Brace for dry spell, sugar growers told
(The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Sugar Regulatory Administration yesterday urged the sugar industry to implement preemptive measures to counter the destructive effects of the strengthening dry spell as sugarcane cultivation areas nationwide are expected to be badly hit.

SRA administrator Ma. Regina Martin is encouraging sugarcane farmers to plant early and have their canes milled in the earlier part of the current cropping season to benefit from higher sugar recovery.

Canes brought in for milling in the middle and late part of the sugar production season risk having lower sugar content and faster sugar quality deterioration because of the hot and dry planting conditions, she said.

The prevailing dry spell—the strongest since 1950—is expected to intensify this quarter and last until the second quarter of 2016.

Insufficient soil moisture is seen to retard germination and stalk elongation of canes.

Seen to be affected by the dry spell beginning this month are sugar cultivation areas in the provinces of Tarlac, Cavite, Pampanga, Batangas, Iloilo, Cagayan, Isabela, Camarines Sur, Cotabato, Davao and Bukidnon.

Martin said earlier the SRA was working closely with sugarcane plantations and sugar mills for the establishment of strategically-located irrigation and water catchment systems to blunt the effects of the drought.

She said Mill District Development Councils and sugar mills are now identifying strategic locations for irrigation, catch basins and drainage systems.

BATANGAS CAMARINES SUR CAVITE COTABATO DAVAO AND BUKIDNON ILOILO ISABELA MILL DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT COUNCILS REGINA MARTIN SUGAR SUGAR REGULATORY ADMINISTRATION
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