A good land preparation is the foundation for good cane growth and maximum cane production over a cane cycle of 6-7 years. If the foundation is well done, the cane field will flourish. Here are some simple steps to follow:
1. 20 -25 days before planting cane on a fallow land or before replanting, spray 1.6 liters per acre of glyphosate to kill the old ratoons as well as grass weeds.
2.Best results for a good land preparation are obtained, when the soil is humid but not wet.
3.Respect the sequence of land preparation:
•Deep Plow to uproot the old ratoon or remaining roots.
•Cross sub-soiling (rippers should be fixed at 50 cm apart and the work depth at least 30-35 cm deep).
4. On sandy soil sub-soiling is not necessary.
5. On heavy clay soil a second plow may be necessary.
6.Harrowing (a fine soil with no lumps should be obtained)
7.Furrowing at 4.5-5 feet apart and 1 feet deep is done for single row planting. Straight rows are very important to reduce damage from trucks and loaders.
8.To be prepared for mechanical harvesting (to face labor shortage in future) dual row planting at 50cm x 50 cm x 90cm and at least 30 cm deep is advised.
9.Identify proper drains and setting them up is key.
If the 1st plowing (No 1 above) is done in one direction, the 1st sub-soiling should be done in the opposite direction and harrowing against the direction of sub-soiling. Finally furrows (No 7 above) are drilled in the opposite direction of the harrowing direction (No 6 above), to obtain a better soil preparation.