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Research on a variety of consuming sugarcane by TNAU Sugarcane Research Station.

The Tamil Nadu Agriculture University’s Sugarcane Research Station at Sirugamani, has taken up research on a variety of consuming sugarcane (‘Pongal karumbu’) with regard to quality. In all, the sugarcane being cultivated at 14 centres across the state is being grown at this station for ascertaining the best culture among them.

Sugarcane varieties from 14 centres including Kalipatti, Melur, Chinnamannur, Tiruvalarcholai, Bargur and Tirukattupalli are being tested here.

R. Chandrasekaran, Professor and Head of the Station said, the parameters such as growth of the cane, the node, internode, quality, sugar content and response to cultivation technique would be analysed.

He said that this was the first time that such an experiment is being taken by the Station following advice by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor. More importantly, bio-manure is utilised in raising all these varieties. “We do not use any chemical fertiliser,” he said.

The research also includes the resistance of each and every variety to disease and pest attack. “Normally, sugarcane is prone for diseases including red rot, early shoot borer and internode borer. We will watch a careful follow-up on this aspect too,” he said.

On the bio-manure, he said that decomposed farm yard manure was most ideal for the growth of the sugarcane. Apart from this manure, the scientists also apply press mud -- a waste product from distillery units.

He said that the duration of each variety ranged between 10 and 11 months. The cane would be harvested from January onwards next year and the results would be documented and sent to the Director of Research of the University. “This being the first experiment, we may need more experiments for another two or three successive seasons for arriving at the exact and most accurate data for selecting the most ideal sugarcane,” he said indicating that the Station would take up similar cultivation till 2019 or so.