Sugarcane is one of the most planted commercial crop in Kenya for the production and processing of sugar. Sugarcane takes along time in the farm to reach maturity thus requiring better management plans and strategies to avoid severe losses that might occur.
Sugarcane deterioration can be caused by a variety of factors that consequently leads to losses in the farm. These factors includes; pests, diseases and weather conditions. If care is not taken at an appropriate time and stage, then the intended profit might turn into losses.
Among the the most important diseases of sugarcane are sugarcane smut, ratoon stunting disease, red rot, pineapple disease, sugarcane rust and sugarcane mosaic virus disease. The biggest challenge to sugarcane farmers is always that, most of these sugarcane diseases are systemic hence cannot be controlled via physical methods.
For better results, timely plant your farm mostly at the onset of rain. This will give the seedlings enough energy to start up their growth without stress.
Space between the rows is also another key area to be looked into. Leave a space of 75cm in between the rows to enable all the seedlings get access to sunlight and the nutrients from the soil.
Use certified planting materials to plant the whole farm. Certified planting materials are well proven to be 100% pure and their germination potential are very high. Use of certified planting materials also prevents introduction of certain weeds and pests in the farm.
Additionally, topdress regularly to encourage vegetative and apical growth. This leads to tall, thick and elongated canes which faces high in the market.
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