Sugarcane

Summary

Sugarcane is grown in all tropical and subtropical countries of the world. Sugarcane is the world's largest crop by production quantity. In 2012, FAO estimates it was cultivated on about 64,247,399 acres, in more than 90 countries, with a worldwide harvest of 1.83 billion tons.
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Where?

Brazil (1/3 of total production)

  • The vast majority of sugarcane is grown in Brazil.
  • 90% of Brazilian production takes place in South-Central Brazil.
  • 10% of Brazilian production is in Northeastern Brazil.


Asia (1/3 of total production)

  • India, China, & Thailand
  • India is the world's 2nd largest producer.
  • China is the 4th largest producer.


United States

  • Florida, Louisiana, Texas & Hawaii
  • Florida is the top producing state in the U.S.
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How It's Made

  • 2 Main Steps:

  1. sugar mill crushing
  2. sugar refinery extraction

  • Initially processed into raw sugar at mills near the cane fields.
  • Raw sugar is then shipped to refineries to produce refined sugar.
  • Final products include: powdered, granulated, and brown sugar


Uses

  • Sugar
  • Sugarcane ethanol
  • Bioelectricity
  • Bagasse - used for energy
  • Molasses
  • Filtercake

Harvesting

  • When possible, the cane is burned to remove dead leaf material and some of the waxy coating.
  • Harvested either by hand or machine.
  • Put in bundles and taken out of fields.
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Pests/Diseases

  • Early Shoot Borer
  • Internode Borer
  • Top Borer
  • Scale Insect
  • Ratoon Stunting Disease
  • Grassy Shoot Disease
  • Eye Spot

Herbicides are popular to use to control weeds.