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Inter-cultural operation

Inter-cultural operations are very important practices followed in sugarcane crop cultivation to reduce weed emergence and reduce the incidence of pests thereby increasing the cane yield.

Table of Content

 Major intercultural operations followed in sugarcane are:

1.Trash mulching

2. Hoeing and earthing-up

3. Detrashing

4. Propping

Trash mulching

To decrease the evaporation and water demand for the sugarcane crop, trash mulching is done with the paddy straw or with the sugarcane trash in the field.  In the early days that is one week after planting, mulch the ridges with the paddy straw or cane trash to a thickness of 10 cm, which helps to reduce the chance of shoot borer infestation and also control weed growth.

Hoeing and earthing-up

Hoeing is an important practice in sugarcane crop cultivation, it is done after planting and before crop emergence for the purpose of weed control. After germination, depending on the field conditions and the frequency of irrigation, two or three more hoeings and weeding may be required during the first three months after planting with the coming up of the crop.

  • Earthing-up operation is also known as “hilling-up”.This process is carried out in 2-3 stages, The first earthing-up operation is known as partial earthing-up and the second or third operation is known as full earthing-up.
  • The partial earthing-up is done 45 days after planting. In partial earthing-up, a little amount of soil from either side of the furrow is taken and placed around the base of the shoots.
  • Full earthing-up is done after 120 days after planting coinciding with the peak tiller population stage. During full earthing-up, the soil from the ridge in between is fully removed and placed near the cane on either side.
  • This operation could be done either manually or by using a bullock-drawn/tractor-drawn furrower depending upon the spacing adopted.


To avoid shoot borer infestation removal of the dry cane leaves is recommended on the 150th and 210th day of planting.


  • Propping is the process of tying the leaves together using the bottom dry and green leaves.Propping is done to avoid lodging of cane.Some canes of two adjacent rows are brought together and tied by sugarcane leaves rope.It also helps in applying irrigation in a better way.
  • It is done 210 days after planting.