mm.
                        In tropical area, irrigations are to be given once in 7 days during germination phase (1 –35 days after planting), once in 10 days during tillering phase (36 – 100 days after planting), again once in 7 days during grand growth phase (101 – 270 days after planting) and once in 15 days during maturity phase (271 days after planting up to harvest) adjusting it to the rain fall pattern of the area. About 30 to 40 irrigations are needed. About 250 tonnes of water is needed to produce one tonne of sugarcane. Methods like alternate furrow irrigation, drip irrigation and trash mulching could be of use to economize irrigation water during water scarcity periods. Foliar spraying of a solution containing 2.5% urea and 2.5% muriate of potash 3 or 4 times at fortnightly intervals during drought periods would help to reduce the impact of drought on the crop. Critical stages are those during which sugarcane is affected severely due to water stress and the loss cannot be restituted by adequate water supply at later stages. These stages are: sprouting (germination), formative stage or tillering, ripening and initiation of sprouting in ratoons. In case of limited water availability, one may sustain sugarcane productivity by irrigating at critical stages of growth.
    8. Fertilizer Requirement
    The nitrogen requirement of sugarcane depends upon the soil & climate. It ranges from 150 kg/ha in Uttar Pradesh to 270 kg/ha in Tamil Nadu and 300 to 500 kg/ha in Maharashtra & Karnataka. Nitrogen is given in the form of urea applied one-third at planting & the remaining two-thirds in 2 equal splits at tillering & at the commencement of the grand growth stage. The fertilizers may also be applied as basal dose through diammonium phosphate to supply full P & part of N. The phosphorus is required at 40-60 kg of P2O5/ha. The response of sugarcane to potassium has been obtained only in localized pockets of light soils. Nowadays deficiency of sulphur is constantly increasing in Indian soils & it has become a limiting factor in sugarcane culture. In marginally deficient soils, the application of 40-60 kg S/ha has been found to be useful. 20-30 kg ZnSo4/ha and FYM/Compost of 10 tonnes/ha may be applied.
    9. Weed Management in Pure Crop of Sugarcane
    i. Spray Atrazine 2 kg or Oxyflurofen 750 ml/ha mixed in 500 ltr. of water as pre-emergence herbicide on the 3rd day of planting, using deflector or fan type nozzle.
    ii. If pre-emergence spray is not carried out, go in for post-emergence spray of Gramoxone 2.5 litre + 2,4-D sodium salt 2.5 kg/ha in 500 litre of water on 21st day of planting.
    iii. If the parasitic weed striga is a problem, post-emergence application of 2,4-D sodium salt @ 1.25 kg/ha in 500 liter of water/ha may be done. 2, 4-D spraying should be avoided when the neighboring crop is cotton or bhendi.
    iv. Apply 20% urea also for the control of striga as direct spray.
    v. Pre- plant application of glyphosate at 2.0 kg/ha 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 along with 2% ammonium sulphate with a special hood on 30 DAP suppressed the nut sedges (Cyperus rotundus) and provided weed free environment.
    vi. 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.
    vii. Remove the weeds along the furrows with a hand hoe. Otherwise operate power tiller fitted with tynes for intercultivation. Weed management in Sugarcane intercropping system Pre-emergence application of Thiobencarb @ 1.25 kg ai/ha under intercropping system in Sugarcane with Soybean, blackgram or groundnut gives effective weed control.
    10. Products and by- products of Sugarcane
    Sugarcane based Sugar industry is one of the largest and important industry in tropical and subtropical countries of the world. The Sugarcane plant offers a huge potential, not only as the sucrose of a very important food but also as a source of energy and valuable commercial products from fermentation and chemical synthesis. Sugarcane processing is focused on the production of cane sugar from sugarcane. Sugarcane is considered as one of the best converters of solar energy into biomass and Sugar. Sugarcane is a rich source of food (Sucrose, jaggery and syrups), fiber (cellulose), fodder (green top, bagasse, molasses) fuel and chemicals (Bagasse molasses & alcohol). During the process of sugar production, the main byproduct of cane sugar industry are Bagasse, Molasses and Press mud. The other co-products and by products of less commercial value are Green leaves, green tops, trash, Boiler ash and effluents generated by sugar industry and distillery. There are many other industries which are based on sugarcane by diversification and utilization of co-products and by products of the sugar industry, instead of merely depending on production of sugar. Thus the effort should be for integral utilization of sugarcane, its co products and by products to produce many value added products, to derive maximum benefits from sugarcane crop.
    Ethanol from Sugarcane
                                    The major source of ethanol production in the country is via sugar cane-sugar molasses route. This provides a better economy by sale of sugar and molasses becomes the by-product of the sugar. A tonne of sugarcane produces 100 kg. sugar as well as 40 kg. molasses; the latter will produce about 10 liters of ethanol. On the other hand, one tonne of sugarcane will produce 72-75 litres of ethanol. Likewise, a tonne of molasses produces about 220-250 litres of ethanol. The 10% blending requires about 266.50 crore litres of Ethanol. If this Ethanol is produced directly from cane juice, around 5 lakh ha area under sugarcane is needed. In case (as the case today in the country) Ethanol is produced from molasses route, about 38 lakh ha sugarcane area is needed. Under the molasses route, it will not affect sugar production as molasses is byproduct during production of sugar.


Sugarcane (Saccharum spp) Family: Gramineae (Poaceae)

Seed Rate

35,000-40,000 setts (3-bud)/ha


Optimum inter row spacing is 60-100 cm


Nitrogen: 150-500 kg/ha
Phosphorus: 40-60 kg/ha
Sulphur: 40-60 kg/ha
Zinc: 20-30 kg/ha
FYM/Compost: 10 tonnes/ha

Water Requirement

Tropical India: 2000-3000 mm
Subtropical India: 1400-1800 mm
Adsali Crop: 3200-3500 mm


Tropical States: 78.56 tonnes/ha
Subtropical States: 56.56 tonnes/ha


Forgot your password?

ಇನ್ನೂ ಖಾತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿಲ್ಲವೇ?
Create account