Ratooning (from Spanish retoño, "sprout") is a method of harvesting a crop which leaves the roots and the lower parts of the plant uncut to give the ratoon or the stubble crop. The main benefit of ratooning is that the crop matures earlier in the season. Ratooning can also decrease the cost of preparing the field and planting.
This method cannot be used endlessly as the yield of the ratoon crop decreases after each cycle. Ratooning is most often used with crops which are known to give a steady yield for three years under most conditions.
In sugarcane cultivation, ratooning leads to thinner canes with low sugar content. There is also an increased risk of pests and disease. Procedure - In this method during the first harvest the part of the sugarcane plant which is sweet enough (mainly the upper part) is cut and the bottom bit is left which has buds (nodes) from which new shoots or ratoons grow. The disadvantage is that the second or third successive crop may not be disease resistant. Therefore after 2-3 years new setts are planted.
- "Britannica: ratooning". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
- International Rice Research Institute The Rice Plant and How it Grows Retrieved May 4, 2014
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