Inter-cropping with Sugarcane

Sugarcane is a long duration crop and normally occupies the field for a period of 12 months. The large inter-row spacing in the cane crop provides an excellent opportunity to grow suitable inter-crop.

DBSIL promotes the growing of an additional crop with sugarcane and the gross productivity of the land per unit area increases, which generates an extra income for the farmers. A number of crops can be grown successfully as inter-crop in sugarcane, like, mustard, green gram, cow peas, onion, coriander, ladies finger, tomato, lentil, garlic, pea, radish, palak etc.

Leguminous inter-crops provide additional benefits of nitrogen enrichment to the soil and green manure.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is important and economical in the area of restricted irrigation facilities. Crop irrigated with a volume of water which is almost close to the consumptive use of the plants, minimises losses like percolation, run-off and evaporation. DBSIL encourages the use of drip irrigation among cane farmers with proper use of government subsidy schemes.

Advantages:

1. High water use efficiency

2. Crop stresses can be minimised

3. Ferti-irrigation is possible which result in saving of applied fertilisers

4. Low running cost

5. Suitable for sandy soils

6. Less weed problem

7. Reduction in losses through transpiration

8. Increased yield

9. Application of Fungicide and Pesticides with irrigation water

Bio-Compost

The Bio-compost is prepared following the Biostil process by mixing distillery effluent in press mud and after decomposition, using it as manure.

Advantages:

1. Increases the soil fertility

2. Increases the water holding capacity

3. Controls the pH of soil

4. Increases the yield of crops

5. Permeability and aeration of the soil is also enhanced

Vermicompost

In this process, earthworms are used for composting organic residues. Earthworms can consume all kinds of organic matter and they can eat as much as their own body weight per day. The excreta of earthworms are rich in nutrients (N, P,K, Fe and Mg etc.) and also in bacterial and actinomycetes population which is used as organic fertilisers. Numbers of such units have been promoted by DBSIL in their cane areas.

Deep Boring

The irrigation resources are limited in the areas nearby to the plant. This affects the cane yield of the area.

The majority of the farmers are in small and marginal category and therefore they do not have access to irrigation resources. 

The company has provided interest-free loans to the farmers for the development of irrigation resources in the mill area. 

Mechanisation of Sugarcane and Implement Distribution

Mechanisation of sugarcane cultivation is the need of the day to address the problems of sustainable production and productivity of sugarcane crop. It is also useful in saving of time and labor requirement.

Cane growers are being educated to change their mindset towards machine culture for sugarcane cultivation. 

Training-cum-demonstration programmes are being organised by DBSIL on a regular basis by associating cane growers and the sugar industry. So, concerted efforts on all fronts will make sugarcane mechanisation a profitable venture. The company has distributed trench planters, cultivators, mini tractors, tripler trollies, spray machines, M.B. ploughs, rotavators, power weeders etc. to the farmers of its command area.

Trash Mulching

Sugarcane trash mulching is a highly useful technique to conserve soil moisture and reduce the impact of moisture stress and atmospheric drought. The company is also promoting for mulching the inter-row space with 5-7 cm thick layer of dry leaves of sugarcane. About 8-10 tonnes of sugarcane trash per hectare is required. Mulching in ratoon is more convenient than in the plant.

Advantages:

1. Improves the fertility of soil after decomposition of dry leaves.

2. Conserves the soil moisture and reduces the frequency of irrigation

3. Reduces the evaporation from the soil surface

4. Moderates soil temperature

5. Improves germination and tiller survival and growth

6. Checks the weed population

Trench Planting

The company has also educated their farmers in trench planting methods of cane sowing in the system ‘U’ shaped furrows or trenches of about 25-30 cm depth that are prepared with ridges. Furrows at 120 cm spacing are formed by using tractor-drawn ridge and trench planter.  

Besides, paired row system of planting is becoming popular in recent years. In this system, the space between a pair of two rows is reduced by bringing them closer and the spacing between adjacent pairs of rows is increased.