Maturity of Sugarcane for Harvesting
Factors Deciding the Maturity of Cane:
The maturity of sugarcane depends upon following factors:
i) Temperature during the growth period.
ii) Time of planting.
iv) Application of manures and fertilizers.
Maturity Signs of Sugarcane:
1. General yellowish colour of the whole crop.
2. Cessation of growth and emergence of flowers in case of flowering varieties.
3. Swelling of eye buds.
4. Metallic sound of cane when tapped with finger nail.
5. Breaking of cane at node region.
6. Sweetness of juice.
7. Brix saccharometer or hand refractometer reading is the sure sign of maturity and it should be between 21 to 240 brix.
Testing of Sugarcane Maturity by Hand Refractometer:
1. Hand refractometer reading is a sure test of sugarcane maturity.
2. It determines the T.S.S. (Total soluble solids) in the juice.
3. The middle portion of the cane is punctured and a drop of juice is spread on the plate of the refractometer.
4. Then refractometer is held against light and see through the lens.
5. A film of juice on plate appears as divided into dark and light halves.
6. Observe the point of intersection of these halves on the scale provided on plate itself and not down the reading.
7. A few readings of canes selected randomly from the field are taken and average brix reading is calculated.
8. The brix reading between 21 to 240 brix indicates the maturity of cane.