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Home > Agronomic Practices > Germination Irrigation
Germination Irrigation

To get uniform and higher germination (sprouting) percentage of planted setts is quite a technique in drip irrigated cane production. This operation demands full attention of the farmer.


In the picture: Subsurface dripline laying machine


In the following paragraphs we explain the procedure to be adopted to get best results:


  • Prepare the main field to fine tilth

  • Lay the drip laterals (driplines) at 15 to 20 cm depth using SDI laying machine and test for their design performance. Under surface drip driplines are spread on the soil surface.
  • Plant the treated two or three budded setts at 10-15 cm depth by planting machine adopting recommended planting pattern and spacing.

     Surface drip

     Subsurface drip

  • After ensuring proper coverage of setts start the irrigation. Continue irrigation until a uniform wet band (not standing water) is formed along the dripline to a depth of not less than 30 to 40 cm.
  • Depending upon the soil texture and soil tilth achieved during land preparation it would take about four to six hours.
  • Examine the soil frequently at various places in the planting zone i.e, 10 to 15 cm of soil depth, for ascertaining the moisture status. As the days pass on soil moisture content decreases.
  • Depending upon the soil texture and the climatic conditions (i.e, evaporative demand of the atmosphere), in about 3 to 5 days the soil moisture content in the planting zone will deplete to a level not congenial for germination process of the cane. When this happens start the second round of irrigation in time so that the bud sprouting process is not interrupted. Continue the second irrigation operation similar to the first round i.e., until uniform wet moisture band is achieved. But this time the irrigation duration will be less may be 50% of the first irrigation cycle (i.e., 2 to 3 hours) to achieve the same level of moisture status and wetting pattern in the soil. However, this needs to be confirmed before terminating the irrigation.
  • Normally after 3 to 4 such irrigation cycles an experienced grower can obtain a very high germination percentage and uniformity of growth by adopting the above-described method.
  • Poor soil conditions and improper land preparation affect but sprouting, germination and crop emergence.       

In the pictures above:

  • Germination irrigation in surface drip to achieve a wetted strip
  • Uniform emergence of sugarcane under drip irrigation
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