Sugarcane sowing – effective workbase activities backed by knowledge for impro

Article No 2  Jan  2015

Let  me explain what I mean by workbase activity.  Information is provided as knowledge i.e books , magazines. In workbase information sequence of any work is used as base to provide all possible related information.
In Workbase activity as a farmer one has to ensure that his each action helps process of germination. Let me explain the process of germination.  Water , oxygen and nutrients are essential  ingredients. Water initially is required for bulging of bud and subsequently crack the cover for intake of oxygen , this part is  achieved by further bulging of bud for which water is also required.  Once the bud cover is cracked bud is required to come in contact with air for respiration.  Oxygen provides energy and water provides medium for initiation of  chemical  process of germination.  ‘Vapsa’ condition provides required water to bulge the bud. As water is absorbed by sugarcane bud depleted water place of the soil is taken by  air … This air i.e oxygen and moisture together initiates the germination.  The cane is equipped with all required chemicals for initiation of germination. Once the root emerges it has to come in contact with soil for nutrients and water for further growth.  During  process of sowing one has to ensure that non of his actions will result in prohibiting water , oxygen and nutrients required by plant to perform its role.  Workbase activities must be in tune with this conditions.
The example of workbase activity covering all above requirements  is given below in respect of SOWING OF SUGARCANE  : -
Steps involved are-
• Selection of sugarcane , Generally from some nearby farm.
• Cutting required quantity of sugarcane .
• Loading cut sugarcane in vehicle for transportation to sowing sight.
• Transportation of sugarcane to sowing sight.
• Unloading of cut sugarcane.
• Storing unloaded sugarcane till sett are prepared for sowing.
• Cutting of sugarcane in setts.
• Transportation of setts for first stage of sowing.
• Spreading setts on ridge.( Varamba in Marathi)( Note this method is followed by majority of farmers.
• Laying setts in trough ( SARI in Marathi)
• Pressing setts in irrigated field.
Note that sugarcane sowing work has been divided in all possible activities. Ensure that none of the step is to be eliminated from list.  Your actions during that step may be contributing to low output.  Try to find out any action which is likely to result in low output of crop. Sub activities if any along with possible adverse effect on output of crop is discussed  in detail below –

• Selection of sugarcane , Generally from some nearby farm. In that case
Collection of Information –
      Variety of the crop being selected – In case sugarcane is from fellow farmer then information  required is , recent output and pest and deceases and chemicals used to control it. Note if the yield is less than anticipated expectation then change selection. In case yield is ok then find out other chemicals than used by previous owner. Note that  provide you with possible yield. Resistance to pests and deceases, if they are common in your area this is a good point for selecting sugarcane.
Pests / Deceases – In the crop being selected.
In the same crop if any of neighbor.
Note that these pests and deceases are likely to affect your crop if selected. In case there is no alternative to selecting such sugarcane gather details of environmental conditions for onset and also details for eradication of the same.
Visual examination – 1 No pest or deceases is noticed on the sugarcane.
2 Age of the crop is between 8 and 10 months. Ensures sufficient chemicals In  cane for initiation of germination.
3 Crop is not raised after cutting original crop (Khodva in Marathi) may be affected by pests and deceases.
    4 Sugarcane bud is bulged and has no injury. For effective germination.
To avoid delay in pressing of setts in farm ensure that farm is watered well in advance keeping the time required for all further operations in mind. This will avoid unnecessary laying of setts in exposed condition. ( To ensure uninterpted water supply.)
• Cutting required quantity of sugarcane . To ensure that there is no damage to bud during further
actions it is advisable to keep the leaf covering eye intact.
• Loading cut sugarcane in vehicle for transportation to sowing sight.
Ensure that while loading sugarcane in the vehicle no damage due to throwing , pulling and pushing to cane bud will result.
• Transportation of sugarcane to sowing sight.
• The village roads are known to have ups and downs. The sugarcane bud  is likely to be damaged due to brushing. I feel keeping the leaves intact may reduce the damage. To avoid excessive movement of cane tying them tightly may reduce the eye damage.
• Unloading of cut sugarcane.
While unloading the cane do not throw them on the ground.    It is also ensential to keep the moisture contents of cane intact till pressing the setts in ground. To achieve this cover canes with gunny cloth and sprinkle water on the cloth.  Ensures water required for germination in the cane.
• Cutting of sugarcane in setts.
Use gunny cloth covered sugarcane for cutting. Ensure that cutting instrument is sharp. Use only flat wooden base. Avoid use of uneven base. Do not drag cane on the wooden base, it may damage the cane bud. Also ensure that cane bud is not resting on the base. This will damage the bud while string for cutting the cane. Keep cane eye on one side.
• Transportation of setts for first stage of sowing.
If there is likely time lag after cutting cane then cover the cut setts with gunny cloth and sprinkle water on the cloth.  In order to avoid such situation do not put the cane setts on the ridge. Instead put them directly in trough and press immediately.

• Spreding setts on ridge.( Varamba in Marathi)( Note this method is fallowed by majority of farmers.
We have to ensure that after sowing nearly 100% germination takes place. Germination depends on presence of water in region of cane bud. The water in this region initiates germination and due to absence of water it fails. To avoid the non germination do not  place setts on the ridge for long time as it will dry cane setts and water % will drop considerably. No or weak germination will be the result.

• Laying setts in trough ( SARI in Marathi)
As already pointed out do not put the sett in the ridge initially and then putting it in the trough for pressing.  Bring cut setts directly to finish sowing.
• Pressing setts in irrigated field.
Ensure that cane bud does not face upward. The pressure applied to press the sett in the soil may crush the bud. .
General guidelines - You may try dividing activities into simple steps. Then apply your knowledge to ensure good yield that with good quality. This is applicable to every crop. I am sure you will achieve target production. It may be noted no extra or very little extra expenditure is required for this as against  earnings.