Download the Best Management Practices.
High quality cane supply. Cane that is as free of mud, deteriorated tops and stalks, and other trash will greatly help processing at the mill. Deteriorated cane will negatively affect crystallization at the mill. When mills can no longer crystallize sugar, the factory closes. A high-quality cane supply is a must.
- Do not panic. The industry has experienced freezes in past years and has successfully completed the grinding season by following good harvesting practices.
- Areas of higher elevation tend to be warmer. A few degrees of temperature can make a difference during a freeze event, as much as 2 – 3 Fº on some farms. Areas on the farm at higher elevation can have less freeze damage.
- Standing cane vs. down cane. Within the same variety, standing cane has less freeze damage than cane that is lodged. Cold air pools close to the ground.
- Varieties make a difference. L 99-226, L 03-371, Ho 07-613, L 12-201, and Ho 12-615 have poor cold tolerance and should be harvested first. Refer to the table on page two for sugarcane variety classification for cold tolerance. HoCP 04-838 has the best cold tolerance in the group and should be harvested last.
- Survey on a field-by-field basis. A harvest schedule should be made based on a field-by-field survey. Elevation and crop erectness can be more important than variety. To survey for cold damage, cut stalks of cane lengthwise. Look for discoloration and water-soaked conditions. After an initial survey is done and these recommendations are considered, a harvest schedule should be prepared.