Sugar cane plant or Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) belongs to the family of Poaceae the same family as grass, a flowering plant family that includes maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum, as well as many forage crops which makes it highly economical.
It is regarded as a species of tall hybrid perennial grasses because it grows in the form of tall, narrow stalks, or canes.
Sugar cane is popularly known amongst the hausa tribe as rekeh
Sugarcane contains minerals such as; calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, sodium, potassium.
Aside from the production of sugar cane juice, the sugar cane plant is also grown for biofuel production, particularly in Brazil, because the canes can be directly used to produce ethyl alcohol (ethanol).
Straw and bagasse (cane fibers), byproducts of cane sugar processing, can be used to make cellulosic ethanol, a second-generation biofuel.
Molasses, rum, and cachaça (a Brazilian alcohol) are other sugarcane products, and the plant itself can be used as thatch and livestock fodder.
One interesting fact about planting sugar cane is that it doesn’t require too much maintenance compared to other grasses during the winter period.
It is more advisable to plant sugar cane during the rainy season for it grows well and into a tall sprout bamboo.
Sugar cane has so many domestic uses and it can be used in making sugar cane juice.
Table sugar is also being extracted from sugar cane which is used in the production of ethanol when fermented.
We will be sharing tips on how to plant sugar cane and also how to make your sugar cane juice at home.
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How to Grow Sugar Cane in a Sugar Cane Farm
(1) Select Healthy Sugar Cane Plants
First and foremost before setting up your sugar cane farm, you should ensure that your sugar cane plants are in place.
You can easily get these plants during the harvest season, by going to a nearby sugar cane farm or any grocery store you know that sells such.
Make sure you look for the ones with healthy, long, and thick stems.
The stems have joints, and a new plant will sprout from each joint.
Buy as many items as you need to produce the sizing sugar cane crop farm you want.
(2) Split the Sugar Cane Stems
When splitting the stems, ensure that you remove any leaves or flowers on them and also divide each stem into three pieces.
(3) Dig Furrows on the Planting Spot
Make sure you dig the trench properly, as the sugar cane stem will be planted horizontally, in each horizontal trenches, ensure you dig these trenches in a sunny spot, to yield a better result.
Make sure that these trenches are long enough for the stems to fit in.
(4) Moisten the Furrows
You can use a pipe hose to lightly moisten the furrows.
Make sure that the water has dried after moistening, before planting.
(5) Plant the Sugar Cane
You should take note that, the stems are being planted horizontally, so ensure that you place the stems in the furrows horizontally.
After planting, during the spring season, you will see nodes of the stems breaking through the soil individually, forming a cane stalk.
Growing a healthy sugar cane is not an easy task, as you have to ensure they are being watered and taken care of to yield positive growth.
However, there are a few necessary steps that you need to take to ensure your sugar cane grows properly.
Sugar Cane Growing Care Guide
(1) Application of Fertilizer
Using fertilizer on your sugar cane is a good approach to growing a healthy sugar cane bamboo.
Since it is a type of grass, it is advisable to use Nitrogen-rich fertilizer for this job.
You can either go for organic fertilizer or a standard grass fertilizer.
Fertilizing will help your sugar canes grow strong and healthy.
Constant weeding is necessary, which is one of the most tedious parts of growing a healthy sugar cane because you have to do it constantly until after harvest.
Because these weeds could choke the new sprouts, so, therefore, you should employ a good weeding mechanism.
(3) Monitor for Pest and Disease
Ensure you constantly check your crop for pests and diseases, pests such as insects and borers can impact the sugar canes.
Therefore, take preventive measures to discourage pests and diseases whenever possible.
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Pest and Diseases Mitigation Strategy
(a) Ensure you get varieties of sugar cane crops that are resistant to diseases that are known to affect the growth.
(b) Application of pesticides and fungicides will be an overhead for mitigating anti-growth agents.
(c) Removing of the infected plant.
Steps to Harvest the Sugar Cane
(1) The first step is to use a cutlass or probably a saw to cut the sugar cane as close to the ground as possible, so you will be able to make use of as much of the plant as possible.
(2) Try as much as you cannot damage the root while chopping the bamboo.
It’s advisable not to damage the root of your established sugar cane, it will save you the stress of replanting it again after harvesting.
If you leave the roots in the ground, your sugar cane will come up again next year.
Remove the flowers or leaves from the cut sugar cane.
Make sure you wear gloves when removing the leaves, they are quite sharp.
Although the leaves being removed cannot be regarded as waste as they can be used to cover up the planting bed, the leaves will act as an organic mulch that will protect the sugar cane roots.
If you don’t have enough leaves to cover the whole bed, use some extra straw to finish the job.
How to Make Sugar Cane Juice
Sugar cane is very healthy and it comes along with tons of health benefits.
However, here are tips on how to make sugar cane juice.
(a) Get fresh sugar canes and wash them properly to remove dirt, peel the outer layer of the sugar cane properly with a knife.
(b) After washing and peeling the sugar canes, you can then blend them along with other optional additives like ginger, add water and grind it until it’s well ground.
(c) Pour the sugar cane extract along with the juice into a container big enough to contain it after blending.
(d) Now you can filter the extract, you can use a muslin cloth to do this task.
Ensure you squeeze it very well to get the sugar cane juice out. After getting your juice into a container, you can dash, lemons into it, if you want.
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