Inter Cropping in Autumn Sugarcane
1. Autumn Sugarcane + Potato: Inter cropping of sugarcane and potato has been very remunerative. For raising sugarcane and potato together, it is necessary to plant cane at 90 cm distance in the first week of October with 75 kg nitrogen per hectare in furrows at planting. The leveling is done and one row of potato in the center of sugarcane row is planted. The distance between potato plants within rows is kept 15 cm. an extra dose of 60 kg nitrogen per hectare is applied to potato crop at planting. Sugarcane crop is irrigated according to the needs of potato crop. The potato crop will be ready for harvesting in January. Potato yield from maximum cropping ranges from 120-130 quintals per hectare which is about 50 percent of the yield obtained from pure crop of potato while yield of cane is not affected adversely as compared to pure crop of sugarcane. A dose of 75 kg nitrogen per hectare is applied to sugarcane crop after harvesting the potato.
2. Sugarcane + Wheat: Wheat can also be sown in sugarcane. Sugarcane is planted in October. Let the sugarcane crop germinate. It will take about 40 days for complete germination. Irrigate the crop in the second week of November and do hoeing on field condition. Before hoeing, mix urea at the rate of 65 kg (30 kg n per hectare) per hectare between two rows of sugarcane. Two lines of wheat UP, 2338 or HD-2643 or any other short duration variety of wheat should be sown at a distance of 20 cm (between them). The seed rate of wheat would be about 65-70 kg per hectare. The distance between sugarcane and wheat row will be 35 cm. A second dose of nitrogen at the rate of 30 kg per hectare should be applied to wheat 20-22 days after sowing followed by irrigation as generally done in case of wheat. Second and subsequent irrigations could be given as and when needed by wheat crop. Wheat will be ready for harvesting in April. After harvest of wheat second dose of nitrogen at the rate of 75 kg per hectare should be applied to sugarcane. This system of inter cropping produces 35-40 quintals of wheat and is more remunerative than wheat and sugarcane sown separately in rotation.
3. Sugarcane + Lahi(Toria): Sugarcane is planted in the first week of October. One line of toria PT 303 or PT 507 or any other short duration variety of toria is sown in the centre of two rows of cane just after planting sugarcane. A dose of 30 kg nitrogen per hectare is applied to lahi 20-25 days after sowing and the field irrigated. Plant protection measures are taken as per need. Lahi(toria) crop is ready for harvesting in January. After harvesting Lahi crop fertilise the sugarcane crop at the rate of 75 kg nitrogen per hectare and irrigate the crop 24 hours after fertilizer application. In this system, the yield of Lahi would be 10-12 quintals per hectare and will have hardly and adverse effect on cane yield. This system is more paying as compared to Lahi and sugarcane grown in succession.
4. Sugarcane + Lentil: plant sugarcane in the first week of October. Two lines of lentil may be sown 30 cm apart in the center of two sugarcane rows. The distance between cane and lentil rows will also be 30 cm. since lentil is a legume crop, there is no need of applying nitrogenous fertilizer for the crop. The lentil crop will be ready for harvest nitrogenous fertilizer for this crop. The lentil crop will be ready for harvest by the end of March or first week of April. Second dose of fertilizer in sugarcane is applied after harvesting lentil. This system will produce 15-16 quintals of lentil per hectare with no adverse effect on cane yield.