Sanshodhanen Savruddhi

Mechanical Sugarcane Planter
Agricultural Engineering Section (Agriculture Division)

Mechanical Sugarcane Planter
Mechanical Sugarcane Planter

VSI developed sugarcane cutter planter (PTO operated) has the following components as shown in figure

Fig.: Schematic view of Sugarcane Cutter Planter

Components of Mechanical Sugarcane Planter
Three point linkage
Main frame
Seats for labours
Feeder openings
Cane feeding system
Cane cutting system
Fertilizer metering system
Insecticide and fungicide solution tank
Fertilizer boxes
Fertilizer conveyor
Fertilizer pipes
Soil covering tynes

Planter description and working
Mechanical Sugarcane Planter operationsVSI developed sugarcane cutter planter (PTO operated) is operated by tractor of 50 HP or more and is mounted on three-point linkage. The planter covers six operations at a time. It has two ridgers for making two furrows at a time, canes are cut into setts, sprayed with insecticide and fungicide, setts are placed in the furrows and also at the same time fertilizers are applied to the soil and setts are covered with the soil. The planter is attached to the tractor through 3-point hydraulic linkage. The systems of the planter are operated by PTO shaft of the tractor through universal shaft. It has a mainframe designed in MS pipe with two separate cabins for placing the seed canes in the planter. Two seats are provided for sitting labours for feeding the seed canes in the planter. The whole cane is fed to the feeding unit through the openings by two labours. Planter needs PTO power for three different systems viz., feeding system, cutting system and fertilizer metering system. The power of PTO is given firstly to main-shaft and then from main-shaft the power is transmitted to cutting and feeding unit simultaneously. Feeding unit operates fertilizer-metering system. Feeding system holds the canes and rotating knife of cutting unit cuts the cane into setts of desired length by selection of proper sprockets. The setts are conveyed to soil through guard. The two ridgers make two furrows for planting the canes. A solution of insecticide and fungicide is stored in the tank and sprayed on the setts under the guard cover. Fertilizers are kept in the boxes and are conveyed through conveyor and dropped into the furrows through pipes. The planted setts of the canes are covered with the soil by tynes, which are attached to the mainframe at the rear through spring. The planter requires total six persons for the planting. One tractor driver, two persons for feeding the canes and three persons for transportation of canes up to the machine and loading them into the cabins are required. The planter is suitable for maintaining proper/desired spacing between two adjacent furrows i.e. 90 cm or 120 cm or 150 cm. The length of sugarcane setts is adjustable from 22 to 33 cm. The spacing between two adjacent setts is adjustable from end-to-end to 75 cm by replacing the sprockets.
Results of the field-testing

Sugarcane Planter Germination TrialDuring the year 2004-05, systematic field-testing of mechanical sugarcane planter [table 1] with different furrow spacing were carried out at two farmer’s fields and in the nursery farm of Rajarambapu Patil S.S.K. Ltd., Islampur, Sangli. In 2007-08 the field-testing of mechanical sugarcane planter was carried out at two locations at Naigaon farm of the Institute. In 2008-09, systematic field-testing of mechanical sugarcane planter with different furrow spacing were carried out at Naigaon farm of VSI, at farmer’s fields of Ghodganga S.S.K. Ltd. and Ajinkyatara S.S.K. Ltd., farm of Central Sugarcane Research Center (CSRS), Padegaon and College of Agriculture, Pune.
The pooled data of observations recorded performance of the sugarcane planter at different locations for three planting seasons is presented in [table 2]. The performance of the planter at all these locations was very good and farmers appreciated the same. The field-testing was successfully performed for planting at distance of 0.90 mtrs., 1.20 mtrs. and in paired row method of planting with 0.90–1.50 mtrs. and 0.90–1.80 mtrs. spacing. The planter was successful in different types of soils i.e. shallow gravelly clay, medium deep and deep soils. The soil moisture content at planting varied from 19 to 22% with bulk density ranging from 1.2 to 1.4 g/cc. The sugarcane setts were cut at 22 to 25 cm length and average number of eyebuds recorded on the setts varied from 2.14 to 2.24 per sett. At Naigaon farm of VSI and at CSRS Padegaon the spacing between two setts was observed to be 7.5 cm while at farmer’s fields it was 5 cm. The farmers preferred to have least gap between two setts to have better germination of sugarcane.
Based on the pooled data of three planting seasons at different locations, the average field capacity with mechanical sugarcane planter in furrow spacing of 0.90 mtrs., 1.2 mtrs., paired row spacing of 0.90-1.50 mtrs. and 0.90-1.80 mtrs. was observed as 0.245 hectare per hour (ha./hr.), 0.304 ha./hr., 0.354 ha./hr. and 0.318 ha./hr. respectively. The total time required for mechanical sugarcane planter to complete the planting of one hectare area with furrow spacing of 0.90 mtrs., 1.2 mtrs., paired row spacing of 0.90-1.50 mtrs. and 0.90–1.80 mtrs. was recorded as 4.08 hrs., 3.29 hrs., 2.81 hrs. and 3.14 hrs. respectively. The average field efficiency of 64.81%, 56.30%, 62.43% and 60.80% was observed with furrow spacing of 0.90 mtrs., 1.2 mtrs., paired row spacing of 0.90-1.50 mtrs. and 0.90-1.80 mtrs. respectively. The average germination after 45 days under mechanized sugarcane planting with furrow spacing of 0.90 mtrs., 1.2 mtrs., paired row spacing of 0.90-1.50 mtrs. and 0.90–1.80 mtrs. was 72.16%, 72%, 73% and 74.22% as against 67.11%, 67%, 67% and 68.33% respectively under conventional manual planting.

Economics of sugarcane planting with mechanical sugarcane planter

At Naigaon farm of VSI, during 2008-09 planting season, the sugarcane planting with mechanical sugarcane planter was completed on 40 acres. Based on the actual records, the economic comparison of conventional and mechanized cane planting is presented in the [table 3].

  • At farmers level, the cost of conventional manual planting per hectare observed:
  • Making ridges and furrows with tractor drawn ridger:
  • Sugarcane planting on contractual basis including irrigation layouts (From cutting the seed cane to planting in the furrows):
  • Seed treatment and fertilizer application:

The cost of planting per hectare with mechanical sugarcane planter is Rs. 7721.00 as against Rs. 4010.75 in manual planting. There is saving of 48.05% in cost of planting with mechanical sugarcane planter as compared to conventional manual planting. The germination of sugarcane planted by mechanical planter was observed to be 72.85% on an average, as against 67.36% with conventional manual planting. The germination under mechanical planting was better than conventional planting because the fresh cane was planted at uniform depth in mechanized planting.


Based on the results, a recommendation of the Mechanical Sugarcane Planter is passed in the Joint GRESCO meeting held at Marathwada Agricultural University, Parbhani during 28-30 May 2009.

Recommendation - The mechanical sugarcane planter developed by VSI is recommended for planting in furrow spacing of 0.90 mtrs., 1.20 mtrs., 1.50 mtrs. and paired row spacing of 0.90-1.80 mtrs. to get more than 72% germination with 48.05% saving in cost of planting in comparison with conventional manual planting.

Commercialisation of Mechanical Sugarcane Planter

Vasantdada Sugar Institute, Pune has transferred the technology of Mechanical Sugarcane Planter with its technical know-how to M/s. Multi–S Engg. Industries, Kolhapur for its manufacturing and marketing from July 2010.

M/s. MULTI –S Engineering Industries,
F–45, Gokul,
M.I.D.C., Kolhapur – 416 234
Phone No.: 91-0231-2677346 (O)

Contact Person:
Mr. M.S.Satam.
Contact: 09552331198 (M)
Mr. B. M. Gaikwad.
Mobile : 09850504545


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