chapter  16
4 Pages

Planting the Cane

Cane is grown in two ways. In the first instance seed cane is cut into pieces (setts) carrying two joints or nodes, at each of which there is a single bud, or eye. The seed cane used in this process is usually ten months old. The setts are placed manually, end to end, in furrows which have been fertilised with urea. The seed cane is covered with soil and herbicides are applied in two doses: one immediately, the other two months later. The second method is 'ratoon' cropping, where new shoots grow from the roots of the previously cropped cane. The latter is preferred since it is cheaper and easier, requiring less land preparation and only one application of herbicide, albeit there are limitations on the number of ratoons.