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Sugarcane seminar gathers in Latin America

VALLEY, NE – Valley Irrigation, the leader in sugarcane irrigation worldwide, is hosting three Irrigated Sugarcane Seminars in 2018. The first was held in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, on May 22. The second will be held in Trujillo, Peru, on July 19, and the third will be held on July 24 in Cali, Colombia.
The events bring together numerous professionals from the industry for an exchange of information regarding current techniques for irrigated sugarcane production, with a focus on increased productivity.
The Valley seminars feature several specialists who will explain the unique benefits of sugarcane production under center pivots, an expanding practice that has been garnering positive results in Latin America. The topics discussed include:
• The challenges of improving sugarcane nutrition and improving the efficiency of its fertilization; 
• Cost differences between irrigated sugarcane and dryland sugarcane production; 
• Remote irrigation management technology; and
• Solutions presented by Valley Irrigation
Canaplan Director Luiz Carlos Corrêa will serve as emcee, and the panel of lecturers features:
• Irrigation master and Irriger Partner/Director Hiran Medeiros;
• Agronomist and Manager of the Valley Sugarcane Department Vinícius Maia; 
• Canaplan consultant Nilceu P. Cardozo, Ph.D.; 
• Soil, plant nutrition and sugarcane handling expert Henrique Junqueira Franco, Ph.D.;
• Special guests – growers who will share their success stories with irrigated sugarcane.
“These seminars demonstrate the leadership position Valley has taken in sugarcane irrigation,” said Joshua Dixon, Vice President & General Manager, International Irrigation for Valley. “They also highlight our dedication to listening to the voice of the customer, so that we can further help growers around the world conquer environmental challenges and produce crops as efficiently as possible.”
Brazil is by far the world’s largest sugarcane producer, with Colombia, Mexico and the United States (primarily Florida and Louisiana) ranking among other world leaders. Investors in Peru are showing a commitment to expanded sugarcane production, as well.
Brazil produces 560 million tons of sugarcane per year, totaling 23 billion liters of ethanol and 36 million tons of sugar. The sugarcane production sector grew rapidly in past decades. Between 2000 and 2010, national production in Brazil grew from 254.9 million to 623.9 million tons – a 9.4% annual increase. From 2005 to 2010, the number of sugarcane mills in Brazil grew 45%; during that period, 112 new mills opened. Since 2009, nearly 50 have closed.
Stemming from that tightening of the sector, it is even more imperative to determine the most efficient and profitable methods to produce sugarcane. In the southeastern region of Brazil, research indicates a 40-50% increase in productivity for irrigated sugarcane compared to dryland production.
One of the factors behind that dramatic difference is the Brazilian climate. Most areas of Brazil with sugarcane plantations suffer from unpredictable rain patterns throughout the year. However, irrigation allows growers to overcome that situation, assuring adequate moisture throughout the growth cycle and harvest.
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