Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) is a perennial grass plant of the family Poaceae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of Southeast Asia and New Guinea. Most of the world’s sugarcane is grown in subtropical and tropical areas, primarily cultivated for its juice from which sugar is processed.
The sugarcane plant produces a number of stalks that reach 3 to 7 meters (10 to 24 feet) high; stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes and that bear long sword-shaped leaves.
Sugarcane is mostly cultivated to produce sucrose (table sugar). The plant is also grown for biofuel production, especially in Brazil, as the canes can be used directly to produce ethyl alcohol (ethanol). The by-products from cane sugar processing, namely the straw and bagasse (cane fibers), can be used to produ ce cellulosic ethanol, a second-generation biofuel. Other sugarcane products include molasses, rum, and cachaça (a Brazilian alcoholic beverage), and the plant itself can be used as thatch and as livestock fodder.
Around 63% of the world´s sugar comes from sugarcane (the remainder being extracted from sugar beets). While sugarcane predominantly grows in tropical and subtropical regions, sugar beets typically grow in colder temperate regions. With approximately 1.9 billion tons, sugarcane is the world’s largest crop by production quantity. Brazil accounts for around 40% of the world total, followed by India, China, Thailand, and Pakistan. Estimates are that sugarcane is grown on about 26 million hectares, in more than 90 countries.
FertiGlobal®: supporting sugarcane cultivation management through every growing stage, strengthening the plants and increasing productivity with plant nutrition and biostimulant technologies.