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Home > Agronomic Practices > Detrashing

Detrashing refers to removal of unwanted bottom dry and green leaves at regular intervals. Sugarcane stalk bears large number of leaves (30-35) equal to the number of inter-nodes under good management systems.

In the picture: Detrashing in sugarcane is beneficial in many ways


However, all these leaves are not productive, only top eight to ten leaves are required for optimum photosynthesis. In fact the bottom green leaves are parasitic on the upper productive leaves and drain out the food reserves (photosynthates) which other wise could be used for stalk growth. Therefore, in sugarcane it is important to remove the lower dry and green leaves.


Detrashing should be taken up after the cane formation around 150 days after planting. There after it could be done at bi-monthly interval depending up on the labour availability.


Detrashing helps in:


  • Maintaining clean field
  • Enhances air movement and enriches Co≤ with in the crop canopy providing an ideal micro-climate for unrestricted growth of cane
  • More food material is made available for stalk growth
  • Reduces the problem of infestation of several insect-pests like scales, mealy bug, white flies etc
  • Reduces bud sprouting due to accumulation of water inside the sheath in some varieties.
  • Bud sprouting is not desirable as it would reduce main stalk growth and affect sugar accumulation
  • Facilitates easy entry and movement in the field, particularly to inspect the condition of the crop and drip laterals and thus accordingly plan the fertigation and plant protection schedules
  • A clean field minimizes rodents, rats, squirrels in the field which may otherwise cause damage to the crop
  • Facilitates easy and economy in harvesting besides clean canes for crushing
  • Detrashed trash can be used as a mulch for moisture conservation
  • Clean leaves can be used for composting

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