Table No. 12 gives the taluka-wise area and out-turn of sugarcane in Sholapur district from 1961-62 to 1971-72.

Sugarcane (oos) is a major garden crop in the district. The cultivation of sugarcane has been steadily increasing because of the opening of sugar factories in this district and also due to the availability of increasing irrigation facilities. Sugarcane is mainly an irrigated crop and is grown all over the district in deep black soils. Malshiras taluka occupied the largest acreage of 7,022 hectares in 1971-72, which accounted for 47 per cent of the total area under sugarcane during the same year. The sugarcane cultivation has considerably increased in the canal areas since the opening of the Nira Canals.

Sugarcane is a twelve-month crop and is planted in the month of January. The sugarcane lands are ploughed across seven or eight times, green manured with sann-hemp, and if not green manured forty carts of farm-yard-manure per acre are applied. The land is once again ploughed and it is then flooded with water. When the surface begins to dry it is levelled with the beam harrow and then the sugarcane is planted. Again at the time of earthing up, nitrogen is supplied in the form of groundnut oilcakes and sulphate of ammonia in equal proportion, as top dressing. The layers are set in deep furrows drawn by the bullock-plough. Sugarcane thus planted is called nangria oos (plough cane) to distinguish it from pavlya oos (trodden cane) which is pressed on by foot after the land has been ploughed, broken fine and irrigated. The treading system is usually followed with the poorer canes or in poor soil and it requires manuring after ten or twelve days of planting. The trodden cane sprouts a month after planting, but the plough cane, being deeper set, takes a month and a half to sprout but suffers less from any changes in climate, supply of water, etc., and reaches greater perfection. Sugarcane is either eaten raw or is made into sugar or gur.

The local variety of sugarcane is known as pundya and is grown throughout the district. It is a soft cane and is mainly used for chewing and extracting juice for drinking. Improved varieties such as C.O.-740, C.O.-419 and C.O.-775 have been introduced by the department of agriculture in the district. These varieties give a better yield. They are hard and cannot be easily crushed on the wooden mills. The brix is higher than the local, varying from 20 inches to 22 inches. Top sets cannot be used for fodder as these varieties are of flowering type. Generally the whole cane is cut into layers for planting in furrows, three to four feet apart.

Sugarcane is a crop which exhausts the soil and, therefore, it is not grown in the same field from year to year but is rotated in alternate years with food-crops.