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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ After the failure of the vines in 1852, the area of sugarcane increased.
▪ On return voyages, he could transport rum and sugarcane.

n. (alternative spelling of sugar cane English)

  1. n. juicy canes whose sap is a source of molasses and commercial sugar; fresh canes are sometimes chewed for the juice [syn: sugar cane]

  2. tall tropical southeast Asian grass having stout fibrous jointed stalks; sap is a chief source of sugar [syn: sugar cane, Saccharum officinarum]


Sugarcane, or sugar cane, is one of the several species of tall perennial true grasses of the genus Saccharum, tribe Andropogoneae, native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia and Melanesia, and used for sugar production. It has stout jointed fibrous stalks that are rich in the sugar sucrose, which accumulates in the stalk internodes. The plant is tall. All sugar cane species interbreed and the major commercial cultivars are complex hybrids. Sugarcane belongs to the grass family Poaceae, an economically important seed plant family that includes maize, wheat, rice, and sorghum and many forage crops.

Sucrose, extracted and purified in specialized mill factories, is used as raw material in human food industries or is fermented to produce ethanol. Ethanol is produced on a large scale by the Brazilian sugarcane industry. Sugarcane is the world's largest crop by production quantity. In 2012, The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates it was cultivated on about , in more than 90 countries, with a worldwide harvest of . Brazil was the largest producer of sugar cane in the world. The next five major producers, in decreasing amounts of production, were India, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico.

The world demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture. Cane accounts for 80% of sugar produced; most of the rest is made from sugar beets. Sugarcane predominantly grows in the tropical and subtropical regions (sugar beets grow in colder temperate regions). Other than sugar, products derived from sugarcane include falernum, molasses, rum, cachaça (a traditional spirit from Brazil), bagasse and ethanol. In some regions, people use sugarcane reeds to make pens, mats, screens, and thatch. The young unexpanded inflorescence of tebu telor is eaten raw, steamed or toasted, and prepared in various ways in certain island communities of Indonesia.

The Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the famous "reeds that produce honey without bees" in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. They adopted and then spread sugarcane agriculture. Merchants began to trade in sugar from India, which was considered a luxury and an expensive spice. In the 18th century AD, sugarcane plantations began in Caribbean, South American, Indian Ocean and Pacific island nations and the need for laborers became a major driver of large human migrations, including slave labor and indentured servants.

Usage examples of "sugarcane".

I slipped off to the fields after breakfast to cut myself an armload of sugarcane.

A few Aussie bugs have been sent overseas to control pests like manuka weed and the sugarcane planthopper.

Drinking the water of the Nile, eating the crumbs of dourha bread she had brought from the hospital, getting an onion from a field, chewing shreds of sugarcane, hiding by day and trudging on by night, hourly growing weaker, she struggled towards Beni Souef.

Decocted from sugarcane, this Luciferian liqueur stole the souls of all who did not sport the big spurs and hence could not afford the brandies of Spain.

The problem in Hershey was the heavy soot that came from burning bagasse, the sugarcane after the juice had been pressed out.

Foremost among these local domesticates is the modern world’s leading crop, sugarcane, of which the annual tonnage produced today nearly equals that of the number two and number three crops combined (wheat and corn).

They were brought to work the sugarcane haciendas after the Spanish discovered they could "grow" gold in the form of sweet sugar.

The next morning I checked out of the hotel, drove across the river, then turned north and followed the state highway across a wide, flat plain covered with cotton and sugarcane and towns with names like Livonia and Krotz Springs.

Each day Beatriz strolled through Veracruz with bundled sugarcane packed on her back and cocuyo beetles hanging from her hat.

The freed slave who owned the building and charged exorbitant rents, extorting one out of every three reales from the putas and sugarcane hucksters he boarded, clearly did not bother with repairs.

Born and raised in a small village outside Roseau, educated in a Catholic convent school while cutting bananas and sugarcane in early morning and late afternoon, finally managing to earn one of the island’s government scholarships which enabled him to travel to the United States and, after many more years, earn his Ph.