LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- For the past few weeks, sugarcane farmers in Louisiana planted hundreds of acres of land of sugarcane for the year. Harvest time is approaching quickly and many local farmers are working seven days a week to get their crops ready.
“Planting and grinding is from sun up to sun down every day. Seven days a week, every day. Thanksgiving day, Christmas day, you know cane is a perishable crop, ” said Lynn Minvielle of Twin Pine Farms. “When its time to start you can’t stop until your’e finished.”
Louisiana is now one of only three states in the country to harvest sugarcane. Lynn Minvielle has 3,600 acres of sugarcane land. He and his 20 employees harvest 100,000 tons of cane a year through the 100-day season. Each day, they record hauling 1,000 tons of cane a day to meet their goal before harvest time. The canes are about 15 feet-tall and from one stalk of sugar cane, 10% is made of sugar.
“This field was just cut for seed. You see you have standing cane. We usually have to wait until cane is tall enough to harvest,” Minvielle added. Once the cane is tall enough, farmers open the rows and prepare for planting. The stalk is then replicated and whatever variety is planted in the ground, that exact one comes right back up.
“And then it’ll be just like this. So every one of these eyes germinated. So usually one acre of cane plants about eight acres,” he said.
While the crops are looking healthy this season, farmers hope for a dry harvest and to refrain from an early freeze.