Sett treatment of Sugarcane in goa

1.Cut the cane with a sharp knife. Occasionally disinfect the knife with B. 2% phenol solution.

2. Dip the setts In 1.2% solution of Carbendizim (50g Bavistin In 100 litres water) for 20-30 minutes before planting. Add I kg lime to this solution to enhance germination.

3. If the setts are brought from long distance or if they have become stale or have dried up, dip them for 24 hours in a solution containing 500g lime in 200 litres of water. This will help to revive the buds. The treatment with Bavistin can follow later.

4. If the setts are infested with scale insects, mealy bugs or white flies, then add 265 ml of 30% Dimethoate in 100 litres of water and dip the setts for 3-5 minutes before planting.

5. In order to ensure uniform germination and healthy growth of sprouts, it is advisable to treat the setts finally with a bacterial culture like Trichoderma / Azospirillum / Azotobacter or ‘Bactin’ developed by Vasantdada Sugar Institute, Pune. To ensure this, dry the treated setts for 4-6 hours in shade. Make a slurry by mixing 10 kg Bactin with 3-4 baskets of cow dung or fine soil in 100 litres of water. Dip the setts in this slurry and then plant.

6. Wherever a facility for hot water treatment is available, the setts should be treated for 2 hours at 50°C in hot water to check the chronic diseases like grassy shoot and smut. In lieu of this follow all the sett treatments detailed above.


Sett selection: The following types of setts can be used for planting:

Three budded setts:

This is the most popular and conventional type of setts used by growers. About 30,000 three budded setts are required to plant one ha area by placing these setts end to end in furrows (90 cm wide).While planting, care should be taken to ensure that one central eye bud is facing upwards whereas the other two eye buds are placed sideways.

Two budded setts: –

These types of setts are suited for “paired row” planting. The setts having two eye buds and setts are planted at a distance of 22-30 cm in furrows. One budded setts: – The knife used for making one eye budded setts should be sharp. To make such setts, the sharp vertical cut is given leaving 2-3 cm distance on each side of the eye bud so that the length of the sett below eye bud remain 8-9 cm. These setts
are to be planted in irrigated furrows 2-3 cm deep at a distance of 22 cm in sandy soils and 30 cm in clayey soils. Avoid dry planting. If the setts are planted at 30 cm distance, 11- 12 thousand one budded setts are required to plant one hectare. If the setts are planted at 45 cm, 8,000 one budded setts are required for one hectare. Care to be taken while using one eye bud setts

1) Always follow wet planting especially after January planting.

2) Take adequate care to treat the setts against scale insects, mealy bugs, stem borer, termites, etc.

3) Follow treatment with bacterial culture to enable the roots to be active and go deep to face drought.

4) Ensure adequate irrigation especially during the first month at an interval of 8- 10 days.

5) Gaps noticed III the field should invariably be filled by providing additional seedlings raised separately.


Advantage of one eye bud setts

1. About 40-60% reduction III seed requirement and cost.

2.Planting is fast.
3. Increased yield.
4. Facilitates fertilizer application and plant protection


Tissue culture plantlets for seed multiplication

To multiply a high yielding selected variety for large-scale use as setts, it is advisable to use tissue culture as the seed multiplication ratio is 1:25 because of high tillering. Further, it is possible to get a disease free material with uniform high vigour.



Both wet method and dry method of planting can be adopted for growing cane. Wet planting is mostly done in low to medium fertile soils. In this method, the furrows are thoroughly irrigated and treated setts are placed 3-5 cm deep ensuring that all the eye buds face upwards. The simple technique is to place the thumb on the middle bud and press the sett in the wet furrow ensuring that the other two buds remain sideways facing upwards.In the highly fertile soils, a dry method of planting can be adopted.

The setts are planted in dry furrows at specified distances (end to end in case of 3 budded, 22 to 30 cm in case of 2 budded and 30-45 cm in case of one budded setts as described before) and covered with soil up to half the depth of furrow and field is then irrigated. Subsequent earthing-up operations during top dressing of fertilizers in the ridges becoming furrows which serve as irrigation channels.


Fertilizer Application

Sugarcane is a heavy feeder since the crop remains in the field for about a year. It requires sufficient nutrition at various stages of its growth. The cane quality and yield is decided on the time, a method of application and quantity of fertilizer applied. Fertilizers are expensive inputs and judicious use of this input becomes imperative. Sugarcane requires 250 kg N, 125 kg Pps and 150 kg K20/ha under local conditions.

However, the exact quantities of fertilizers to be applied to a particular field are decided on the basis of soil test report. Table 2 gives quantity of different fertilizers locally available and the time of their application/ha. The farmers can choose from either straight fertilizers (NPK) or complex fertilizers i.e. Suphala and Uramphos as per their local availability. The fertilizers are placed below the setts and while top dressing they should be placed 8-10 cm away from rows and 6-8 cm deep in the soil and earthed up. The field should be irrigated on the next day.

Application of Zinc to sugarcane has found to influence sugarcane yields. Experiments conducted at ICAR Research Complex have shown that application of 10 kg ZnS04 / ha along with 300: 150: 150 kg NPKlha recorded more cane height, weight, girth and yield. It resulted in about 9-12 percent increase in yield over the control. It is advisable to use Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria (PSB) Culture along with organic manure/ compost @ 10 kg/ha for optimizing phosphorus uptake.



This is one of the most important aspects of sugarcane cultivation for realizing higher productivity. The utility of water will be enhanced if the soil is rich in organic content. Water is a valuable commodity and its use should be made in a most appropriate manner Moisture conservation methods like the addition of adequate quantities of organic manure to soil and trash mulching of topsoil @ 15 tonnes/ha helps in conserving soil moisture. in general, sugarcane requires 120 to 140-acre-inches of water including the rainwater.

In sandy loam soils, irrigate the channels and then take up planting. In clay soils, plant the setts first and then irrigate. During germination period (30-40 days), irrigate at 10-12 days interval at 5 cm depth. During tillering stage, the frequency of irrigation may be 8-10 days. In Goa, for a February planted crop, irrigation is to be given at an interval of 8-10 days till May, depending on soil type. In all, 12 to 14 irrigations are required till monsoon sets in. From October to December, 5-6 irrigations at an interval of 12-15 days may be given. In all about 18- 20 irrigations are sufficient to raise a healthy crop. However, the following techniques would help in economizing the frequent use of water:

  • Addition of organic manure @ 50 cartloads/ha.
  • Spreading sugarcane trash as soil mulch @ 15 t/ha.
  •  Giving irrigations through alternate furrows.
  •  Adopting paired row method for planting cane late.
  •  Installingwatersavingmodem irrigation systems such as sprinkler, drip or bi-wall


Drip irrigation of sugarcane

Drip irrigation is found to be the most efficient method to irrigate sugarcane. Experiments revealed that sugarcane requires a mean total of 73 cm of irrigation water. However, to supply this in furrow irrigation an additional 30 cm is required which is 41 percent of the net irrigation requirement. Studies conducted at ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Old Goa on comparison of drip system with furrow irrigation for three years with one plant cane and two ratoons indicated that

  • Drip irrigation recorded significantly higher water use efficiency (1.66 t/ as compared to furrow irrigation (1.15 t/
  •  In both the methods, the WUE decreased as the frequency of irrigation increased. The initial investment was higher in drip system owing to the higher fixed cost incurred in the installation of a drip system.
  •  The gross returns were also higher (Rs.78,450/ha) in drip system in companson to furrow system (Rs. 72,680/ha).
  •  Although there was no significant difference between drip and furrow irrigation methods for cane yield and C.C.S, irrigation at IW/CPE ratio of 0.75 recorded significantly higher cane yield and C.C.S over other levels.
  • The savings in irrigation water was nearly 41 percent in drip system with a potential to irrigate an additional area of 0.53 ha of sugarcane.
  • With the additional net returns from additional area irrigated through the drip system, the total net returns were estimated at Rs. 61,630/ha.



Sugarcane setts begin to germinate after 30-40 days of planting. Wherever the buds have not germinated, or show grassy shoot disease symptoms, germinated setts should be gap-filled/planted. This can be ensured by providing an additional area along the bunds for meeting’ such eventualities. Polybag technique of raising seedlings from one eye bud sett will also help.

After a week of germination, hoeing is done in order to remove the first flush of weeds. The soil is loosened enhancing good aeration. As the crop grows 6 weeks old, a first split dose of fertilizer is given 8-10 cm away from rows light earthing up. Subsequent top dressing with fertilizers is given at 90 days and 135 days and finally heavy earthing up is given before the onset of monsoon so as to give a better anchorage to the cane clump to avoid lodging.

Intercultural operations within the rows are not done adequately in Goa for want of appropriate bullock is drawn implements. Implements like Ankush plough, Jamboo ridger etc., are low-cost high utility implements which ensure adequate hoeing, breaking of ridges, digging the inter-row spaces and earthing up. These implements should be popularised.

During October-November with the cessation of rainfall, the lower dried leaves of sugarcane should be stripped off and spread over inter-row spaces and irrigation channels as a soil mulch to conserve soil moisture especially in early stages of crop and ratoons. The observations made ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Old Goa on the impact of trash mulch is very encouraging not only to conserve moisture but also to suppress weed growth, in turn, enhancing the cane growth substantially.



Due to the slow initial growth of the crop, the irrigation channels as well. .as ridges and inter-row spaces get infested with a variety of narrow and broad-leaved weeds which pose a serious problem to cane growers, causing losses up to 60-70 percent in neglected fields. The initial period of 2-3 months of the crop (depending on the variety) is very crucial for control of weeds. Use of sugarcane trash mulching is very effective in controlling weeds. The weeds are either manually removed during hoeing or are killed by use of herbicides.

For narrow-leaved weeds and grasses, spray 2 kg Atrazine dissolved in 100 litres of water, 4-5 days after planting when there is enough moisture in the soil. In case of heavy infestation, give the second spray after 4-5 weeks. For controlling broad-leaved weeds chemically, use 1.75 kg 2, 4-D after the emergence directing the spray on weeds. Use of chemical weedicides should be done in the morning or. evening. The operator should walk in reverse direction to avoid trampling of the sprayed area. While spraying all the bunds, channels, ridges etc. should be adequately covered with herbicidal spray.


Since a space of 90 cm is available in between two rows of sugarcane and the initial growth of sugarcane is slow, two rows of intercrops at a spacing of30 cm each from either side or one row at 45 cm (depending on crop selected) can be sown one week after planting sugarcane. Intercropping also helps in reducing the growth of weeds and their competition during the early growth period of the cane. The inter-row spaces can be put into use for sowing short duration crops like soybean, groundnut, french bean, cowpea, black gram, green gram onion, radish, bhendi, etc.

Research conducted in this direction has indicated that by growing these crops as intercrop in sugarcane, the net income from the combination is more than that of sugarcane crop alone. Research results have further shown that french bean intercropping yields 8.6 quintals of fresh beans/ha in two and half months period. Use of intercrops like pulses, groundnut, soybean etc., also helps to improve soil nutrient status due to their root nodules which harbour beneficial soil bacterium Rhizobium that helps in fixing atmospheric nitrogen from the air into the soil. Intercropping further helps in better utilization of land, water, nutrients and other resources.


Integration of sugarcane with other enterprises

Compared to mono-cropping of sugarcane, it is always advisable to integrate with beneficial allied agricultural activities like dairying which not only adds additional returns to the grower but also makes it available the valuable manure for application to the cane so as to sustain the soil fertility and the return in the long run.

Sugarcane tops which are low in sugars can be fed to dairy animals as fodder. The cow dung of the dairy animals can be recycled through a biogas plant for fuel requirement of the household and the slurry for application to the field. Cow dung manure available in the system can be used for cane production. Further, the large quantities of sugarcane trash available in the system can be composted through vermiculture using cow dung.




  • Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Ela, Old Goa, Goa
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