Productivity, profitability and quality of sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) plant-ratoon system in relation to planting methods and seeding rate
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Field studies were conducted at Ladhowal, on sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) plant (2004–05 and 2005–06) and ratoon (2005–06 and 2006–07) crops to work out suitable combination of planting method and seed rate for sugarcane plant-ratoon system. Three planting methods, viz. flat (conventional planting in 15 cm deep furrows spaced 75 cm apart), trench (planting in paired rows on both sides of trench 30 cm wide, 30 cm deep, spaced 120 cm apart), pit (60 cm dia meter, 45 cm deep, spaced 120 cm apart) along with three seeding rates, viz. 4.0 t/ha (transplanted), 8.0 t/ha (sett planting, recommended) and 16.0 t/ha (sett planting), were evaluated in split-plot design. Trench planting recorded the highest number of shoots and millable canes, whereas pit planting the highest single-cane weight. The planting method did not influence the cane and sugar yields in plant crop, but the ratoon-crop yield in trench was significantly higher than by conventional method, but was on a par with that of pit method. Use of 16.0 t/ha seed significantly increased the cane and sugar yields of plant crop than both the lower seed rates, whereas the ratoon-crop yield did not vary among seed rates. The transplanted crop gave crop yield on a par with that of recommended seed. Trench planting showed significantly higher pol reading than pit method, in plant crop and, in ratoon crop 16 t/ha seed gave significantly higher pol, brix and commercial cane sugar content than transplanted crop. Trench planting using 8.0 t/ha seed recorded the highest total net returns (Rs 73,800/ha) as well as benefit: cost ratio (0.920) from sugarcane plant-ratoon system. Trench transplanting also gave higher economic returns than conventional planting with recommended seed.
Pit, Planting, Ratoon, Seed, Sugarcane, System, Trench.