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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index

Extra Papers

Unburnt Sugarcane Harvesting: E2

Micalli, P.M.A; Pelloso, W.

Via Verde Agroindustrial Ltda. Rua Pasqual Micalli, 3129 - CEP 17.780-000

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Advantages in discontinuing the practice of burning on sugarcane fields are attested to by our own practice of green harvesting. For instance, a natural effective weed control and a healthier and faster growth of ratton crop have been established due to the effect of natural mulch. Ratton crop has not been affected by nitrogen absorbtion of sugercane trash and crop yields have kept to average levels.

In addition, a relevant social commitment is directly related to the green harvesting practice. Being a labour intensive method, it demands five times more jobs than the burning method because the cleaning of stalks is done by field workers rather than by fire.

Unburnt sugarcane farming also contributes remarkably to the reduction of air pollutants. Statistically, the cultivation of 1 hectare of sugarcane produces 37 tons of oxygen per year. In contrast, the method of burning sugarcane trash consumes 6.7 tons of oxygen per hectare per year and, in addition, releases 9.0 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In summation, we understand that in light of the »Principles Aims and Requirements of Organic Agriculture and Processing,« we need not condone or indulge in the use of predatory farming practices clearly proven unnecessary and incoherent to organic agricultural standards to the detriment of a non-polluting, natural sugarcane trash recycling concept such as the green harvesting method. Those of us involved in organic production must be conscientiously prepared »... to ensure sustainable high levels of profitable performance and integrity to resolve the conflicts and challenges which will undoubtedly emerge;. without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.«

Mendoca, O.C. (1988): Development of Organic Farming Practices for Sugarcane Based Farms. 7th IFOAM Conference/Burkina Fasso.

Oliveira, O.C. de; Urquiaga, S.S; Boddey, R.M. (1994): Burning Cane: The Long Term Effects. Sugar Cane, No. 2, pp 12-17

Globo Ecologia defende o fim das queimadas (1994): Jornalcana. Ribeirao Preto, SP, Brazil, Jun/'94, p 6.