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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Sugarcane Cultivation Without Pesticides



It is of paramount importance to grow sugarcane without insecticides, fungicides and weedicides to decrease the pollution of soil, water, and environment. It will help to make the habitat eco-friendly and to create favourable conditions for the multiplication of biological agents. By adopting resistant varieties, cultural and mechanical control, the release or conservation of biological control agents we can control insect pests, weeds, and diseases to an acceptable level.


  1. Follow appropriate rotation for sugarcane crop to control weeds, diseases and to maintain soil fertility.

  2. Use well rotten farmyard manure according to the fertility level of the field.

  3. Give two light Rauni irrigations so that most of the weeds germinate. Kill the weeds by planking and shallow ploughing.

  4. Plant the crop early (before 15th March) so that shoots may grow enough to withstand the damage of early shoot borer in May and June.

  5. Use resistant varieties to diseases and insect pests.

  6. Use sugarcane diseases and insect pests free healthy seed from the seed plot.

  7. Do Ani Godi before germination to control weeds.

  8. Frequent irrigations during May-June decreases the damage of early shoot borer. Withheld irrigation during second brood emergence of top borer decreases the incidence of this pest.

  9. Roguing of dead-hearts of shoot borer, top borer, and root borer during May-June decreases the incidence of borers.

  10. Releases of Trichogramma chilonis decreases the incidence of early shoot borer, stalk borer, root borer, top borer, and Gurdaspur borer. Trichogramma japonicum and Trichogramma telenomus gives better results to control top borer.

  11. Control the weeds by hoeing with a tractor as per need.

  12. Light earthing in May decrease the incidence of early shoot borer.

  13. Earthing up at the end of June decrease lodging of the crop and also lower down the incidence of stalk borer.

  14. Survey the crop regularly for diseases, insect pests, and weeds to control timely and effectively.

  15. Egg clusters of top borer and pyrilla are quite prominent and can be seen from a distance. Hand-picking of the top bore and pyrilla egg clusters during summer season decrease the incidence of these pests.

  16. Control the insect pests in ratoon crop timely so that they may not spread to plant a crop.

  17. Judicious use of chemicals if three is any need in a specific situation.

  18. Rouge out Gurdaspur borer attacked canes from July to September at weekly interval.

  19. Rouge out diseased clumps of sugarcane and bury them.

  20. Prop up the crop at the end of August or beginning of September to avoid lodging.

  21. At harvest cut the canes as low as possible and also remove the water shoots.

  22. Follow the crushing schedule to harvest the crop.

  23. Heavily attacked crop with stalk borer, top borer, and root beer harvest as early as possible.

  24. Do not ratoon the crop infested with diseases and Gurdaspur borer. Immediately after harvest plough up the fields and burn the stubbles.

  25. Do not plant the crop in the fields where the proceedings crop was infested with red rot or wilt.

  26. Fill the gaps by planting three budded setts at the beginning of March in ratoon crop to maintain a good stand.

  27. After harvest, do not burn the trash in the fields because it will destroy many parasitoids and predators.

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