AbstractThe effect of leaving the trash as a mulch or burning it, for each of four crops of sugar cane growing in a lateritic soil with a 40 percent slope, has been compared with respect to cane and sugar yield and soil and water losses. No significant difference was found between the cane and sugar yield and the water losses between the mulched and unmulched treatments. But a highly significant difference was found between soil losses; it was about 11 times higher for the unmulched plots. The amount of water consumed per ton of cane was estimated to be 286 tons. The losses of available phosphorus, ammonium and nitrate, were very small in the eroded soil and water run-off. The mulching was not effective in raising the soil organic matter.
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