How often is a cane field replanted?
Typically, a sugarcane field is replanted every two to four years. After a field has been harvested the first time, it is maintained free of weeds, and a second crop of stalks, called a ratoon, grows from the old plant stubble. The second crop is harvested about one year after the first harvest. On average, 3 annual crops are harvested from one field before the field is replanted. When annual production declines to an unacceptable level due to insect, disease, or mechanical damage, the old sugarcane crop is plowed under after harvest, and the land is prepared for replanting with new seed cane. If the last harvest of the ratoon sugarcane crop occurs early enough during the harvest season (possibly before January), the field will likely be replanted to sugarcane (termed “successive planting”). If, however, the last harvest of the ratoon crop occurs later, a decision may be made to delay replanting in sugarcane until the following season. Instead, the fallow sugarcane field may be planted