Sugarcane(Saccharum officinarum); Poaceae

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.

  • Sugarcane, Saccharum officinarum  L is a perennial grass.
  • It belongs to bamboo family and it is indigenous to India.
  • It is the main source of sugar, jaggery and khandsari.
  • About two-thirds of the total sugarcane produced in India is consumed for making jaggery and khandsari and only one third of it goes to sugar factories.
  • It also provides raw material for manufacturing alcohol.
  • Brazil is largest producer of sugarcane followed by India, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico.
  • In India, Maharashtra is largest producer of sugar and it contributes about 34% of sugar in country followed by Uttar Pradesh.

Varieties:- The ruling varieties of sugarcane in different States are given as under: 

  • Andhra Pradesh: 

Early varieties: Co.6907, 84A125, 81A99, 83A30, 85A261, 87A298, Co.8014,  86V96, 91V83. 

Mid-late Varieties: COA7607, CO8021, COT.8201, Co7805, COV92102 (83V15),  83V288. 

Late varieties: Co.7219, CoR8001, 87A380, Co7706 

  • Bihar: Bo 99, CoP 9301, CoSe 98231, CoS 8436, Cos 95255, Bo 102, Bo 91, Bo 110, CoP 9206, CoSe 95422, CoSe 92423, UP 9530. 
  • Gujarat: Co 86002, Co 86032, CoSi 95071, Co 86249, CoN 05072. 
  • Haryana: CoJ 64, CoS 8436, CoS 88230, CoS 767. 
  • Karnataka: Co 94012, CoC 671, Co 92020, Co 8014, Co 86032, Co 62175, Co 8371, Co 740, Co 8011. 
  • Maharashtra: CoC 671, Co 86032, Co 8011, Co 94012, CoM 265, Co 92005.
  •  Odisha:Co 62175, CoA 89085, Co 87A298, Co86V96 
  • Punjab: CoJ 85, CoJ 88, CoS8436, CoH 119, Co89003. 
  • Tamil Nadu: Co 94012, Co 94010, CoC 24. 
  • Uttar Pradesh:CoS 8436, Coj 64, CoS88230, CoS 98231, CoS 767, CoS 8432, CoPt 90223, CoS 92423, CoS97264, CoLk 8102. 
Uttrakhand: CoS 8436, CoS 88230, Cos 767, CoS 97264, CoSe 92423
1. Co 118:
Early season variety.
  • The canes of this variety are medium thick, greenish yellow color.
  • It is tolerant to red rot and frost.
  • It performs well under high fertility condition with frequent irrigation.
  • Gives average yield of 320 qtl/acre.
2.CoJ 64:
  • It is early season variety.
  • It gives good germination, profuse tillering and good ratooner.
  • It produces good quality of jaggery.
  • It is highly susceptible to red rot.
  • Gives average yield of 300 qtl /acre.
3.Co 238:
  • Mid-season variety.
  • It has tall thick greenish canes with prominent weather.
  • It is tolerant to red rot and top borer.
  • It is an average ratooner.
  • Gives average yield of 365 qtl /acre.
4.CoJ 89:
  • It is suitable for late planting.
  • It is resistive to red rot, easy to detrash and non-lodging.
  • It gives average yield is 326 qtl /acre.
5.Co 1148:
  • Applicable for late sowing.
  • Good germinator with profuse tillering, excellent ratooning capacity.
  • It produces medium quality jaggery.
  • It is highly susceptible to red rot.
  • It gives average yield of 375 qtl /acre.
6.CoH 110:
  1. It is late maturing variety.
7.Co 7717:
  • Early maturing, high sugar content variety.
  • It gives moderately resistant to red rot.
  • Also having good juice content and maintaining this property for long period.
8.CoH 128:
  • Early maturing variety of sugarcane.
9.CoPb 93:
  • The variety is red rot disease and frost tolerant.
  • This variety contains 16-17% of sucrose in November and 18% of sucrose content in December.
  • It gives an average cane yield of 335 qtl/acre.
  • It gives good quality of jaggery.
10.CoPb 94:
  • This variety contains 16% of sucrose in November and 19% of sucrose content in December.
  • It gives an average cane yield of 400 qtl /acre.
Other States varieties:
Cos 91230: Gives average yield of 280 qtl /acre.
Co Pant 90223: Gives average yield of 350 qtl /acre.
CoH 92201: Early maturing variety, gives average yield of 300 qtl /acre.
Cos 95255: Early maturing variety, gives average yield of 295 qtl /acre.
CoS 94270: Gives average yield of 345 qtl /acre.
CoH 119: Early maturing variety, gives average yield of 345 qtl /acre.
Co 9814: Early maturing variety, gives average yield of 320 qtl /acre.
  • Well drained, deep, loamy soil with ground water table below 1.5-2 m from the soil surface with adequate water holding capacity is ideal for sugarcane cultivation.
  • It can tolerate considerable degree of acidity and alkalinity so it can be grown on soil, ranging from 5 to 8.5.
  • If soil is low in pH (less than 5) add lime in soil and for high pH (more than 9.5) do gypsum application.
  •  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.
  • Temperature requirement for different growth stages of sugarcane


    Critical Stages of  


    Max. Temp.  


    Min. Temp.  



    Humidity (%)







    Grand growth 








  • Temperature – 20-30°C
  • Rainfall – 75-150cm
  • Sowing Temperature – 20-25°C
  • Harvesting Temperature – 20-30°C
Preparation of Land-
At the time of land preparation make sure follow given recommendation-
  • Deep Ploughing with 15 to 30 cm depth for destroy soil borne diseases.
  •  Remove all plant debris, weed, previous crop residue in to the field and burn them.
  •  After deep ploughing follow harrowing or rotavator operation for the levelling of land and proper aeration or fine tilth.
  •  Prepare furrow 60-100 cm apart form optimum growth.
  • Divide the field into plots for the proper watering to the field crop.

Time of sowing

  • In Punjab, planting season of sugarcane is from September to October and February to March.
  • Sugarcane takes generally one year to mature therefore called as Eksali.

Row spacing is ranges from 60-120 cm for sub-tropical regions.

Sowing Depth
Sow the sugarcane at depth of 3-4 cm and cover it with soil.

Method of sowing

A) For sowing use improved method of planting like deep furrow, trench method, paired row method or ring pit method.

1) Dry planting in ridges and furrow:

  • With the help of tractor drawn ridger, make ridges and furrows at distance of 90 cm.
  • Plant sugarcane setts then cover it with soil.
  • After then give light irrigation.

2) Paired row planting:

  • Make Trenches at 150 cm distance using trenches opener.
  • Plant sugarcane in paired row using 30:30-90-30:30 cm spacing.
  • It gives higher yield as compared to ridges and furrow.

3) Ring Pit method:

  • Circular pits of 60 cm diameters are dug at depth of 30 cm with a tractor mounted digger.
  • 60 cm gap is provided between adjacent pits. 2-3 ratoons can be taken.
  • 25-50% higher yield can be obtained compared to ridge and furrow.

B) Single budded set planting:

  • Select healthy setts for plantation.
  • Make furrows at distance of 75-90 cm. Place single budded setts.
  • If only small size setts from top portion of cane are selected then they are planted at distance of 6″-9″.
  • Place eye of sett on upward direction to ensure proper and quick germination.
  • Cover setts with soil and apply light irrigation.


  • Various research and experiment shows that, germination percentage of 3 bud sets is higher than the setts having more or less than three buds.
  • Germination percentage of single bud sett is very low because of moisture loss from other cut end.
  • Also if whole can stalk is planted without giving any cut, still germination percentage remain low as only top end will get germinate.
  • Seed rate vary from region to region.
  • In North West India, seed rate is high because of low germination percentage and adverse weather i.e hot weather with desiccating winds.
  • Use seed rate of 20,000 three budded setts per acre.
  • Seed Treatment
    Take seed material from crop of 6-7 months age.
  • It should be free from pest and disease.
  • Discard pest, disease affected and damaged buds and canes.
  • Harvest seed crop one day before planting, it will give high and uniform germination.
  • The setts should be soaked in Carbendazim @ 3 gm in 1litre of water. After chemical treatment treat with  Azospirillum.
  • For that dip setts in Azospirillum inoculum @ 800 gm/acre +sufficient water solution for 15 min before planting.  
  • Soil Treatment
    Suspended 5 kg of bio fertilizer per acre in 10 litres of water & mixed with thoroughly with 80-100 kg of FYM.
  • The mixed bio fertilizer in FYM is sprinkled over cane setts in the rows of planting. Immediately rows should be covered.

1. 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.

2. Detrashing

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

3. Propping

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

4.Top Dressing with Fertilizers

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


  • Azospirillum is the common biofertilizer recommended for N nutrition which could colonize the roots of sugarcane 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 Biofert-I). Phosphobacteria as P-solubiliser are recommended for sugarcane crop
  • 1.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.
  • 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 60 th and 90 th 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.

Fertigation schedule for Sugarcane (kg/ha)
Crop stage(days after planting)NitrogenPhosphorusPotassium
61 -9056.5020.5014.50


181 -12010.500.0035.00


1.Early shoot borer: Chilo infuscatellus snellen


  • Attacked in germination stage upto internodes formations.
  • Larva make holes in shoot below the ground level and then enter into it thus causes dead heart.
  • It give offensive smell. It is mostly observed in light soil and in dry weather.
  • Pest is active from March – June.


  • Avoid late plantation.
  • Apply Chlorpyriphos@1litres/acre with 100-150 litres of water over the setts placed on furrows with the help of rosecan.
  • Remove dead heart infected plants.
  • Give light irrigation and avoid drying of field.


2.White Grub:Holotrichia consanguinea


  • These feed on root system and thus damage to crop.
  • Entire drying up of stalks and easily dislodging of cane are main symptoms for white grub infestation.
  • They congregate on the nearby trees and feed on their leaves during night.
  •  White grubs prefer light clay soils rich in organic matter; aeration; moisture and soil temperature around 25ºC
  • Management-
  • To destroy beetles spray Imidacloprid@4-6ml/10Ltr of water on plants of nearby sugarcane plants.
  • Plough the field and exposes the beetles resting in the soil.
  • Do not delay crop sowing.
  • Before sowing treat cane with Chlorpyriphos.
  • Apply Phorate @ 4kg or carbofuran@13 kg per acre in the soil at or before sowing. In heavily infested fields, flooding is to be done for 48 hrs.
  • Do drenching of Clothianidin @40 gm/acre with 400 Ltr of water using cane.

3.Termites: Odontotermes obesus Rhamb


  • Before sowing do cane treatment.
  • Dip setts in imidacloprid solution @ 4ml /10 Ltr for 2 min or at time planting spray Chlorpyriphos @ 2litre /acre on setts.



  • Severe pest of North India.
  • Adult suck leaf sap under the surface of leaves.
  • They secretes honey like substance and attract sooty mould fungi, due to this leaves become blackish.
  • At regular interval, collect and destroy white-puffy egg masses.
  • In severe infestation spray with Dimethoate or Acephate@ 1-1.5ml/Ltr of water. 

5.Root borer:


  • Borer enter into root zone of shoot below ground.
  • Infestation is high from July onward.
  • Due to infestation yellowing of leaves from leaf apex to downwards along the margin is seen.


  • Before sowing do cane treatment with Chlorpyriphos.
  • In dry field infestation is low so keep field dry and clean, avoid water logging condition in field.
  • Carry out earthing operation at 90 days.
  • If infestation is observed in field, do drenching with Chlorpyriphos 20 EC@1Ltr/acre with 100-150 Ltr of water near the root zone or do granular application of Quinalphos@300ml/acre.
  • Remove infected cane and destroyed it away from field.

6.Stalk Borer:


  • It is active from July onwards with onset of monsoon.
  • Larvae feeds on inner surface of leaf sheath, mid rib and stalk.
  • It can attack any region of stalk. Infestation continues from cane formation to harvest.


  • Avoid excess use of nitrogen, keep field clean and provide proper drainage. Provide earthing up to prevent crop from lodging.
  • Chemical control is rarely effective.
  • Release parasitoid, Cotesia flavipes @ 800 mated females/acre at weekly interval from July to November.

7.Top Borer: 


  • It attacks crops from tillering to maturity phase.
  • Larvae makes tunnels into midribs causes white streak which later turns brown.
  • If infestation occurs during tillering phase, the attacked shoots dies resulting in dead heart formation.
  • If it attacks on grown up canes, apical growth is arrested resulting in bunchy top symptoms.


  • To control do drenching of Rynaxypyr 20SC@60ml/acre in 100-150 Ltr of water in between period of month end of April to first week of May.
  • Maintain proper drainage in soil, as water logging increases top borer incidence. 

8.Sugarcane Wooly Aphid: Ceratovacuna lanigera


  • Congregation of large number of white coloured nymphs and adults on the under surface of leaf.
  • Yellowing and drying of leaves from the tip along the margins.
  • Leaves become brittle and dries completely.
  • Heavy secretion of honey dew leads to development of sooty mold.
  • Deposition of wooly matter on ground / soil distinctly visible.


Cultural method:

  • Paired row system of planting.
  • Avoid excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers.
  • Use of organic fertilizers.
  • Rapping of canes all along the rows.
  • Infested tops should not be transported.
  • Infested canes should not be used as seed material for planting.

Biological method:

  • Encourage natural predators viz., Diapha aphidivora , Ishchiodon scutellaris, Episyrphus baleatus, Chrysopa sp., Schymnus sp., Cheilomenes sexmaculata, Coccinella septempunctata, Synnonycha grandis, Brumus sp. and Dideopsis aegrota
  • Pathogens like Cladosporium oxysporum, Metarhizium anisopliae, Verticillium lecanii and Beauveria bassiana
  • Release Encarsia flavoscutellum

Chemical method:

  • Dip the seed sets in Chlorpyripos 20 EC solution (2 ml / lit) before planting.
  • Apply phorate 10 G @ 5kg / ac or Spray with acephate75 SP 1g / lit Chlorpyriphos 20 EC 2 ml / lit
  • Spray Malathion 50 EC 2 ml / lit
  • Dimethoate 30 EC 1.7 ml / lit, Oxydemeton methyl 25 EC 1.3 ml / lit, or Dusting with Malathion 5% dust @ 10 kg / ac.

9.Whiteflies: Aleurolobus barodensis


  • Yellowing of leaves and later it shows pale in colour
  • Leaf turns pinkish or purple and later gradually dry.
  • Infested leaves look white and black dots.
  • In severe cases it look like fiery appearance
  • It shows very slow in growth of plant


Cultural method:

  • Avoid water stagnation and provide proper drainage facilities
  • Detrashing of cane at the 5th and 7 th month
  • Avoid the excess application of fertilizers

Physical method:

  • Detrashing the puparia bearing leaves and immediately disposing by burning or burying to prevent emergence of adult white flies.
  • Ensure adequate irrigation which facilitates the soil moisture and reduces the multiplication.

Chemical method:

  • Spray fenitrothion 50 EC @ 2 lit / ha (1000 lit spray fluid)
  • Spray thiamethoxan 25 WG @ 125g/ha, 750 litres of spray fluid.   
  • Spraying acephate 2g per lit of water.the spray has to be repeated after a month to kill the nymphs emerging from eggs
  • Application of chlorpyriphos @ 1250 lit spray fluid by using hand sprayer

10.Mealybug: Saccharicoccus sacchari


  • Pinkish oval insects beneath leaf sheath on the nodes, with whitish mealy coating.
  • Main cane stunned also attack roots.
  • Sooty mould develops on the honey dew giving blackish appearance on canes which attack the black ants
  • Yellowing of leaves


Cultural method:

  • Use resistant varieties like CO 439, CO 443, CO 720, CO 730 and CO 7704
  • Drain excess water from the field.

Physical method:

  • Detrash the crop on 150 and 210 DAP
  • Avoid excess usage of Nitrogen fertilizers

Chemical method:

  • Apply any one of the following insecticides per ha and when the incidence is noticed spray on the stem only, methyl parathion 50 EC 1000 ml, malathion 50 EC 1000 ml.
  • If severe infestation is noticed, detrash and spray with dimethoate 30 EC @ 1 ml/ lit mixed with fish oil resin  soap @ 2.5 ml/lit. Direct the spray on the growing point and clump region and in the soil below the clump.

11.Scale Insects: Melanaspis glomerata


  • The leaves of infested canes show signs of tip drying and unhealthy pale green colour and severe infestation causes yellowing.
  • Ultimately cane dries up. Such canes when slit open appear brownish red. 
  • Thick brown encrustations are seen on the nodal and internodal regions in severely affected canes.


Cultural method:

  • Use resistant varieties like CO 439, CO 443, CO 453, CO 671, CO 691 and CO 692
  • Select and plant the scale insect free setts.
  • Keep the fields and bunds free from weeds.
  • Avoid water stagnation in the field for a longer period.
  • Avoid repeated ratoons.

Physical method:

  • Detrash the crop at the 150th and 210th day of planting.
  • Setts should be dipped in dichlorvos at 1ml per lit of water and placed in cement bags with the mouth tied and transported to planting area

Biological method:

  • Release Chilocorus nigritus (or) Pharascymnus horni egg card @ 5cc/ac
  • Also release hymenopteran parasitoides like anabrotepis mayurai, cheiloneurus sp and predatory mites like saniosulus nudus and tyrophagus puttseartiae which feed on scale insect.

Chemical method:

  • Pre-soak the setts in 0.1% solution malathion.
  • Spray dimethoate @ 2ml/ lit along with sticker after detrashing.
  • Apply contact insecticides like dichlorvos or any @ 2ml/lit of water by using hand sprayer.

10.Grasshoppers: Hieroglyphus banyan


  • Adult and nymph grasshoppers feed on leaves from the margins of leaf blades creating cut out areas during the solitary stage.
  • Finally it leaves only the leaf midrib


Cultural method:

  • Tillage – Tillage controls grasshoppers primarily by eliminating the green plants on which grasshoppers feed.

Biological method:

  • Baits containing the protozoan Nosema locustae is a biological control option that may be considered for treating grasshopper breeding sites.
  • This is sold under the trade names Nolobait or Semaspore and can produce infection of many species of grasshoppers. Because it is selective in effects, only affecting grasshoppers.

1.Yellow Leaf disease


  • This disease affects the 5 to 6 months crop.
  • Yellowing of midrib and adjacent laminar region also yellowing.
  • Subsequent leaf drying along the mid rib in 3 to 5 leaves from top.
  • In matured cane this disease will spreads heavily
  • The virus is transmitted by aphids, Melanaphis sacchari and Rhopalosiphum maidis, in a semi-persistent manner.

Management strategies

Cultural method:

  • Selection of disease free setts for planting
  • Field should be maintain with proper hygiene
  • Application proper nutritional management and use resistant varieties.

Chemical method:

  • Secondary transmission of the disease by insect vectors can be controlled by application of Malathion(0.1%) or Dimecron (0.2%).
  • Soil application of carbofuran @2.0 kg./ha or phorate @ 6.0 kg./ha
  • Two sprayings of malathion @ 1.5 kg /ha at monthly intervals during September and October after detrashing of dry leaves.

2.Smut: Ustilago scitaminea


  • Production of whip like structure ( 25 – 150 cm) from the growing point of the canes.
  • Whip covered by translucent silvery membrane enclosing mass of black powdery spores.
  • Profuse sprouting of lateral buds with narrow, erect leaves especially in ratoon crop.
  • Favourable condition- Monoculturing of sugarcane. Continuous ratooning and dry weather during the tillering stage. 

Identification of Pathogen:

  • The fungal mycelium spores are echinulate, light brown and spherical, measuring 6.5 – 8.5 µ in diameter.
  • They germinate readily in water, producing 2-3 celled promycelium.
  • Sporidia arise terminally or laterally and are hyaline, thin walled, single celled and elliptical to linear.

Management strategies:

Cultural method:

  • Growing of resistant and moderately resistant varieties viz., Co 86249, CoG 93076, CoC 22, CoSi 6 and CoG 5
  • Discourage ratooning of the diseased crops having more than 10 per cent infection
  • Cajanus cajan can be grown as a companion crop between rows of sugarcane, and the secondary spread of the disease is substantially reduced.

Physical method:

  • Treating the seed setts with Aerated Steam Therapy (AST) at 50 ºC for 1 hour or in hot water at 50 ºC for 30 minutes or at 52 ºC for 18 minutes
  • Roguing of smut whips with gunny bags/polythene bag and dipped in boiling water for 1 hour, and diseased clums must be uprooted and burnt.

Chemical method:

  • Sett treatment with fungicides viz., Triadimefon @ 1gm in 1 litre of water or Carbendazim @ 1gm in 1 litre of water for 10 minutes.
  • Spray on infected stools with a small amount of a 10% solution of roundup, using a small hand held sprayer.
  • In severe cases spray the entire block with glyphosate (360 G/L) at 5-7 lit/ha

3.Rust: Puccinia erianthi


  • The earliest symptoms are small, elongated yellowish spots that are visible on both leaf surfaces.
  • The spots increase in length, turn brown to orange-brown or red-brown in color, which coalesced and formed large, irregular necrotic areas, thus it shows the rusty appearance of leaf.
  • This eventually resulted in premature death of the leaves.

Favourable Conditions 

  • Temperature of 30˚C. 
  • Humidity between 70 and 90 per cent. 
  • High wind velocity and continuous cloudiness.  

Management strategies                                           

Cultural method

  • The best means of control for sugarcane rust is to grow resistant varieties Use resistant varieties like Co 91010 (Dhanush), Co 87025 (Kalyani)
  • Affected leaves should be remove and burn immediately
  • Sugarcane grown in fields receiving recent applications of mill mud is typically very prone to rust

Chemical method

  • Spray Tridemorph 1.0 litres or Mancozeb 2.0 kg/ha.
  • Use dithane M 45 @ 2 g/lit for one spraying.
  • Application of triazole or strobilurin or pyraclostrobin fungicide @ 3 g/ lit of water

4.Red Rot:


  • From top, third and fourth leaves show yellowing and drying.
  • At later stage show discoloured lesion on rind.
  • If split the diseased stalk show reddening of internal tissue.
  • A sour and alcoholic smell emanates from the infected cane. 
  • Favourable Conditions :
    • Monoculturing of sugarcane. 
    • Successive ratoon cropping. 
    • Waterlogged conditions and injuries caused by insects.


  • To control grow disease resistance varieties.
  • Discard cane which show reddening at cut end and at the nodal region.
  • Do crop rotation with paddy or with green manure crops.
  • If infestation is observed remove the crop and destroyed it away from field. Disinfect soil around the diseased clump with Carbendazim@0.1% solution.



  • Root borer, nematodes, termite, drought and water logging condition cause plant to wilt infection.
  • Crown leaves turn yellow and loose turgor and withers.
  • Boat shape cavities appears in pith region and crop get shrink.
  • It reduces germination and reduces yield.


  • Use disease free setts for planting.
  • Do setts treatments with Carbendazim @0.2% + Boric acid@ 0.2% for 10min. Intercropping with onion, garlic and coriander will reduces the wilt disease.

6.Sett rot: Ceratocytis paradoxa


  • When diseased setts are planted they may rot before germination, or the shoots may die after reaching a height of about 6-12 inches.
  • If the affected shoots and setts are examined the central portion of the shoots will be seen discoloured red and the contents of the sett rotting.
  • When split opened, the affected setts exhibit pineapple odour.

Favourable Conditions –

  • Poorly drained fields. 
  • Heavy clay soils 
  • Temperature of 25-30o C 
  • Prolonged rainfall after planting

Management strategies:

Cultural method:

  • Healthy setts should be obtained from disease free fields
  • Proper drainage and planting of setts in 1-2 cm depth.
  • Avoid deep planting during monsoon season

Chemical Method:

  • Dipping the setts in 40 ppm of boron or manganese, or spraying the plants with either of these minor elements reduces the disease intensity.
  • sett treatment with fungicide like Bavistin, 0.1 per cent before planting
  • Apply carbendazim @ 2gm/lit of water at the root zone area and same as follow at 15 days interval

7.Grassy shoot disease –


  • Initial symptom appears in the young crop of 3 – 4 months age as thin papery white young leaves at the top of the cane.
  • Later, white or yellow tillers appear in large number below these leaves (profuse tillering).
  • The cane becomes stunted with reduced internodal length with axillary bud sprouting.

Management strategies

Cultural method:

  • Growing resistant varieties viz., Co 86249, CoG 93076 and CoC 22
  • Avoid ratooning if Grassy Shoot Disease incidence is more than 15 % in the plant crop
  • Uprooted infected plants need to disposed of by burning them.

Physical method:

  • Rogue out infected plants in the secondary and commercial seed nursery.
  • Treat the setts with aerated steam at 50°C for 1 hour to control primary infection.
  • Treating them with hot air at 540C for 8 hours and spraying twice a month with aphicides.

Chemical method

  • Spray dimethoate @ 1ml in 1 litre of water to control insect vector
  • Apply pesticide methyl-demeton @ 2ml /lit of water for controlling aphids.


Deficiency Symptoms:

  • All leaves of sugarcane exhibit a yellow – green colour.
  • Die back of older leaves
  • Premature drying of older leaves.
  • Roots attain a greater length but are smaller in diameter.

Correction Measure :

Soil application of N fertilizer or Foliar spray of Urea 1-2% twice at weekly interval.


Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Colour of the leaves in greenish blue or red – purple discolouration on tips and margins, narrow and somewhat reduce in length.
  • Reduction in length of sugarcane stalks, diameters of which taper rapidly at growing points.
  • Poor or no tillering.
  • Decreased shoot / root ratio with restricted root development.

Corrective Measure

      • Foliar spray of DAP 2% twice at fortnight interval

Applying large amounts upto 1 tonne/ha of rock phosphate

Application of triple super phosphate @ 0.5 to 0.75 kg /ha


Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Depressed growth
  • Yellowing and marginal drying of older leaves and
  • Development of slender stalks.
  • Bunchy top appearance.
  • Poor root growth with less member of root hairs.

Correction Measure :

Foliar spray of KCl 1% twice at fortnightly interval



Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Minute chlorotic spots with dead centers which later become dark reddish-brown. 
  • Plants weak with thin stalks and soft rid. Growth is retarded.

Correction Measure :

Soil application of 100kg/ha of Gypsum



Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Young leaves are light green or yellowish-green with smaller chlorotic  spots that become  dark brown. 
  • Rusty or freckled appearance spotting pronounced on the older leaves. 
  • Stalks show internal browning.

Correction Measure :

  • Soil application of MgSO4 25kg/ha 
  • Foliar spray of MgSO4 2% twice at fortnight interval
Diagnosing sulphur deficiency in cereals | Agriculture and Food

Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Plants have an off-color or yellowish-green appearance like N deficiency the youngest leaves are more chlorotic.
  • Stalks short thin and leaf area reduced.
Correction Measure :

Foliar spray of K2SO­4 1% twice at fortnight interval

7. Boron


Deficiency Symptoms

  • Leaves become smaller; malformed leaves

Correction Measure

Foliar spray of borax@0.2-0.5%



Deficiency Symptoms

  • Symptoms occur in young leaves; leaves become yellow in color with smaller in size

Correction Measure

Foliar spray of CuSO4@2%



Deficiency Symptoms :

  • A chlorosis in young leaves increases to a uniform yellow a gray metallic purplish luster develops on the appear surface.
  • Upward curving of blade margins.

Correction Measure :

Foliar spray of MnSO4@1-2%



Deficiency Symptoms :

Light greening or yellowing first appears in younger leaves followed by pitting, collapse and drying of interveinal tissue, leaving the veins green

Correction Measure :

Foliar spray of ZnSO4@0.5%



Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Resembles S deficiency. 
  • Pitting develops along the veins.

Correction Measure :

Foliar spray of sodium molybdate@2mg/litre


Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Young leaves where pale stripes with scanty chlorophyll content occur between parallel lines.
  • Leaves turn completely white, even in the veins and midribs.
  • Restricted Root growth.
  • stunted appearance with constricted internodes

Corrective Measure :

  • Foliar spraying of 250-500g of ferrous sulphate dissolved in 100 lit of water or Soil application of 25kg/ha of ferrous sulphate or
  • Application of 100 kg of ferrous sulphate mixed with 12.5 tonnes of farmyard manure for one hectare (or)
  • The foliar spraying may be repeated at an interval of 7-10 days depending upon on the severity of the disorder
  • In sugarcane due to weed infestation about 12 to 72% yield loss is observed depending upon severity.
  • Initial 60-120 days are critical for weed management.
  • Therefore weed management practices should be adopt within 3-4 months after planting. For control of weeds, chemical is not only solution.
  • Adopting mechanical as well as cultural practices gives effective solution.

1) Mechanical Measure:

  • As sugarcane is widely space crop, weeding with hand or interculture operation can be easily carried out.
  • Take 3-4 hoeing after every irrigation.

2) Cultural Operations:

  • It included change in cropping pattern, intercropping and trash mulching.
  • Monocropping leads to heavy infestation of weed.
  • Crop rotation with fodder or green manure crops suppress weeds.
  • Also sugarcane is wider space crop so there is opportunity for weed to grow in large numbers.
  • If sugarcane is intercrop with short duration crops then it will suppress the weed growth also give additional benefit.
  • In trash mulching, mulch of 10-12cm thickness is provided in between cane row after emergence of cane.
  • It will restrict the sunlight thus help to check weed growth. It also conserved soil moisture.

3) Chemical:

  • To control weeds, carry out pre-emergence weedicide application with Simazine or Atrazine@600-800 g/acre or Metribuzine @ 800 g/acre or Diuron@1- 1.2 kg/acre.
  • Apply pre-emergence herbicides immediately after planting.
  • Apply 2,4-D@250-300 g/acre as post-emergence herbicide for broad-spectrum weed control in sugarcane.

Weed Management in Pure Crop of Sugarcane 

  • 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.
  • If pre-emergence spray is not carried out, go in for post-emergence spray of  Grammaxone 2.5 litre + 2,4-D sodium salt 2.5 kg/ha in 500 litre of water on    21st day  of planting. 
  • If the parasitic weed striga is a problem, post-emergence application of 2,4-D sodium  salt @ 1.25 kg/ha in 500 litre of water/ha may be done. 2, 4-D spraying should be  avoided when the 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 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 rotundas) 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. 
  • vii. Remove the weeds along the furrows with 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.

  • The number of irrigations required will depending upon soil type, water availability etc. The hot weather associated with dry winds and drought increases the water requirement of the crop.
  • Apply first irrigation when 20-25% crops have germinated.
  • In monsoon, apply irrigation depending upon rainfall intensity and frequency.
  • In case of scanty rainfall apply irrigation with 10 days interval.
  • Afterwards increase irrigation intervals, i.e apply water with 20-25 days interval.
  • To conserved moisture in soil do mulching in between cane rows.
  • Avoid water stress from April to June.
  • Water stress during these days will reduce yield. Avoid water logging in standing field.
  • Tillering stage and elongation or grand growth phase are critical for 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)

  • 10 days during tillering phase (36 – 100 days after  planting),

  • 7 days during grand growth phase (101 – 270 days after planting) and

  • 15 days during the maturity phase (271 days after planting up to harvest) adjusting  it to the rainfall pattern of the area.

  • About 30 to 40 irrigations are needed

Earthing :

  • Soil between the furrows of canes, is taken with the help of spade and applied to the sides of the plants.
  • It help to mix top dressed fertilizer well within the soil, also it help to support plant and prevent it from lodging.

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, grand growth and maturity phases respectively.
  • The irrigation intervals in each phase are given below:

Drip Irrigation:

  • Planting setts obtained from 6-7 months old healthy nursery and planted in paired row planting system with the spacing of 30 x 30 x 30 / 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 at 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.
  • Harvesting of cane at right time is necessary for good yield and for high sugar recovery.
  • Harvesting at over aged or under aged cane leads to loss in cane yield.
  • Depending upon withering of leaves and cane juice, harvesting time can be decided.
  • To know the right harvesting time some farmer used hand sugar refractometer is used.
  • Sickles are used for harvesting.
  • Stalks are cut at ground level so that the bottom sugar rich internodes are harvested which add to yield and sugar.
  • De-topping at appropriate height. After harvesting quick disposal of the harvested cane to factory is necessary.
Sugarcane provides a juice, which is used for making white sugar, and jaggery (gur) and many by products like bagasse and molasses.