Sugarcane - High Production Inputs

This is my attempt to make my Farmer Brothers to understand the reasons for low SUGARCANE output.  The real problem lies in cost received for the crop. You are aware that the cost is based on weight as well sugar percentage of the Sugarcane received by Manufacturer. 
Farmers are concentrating their efforts in achieving weight of the cane that will meet his expenses as well as leave some profit for his other requirements.

Being a Sugarcane grower I have been associated with the entire technique fallowed by farmers in my region.  I thought that along with Govt and other agencies Farmer is also required to contribute his share in the form of efforts in  increasing his crop output.  Even though number of farmers are trying their best in this direction , In spite of  this the effect is still far from the target. I have been associated with Defect investigation during my service period. In defect investigation one has to concentrate on all the activities from end to start in the process of production.  What I noticed in respect of method fallowed during SOWING is enumerated  below 
It is established that to achieve sizable yield, conditions mentioned  below have to be met .
• A crop good in initial stages gives very good yields.
• Germination requires water to enter through the open end of cane and has to reach the region of eye. This water is responsible bulging of eye.
• With bulging of eye due to presence of water the process of Germination is initiated. Note this is a chemical process which cannot be initiated in absence of water. 
• Injury to cane eye is bound to give NO GERMINATION OR WEAK SEEDLING. Weak seedling will give low output.
In each of the above steps the dominant  reason  leading to  low production was noticed. The details are given against each of above points is given  below.
• A crop good in initial stages gives very good yields.
This process starts from  selection of Sugarcane. As you have been told that injury to cane-eye  is the main cause of low crop yields ,. In this case no such precaution to avoid selection of cane with eye injury was observed. Farmers must select cane having bulging eyes.  It is also essential to retain the leaves covering eye to protect it from injury during transportation etc.

• Germination requires water to enter through the open end of cane and has to reach the region of eye. This water is responsible bulging of eye.
Keeping sugarcane at the time of sowing on the ridge for long time is responsible for non germination/weak germination. As a result of exposure to sun water will escape from cane and will introduce air column in path which will hinder water  to eye zone.  As a result no or very meager qty of water will be available in eye zone.  There will hardly be any bulging. This will result in failure of cane eye  to bulge. Note that bulging is the first step in germination.
• With bulging of eye due to presence of water the process of Germination is initiated. Note this is a chemical process which cannot be initiated in absence of water. 
As no water in eye zone there will be hardly any germination.
• Injury to cane eye is bound to give NO GERMINATION OR WEAK SEEDLING. Weak seedling will give low output.
In Injured eyes no bulging will occur as such no germination will be the end result.
• Farmers are required to ensure that not to select cane having any bulg or  injury to eye. The activities leading to eye injury etc are:-
o Selection of sugarcane without bulged eye in fellow farmers field.
o The loading of sugarcane in the vehicle for transportation to sowing fields.
o Unloading of cane in sowing fields.
The injury to cane eye in  above cases is bound to result due to throwing/pulling/pushing sugarcane during loading or unloading carelessly or to complete the work in short period.
In addition injury to eye may result in following operations.-
o Cutting of cane as required. In this process the cane is pulled and the pieces with one/two or three eyes are cut. In case the cane eye is on the wooden plank eye is bound to get injured due to striking force applied for cut.
o pressing cut cane in trough(Sary). While pressing if leg is on the eye it get crushed.

I would like to point out that cane eye injury and keeping sets in open air will result in no germination. Farmers fill this no germination spots after about 4 months. I have observed that as high as 30% spots have been replanted ( this is known as TUTALI in Marathi). This results in two types of crop in the field. First with complete period and other having 4 months less period. Such sugar cane when handed over to sugarcane processors the sugarcane weighs less as well as sugar recorded is low. Both the weight and sugar % is the criteria for payment. Farmers thus receives less returns in terms of money.
From this it can be assumed that unless and until we as farmers take all necessary precautions we will be landing in less output and same old problem of excessive expense.

I request all my fellow farmers to take note of this fact and change your approach for cultivation of SUGARCANE. By understanding the effect of our action. If we exercise some more attention to these activities we will be in position to overcome the present crisis.

I expect my friends to react to my views. If you do not agree with such beneficial move you may suggest some easy alternative. Please remember that in my procedure no extra expenditure is required. Instead farmer will save money to great extent for replantation of non germinated sets. Note this expenditure is of sizable amount. However you have to be vigilant during each and every step during crop production. Analyze each action for possible adverse effect on the crop production and its quality.

Regards,
Arvind Kulkarni