Abstract— The research was conducted at Arjo-Didessa Sugar Factory which is located in East Wollega Zone of Oromia Regional State with the objective to determine the effect of leaf defoliation at different stages of sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) on the quality. Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is unusual among field crops in that it is not the seed that have economic values, but rather the stalk. Sucrose is extracted from the large stalks that are produced by sugarcane plants. The effect of percent and stage of leaf defoliation on sucrose content as well as recovery percentage of sugar cane is still unknown. Effect of leaf defoliation at three different stages on quality of sugarcane juice was studied under field conditions. The methodology used include seven percent of leaf defoliation comprises of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% and 0% as a check and three growth stages of defoliation at 9, 10 & 11 month of sugarcane was arranged in Randomized Complete Block Design. The results depicted that, significant variation among leaf removal and cane age was noted for quality parameters. Thus, significantly higher percent of sucrose percent (11.70%) at 30% of leaf removal and (11.50%) at20% of leaf removal were obtained from 11 and 10 month age of NCO-334 sugarcane variety respectively ,however, lower percent of sucrose (9.03%) at 11month age was recorded from undefoliated (check).In addition to these results the sugar cane plants that could be partially defoliated with changing sucrose production and retention of defoliated leave between furrow providing advantage, that increase soil moisture leads to water conservation especially for sugarcane grown under rainfall condition like Arjo Dedessa sugar factory, reduce weed growth, and prevent substantial losses of C and N due to sugarcane leaf burning at harvesting time. However, further future research is required to strengthen the investigation by confirming similar research on different location are necessary to recommend to all Ethiopian sugar factories.
Keywords— sugarcane, defoliation, stage, quality.
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