Photo, left: In addition to sugar production, sugarcane is being increasingly used as a raw material for ethanol – an important vehicle fuel in Brazil as well as a promising raw material for manufacturing plastics.
Photo, right: A Brazilian farmer inspects a sugarcane plant for infestation and disease.
AgMusa™: An integrated planting solution for sugarcane
Brazil is the world’s top producer of sugarcane, and demand has been growing for years. Yet conventional sugarcane cultivation is complex, and the necessary automation adversely affects the cane’s quality. With AgMusa™, BASF offers farmers an integrated planting solution and sugarcane seedlings of excellent quality, enabling higher yields.
Agriculture with hurdles
The first step in conventional sugarcane planting is cutting the stalks into pieces, which are then spread over the field either manually or with a machine. These pieces contain knots that develop under the soil into new shoots, which grow into sugarcane. Machine planting is more economical than the costly, labor-intensive process of planting by hand, but machines also damage a large portion of the sugarcane pieces.
Healthy seedlings for a higher yield
Instead of painstakingly growing them on their own, farmers receive already-sprouted, healthy plants through the AgMusa™ system. Several BASF-patented technologies come into play here, such as precisely stamping the individual knots out of sugarcane stalks. The seedlings raised from these knots are optimally treated with BASF products to support plant health. Through AgMusa™, BASF supplies the right equipment together with expert consultation and IT tools for precise field management. Farmers can also grow a flexible number of different varieties of sugarcane in their fields within a significantly shorter amount of time.
The AgMusa™ planting system combines chemical crop protection, innovative technology and personal on-site consultation in a totally new way. Since its introduction in 2013, it has offered Brazilian farmers a tailored solution for not only more efficient, but also more profitable, sugarcane production.