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Cane production is affected by both harvesting and field issues which can impact on raw sugar quality and quantity. Both harvesting efficiency and crop presentation affect cane yield, cane quality and ratoonability (ratooning).

Research conducted into harvester performance has developed Harvesting Best Practice (HBP) guidelines to reduce cane loss, improve cane quality, and reduce stool damage.

The HBP guidelines also focus on the impact that crop presentation has on harvesting efficiency. Information available covers topics such as farming for efficient harvesting; the effect of extractor fanspeed on cane loss, crop yield, extraneous matter and CCS; harvester setup to reduce basecutter/chopper losses; and improving billet quality for planting.  

With harvesting impacting on raw sugar quality and crop yields, a HBP approach will ensure the ongoing profitability and sustainability of the entire sugarcane industry.