Sugarcane-Harvest and storage

Sugar cane reaches maturity in around 10-12 months. The maturity of sugarcane is generally recognized by the gradual withering up of lower leaf leaving a fewer green leaves at the top.

A ripe cane, cut across with a sharp knife, shows against sunlight a slight sparkling in its flesh in contrast to the more watery cut surface of an unripe cane.  A trial boiling of the juice and a satisfactory setting of gur would confirm the proper stage of the maturity of the crop.

A refractometer reading of 20 indicate the crop have reached the stage of maturity. The Fehling’s test for glucose provides glucose content values of less than 0.5% in the juice at peak maturity.

Before cutting the crop, it is customary to give the field a good irrigation. Stalks are cut at the ground level, preferably after digging down the earthed-up ridges.

The dried leaves are stripped off from the topmost mature inter node where the stalks usually break easily. The harvested sugar canes should always be processed quickly.