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CTA. 1994. Self-stripping sugarcane. Spore 50. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49360
Harvesting sugarcane may soon become an easier task. Varieties are being developed in Colombia that drop their leaves just before the cane is ready for harvesting. This avoids the need to burn off the leaves. These self-stripping varieties could...
Harvesting sugarcane may soon become an easier task. Varieties are being developed in Colombia that drop their leaves just before the cane is ready for harvesting. This avoids the need to burn off the leaves. These self-stripping varieties could overcome many of the problems facing sugarcane farmers. Sugarcane that is harvested 'green', as it is called, is of better quality than cane from which the leaves have been burned. Green sugarcane contains higher levels of useful residues. These residues are a source of energy for the factory and provide the raw material for paper and other commodities. Processing is easier because there is less trash to handle at the factory. Harvesting should be easier since it is the leaves which make cutting hazardous and difficult unless burning has taken place. There are also environmental advantages, because there will be no need to burn the standing crop and pollute the atmosphere with smoke. The dropped leaves will act as a mulch and will help to build up soil fertility, control weeds and conserve water. At CENICANA, the Colombian sugar research institute near Cali, Dr James Cock, the Director, has developed varieties that already have the leaf-falling characteristic. He hopes to improve their sugar content to higher than the 11% content of present varieties, and he also hopes to improve the varieties still further so that they grow with thicker, more erect stems. This will make cutting easier quicker and more profitable for the canecutters. CENICANA Calle 58N No 3N-15, AA 9138 Cali, COLOMBIA