Suagrcane Protection
Seed treatment
Since the crop is vegetatively propagated it is prone to the attack of insect, pest and diseases after the setts are placed in the soil and the germination becomes poor. Thus the purpose of seed treatment is primarily to protect the setts from insect, pest and diseases and then to get higher germination. The seed treatment may be classified into the following groups:

A. Seed treatment against insect-pest damage.
The setts, after cutting from stalk, are placed in the soil where they are attacked by termites and ants. These insects start eating from the cut ends and finish the whole sett completely. These insects spread to almost all the setts of one row because they are placed very close. It is, therefore, necessary to treat them in any of the following ways:
  1. Dipping of the whole sett. In this case neem cake slurry is prepared by taking one kg neem cake in five litres of water and the setts are dipped for a period of 18-24 hours. The setts absorb water from the slurry which has insecticidal property and they are protected from insects. If the neem cake is not available, an aldrin solution of 0.2 to 0.3 per cent concentration is prepared in water and setts are soaked for 18-24 hours.
  2. Treating the cut ends only. The cut ends being soft and sweet are very often attacked by termites and ants. Therefore, only cut ends are treated with the chemicals for termite control. The cut ends are treated with coaltar, termite oil, 1% DDT solution, burnt crude oil mixed with aldrin etc. and setts are planted immediately. The users must not have any cuts in their fingers or hands and they must wash their hands with soap soon after planting the setts.
B. Seed treatment against attack of diseases.
There are certain seed and soil borne diseases which attack the planted setts and the young seedlings lose their vigour and the crop is spoiled The spread of these diseases may partly be controlled by selecting diseases resistant varieties viz. red rot resistant varieties Co 1148, COL 9, BO 17, Smut resistant varieties CO 52-7, 449 etc. But even after selecting such varieties the setts must be treated with fungicides as a preventive measure against diseases. The organo-mercurial compounds are the most commonly used fungicides such as areton and agallol which are used at the rate of 200 g/50 litres of water. The sets are first given hot water treatment at 52oC for 20 minutes) and then treated with the fungicide. The other fungicides are Avinol, Activine and Tafasan (0.5% solution in water). This treatment does not only control the diseases but it also increases the germination of setts by about 6-12% and induces vigour in the sprouted buds.

C. Seed treatment for higher germination. This treatment is done to supply moisture to setts which are desiccate during cutting or even before and also to convert the sucrose into glucose for better and quick sprouting of buds. These are as follows:
  1. Soaking in water. Soaking of canes in cold water for a period of 12-48 hours results in about 12 to 20% more germination as compared to control. Soaking of whole cane has been found to be more beneficial than soaking the setts.
  2. Hot water treatment. The objective of this treatment is to convert sucrose into glucose because glucose is essential for germination. Apart from this the hot water treatment controls the chlorotic streak disease of the canes. This treatment results in a rapid development of all the bunds and lowers the level of growth regulating substance by about half which helps in disappearance or at least in weakening of the top dominance. Thus it results in sprouting of relatively large number of buds. The bottom and middle setts are soaked in hot water at 52oC for 30 and 20 minutes respectively and top setts are soaked at 52oC for 5.7 minutes.
  3. Mud or dung treatment. Storing the canes in mud or cow-dung for 12 to 24 hours reduces the water loss during cutting, planting and even after which helps in getting higher germination. Some times if the setts are to be stored after cutting for few days because of certain reasons, then covering of the setts with fresh cow dung delays the germination but the buds remain viable.
  4. Chemical treatment. Set treatment sith 1% solution of KMnO4, MgSO4 or potassium Ferro cyanide or o.1-0.5% solution of Ammonium Sulphate for 12 to 24 hours gives better results but the highest germination is obtained from fresh water treatment. Seed treatment with growth substances such as NAA & 2, 4-D from 10 ppm has no beneficial effects. Use of chlorohydrin and acetylene lowers the auxin and breaks the dormancy of the bud and accelerates the bud sprouting. Soaking in cold saturated lim solution for 8-12 hours with or without 450 g MgSO4 in 125 litres of water gives about 10% more germination and 25% higher cane yield.

Recommended Pesticide Schedule for Control of Pests of Sugarcane
Name of the Insect/Pest Name of the Chemicals Rate of Application Remarks, if any
Termites BHC, a drin, or Chlordane,Lindane, or Telodrin or Heptachlor, Dieldrin 15 kg/ha at planting Telodrin and Gamma BHC (lindane) are ineffective in Alkaline soils, therefore, Heptachlor should be used.
Stem borer Soaking of setts in DDT, BHC or Malathion solution for 2 hrs. 3 kg/ha at planting Propping of sugarcane Removal of dry leaves, Collection of moth by light Traps etc.
Root borer -do- 0.1% -do-
Top borer Thiodine 35 EC -do- -do-
Leaf hopper (Pyrilla) BHC 5% dust Malathion or Dimecron 100 BC 0.1 0.15%  
Army worm BHC 5 to 10% 10 kg/ha dusting 1.0 kg/ha spraying, 300-400 ml/ha spraying  
Black bug and white fly Thiodone 35 EC Dusting with 10 kg/ha 1.5 litre/ha  
Nematodes Nemagon 1.5 litre/ha 20 kg/ha  

Sugarcane diseases and their control measures
Name of Diseases Name of the Chemicals Rate of application Agronomical Measures Remarks If any
Red Strips Bordeaux Mixture or Streptomycine -- 1. Relative humidity should not be very high
2. Resistant varieties should be grown
The disease spreads through stomata & the Leaves become Red completely Roughing of diseased plant should be done
Red rot Agallol or Aretan Sett treatment By dipping in 0.25% solution for 5 minues 1. Avoid the mechanical injury to plants
2. Growing of resistant varieties
It causes fermentation of the Sugars, Alcoholic Smell is emitted by the split canes
Wilt Agallol or Aretan -do- 1. Adopt crop rotation
2. Growing of resistant varieties.
Smut -do- -do- 1. Hot water treatment
2. Healthy seed
3. Growing of resistant varieties.
Ratoon Stunting Disease (RSD) -do- -do- 1. Hot air treatment of setts at 54oC for 8 hours or
2. Hot water treatment at 50oC for 2 hours.
3. Knives should be sterilized with 5% solution of iysol, PHA at 5%.
- do -
Grassy shoot Disease (GSD) -do- -do- -do- - do -
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