AbstractExperiments on handling sugarcane trash were set up at Río Piedras P.R., in the Humid Cane Area, to determine the effect on cane yield and soil properties. The treatments conducted on 17 consecutive crops of 3 plant canes and 14 ratoons consisted of burying the trash, burning the trash, and aligning it in alternate rows. The principal results were as follows: 1. There were significantly lower yields in tons of sugar per acre when the burned-trash and the aligned-trash treatments were compared. This difference did not become significant until the seventh ratoon of the first cycle. 2. The detrimental effect of burning the trash disappeared with the plowing-up of the ratoon and planting a new cane crop. However, the lower yields associated with burning returned earlier in the ratoons for each new cycle. 3. Burying the cane trash resulted in yields of sugar per acre intermediate between those from aligning the trash and burning. 4. There was no significant influence on the sucrose content of the cane from any of the trash-handling treatments. 5. Tons of cane per acre were significantly lower when the trash-burned treatment was used as compared to aligning. This difference occurred later in the ratoons and then was found for tons of sugar per acre. 6. Yields of tons of cane per acre associated with burying the trash were intermediate between those from aligning the trash and burning. 7. The possible roles of organic matter and soil aeration are discussed in relation to the rejuvenation of soils under the trash-burned treatment when plowed and replanted.
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