Sugarcane. Foto editada: Raudel Fernández Fernández.

This study compared planting method (long stems or node sections) of sugar cane and addition of biochar to the soil. The design was a 2*2 factorial with 4 replications in a split-lot design. Planting method was the main plot; addition of biochar (2 kg/m2) was the sub-plot. Individual plots were 4*4m. For node cultivation, stem sections of 5cm including one node were cultivated in plastic bags in a nursery and, after 28 days, transplanted to the field.

Planting sugar cane from node sections rather than long stems increased: stem yields, the number of stems/ha but had no effect on the Brix (sugar content) of the juice. Adding biochar to the soil increased stem yield, number of leaves, the height of the growing point and the Brix of the juice, but had no effect on the number of stems per ha. Addition of biochar to the soil increased pH, organic matter, N content and water holding capacity. There was no effect of planting method on these criteria.

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