The Fiji Times »Harvester Affects Cane Yield – Ali

Damage caused by mechanical harvesters in sugarcane plantations leads to lower yields, said Haroon Ali, Mota / Naloto sector field manager at the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC).

Speaking at an information day organized by the Fiji Sugar Research Institute (SRIF) in Moto, Ba, last week, Ali said sugarcane farms in the Fiji were not designed for mechanical harvesters.

“We brought in combines, but our farms are not designed for harvesters that damage the roots and one of the reasons the yield drops on farms that use mechanical harvesters,” he said. -he declares.

Mr Ali said that one of the reasons the FSC hired agricultural advisers was to educate and advise farmers who use mechanical harvesters on how to design their fields.

“Farmers who use mechanical harvesters to cut their cane are instructed by our agricultural advisers to replant their field and design it with the correct spacing so that mechanical harvesters, trucks can easily pass through the rows without damaging the roots of the crop. sugar cane. “

He said the previously recommended row spacing of 1.5 meters was now 1.7 meters to accommodate mechanical harvesters.

“Heavy machinery used on the farm during the rainy season further damages the roots of the sugarcane, so proper planning and design of the farm would lead to increased yield. “

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