How does sugar cane grow?

Giant Grass

Much of the sugar we eat comes from the sugary juices of the sugar cane plant which grows in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other warm, moist lands.

Sugar  cane is really a giant grass that looks much like corn.

To grow sugar cane, workers plant short pieces of the stalk in the ground and cover them with earth.  In a short time, new stalks grow from the joints of the old cane.  Some nine months to two years will pass before the cane ripens, reaching 15 or more feet in height.

The stalks grow so closely together that the fields resemble a green jungle.  The plants are often so tangled that only workers armed with long cane knives, or machetes, can out the cane.  But in some places, machines are used.

Later, when the cane arrives at the sugar mill, the stalks will be crushed and the sweet juice squeezed out in the first of the many steps needed in the making of cane sugar. – Dick Rogers




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