Sugar Cane: The Ideal Crop for Florida. 1920

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Sugar Cane: The Ideal Crop for Florida. 1920
Series Title:
Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Rolfs, Peter Henry
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6. Sugar Cane: The Ideal Crop for Florida. 1920


Subjects / Keywords:
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Agriculture -- Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station.
University of Florida.


An article about sugar cane as the ideal crop for all of Florida

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University of Florida
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University of Florida Archives
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Copyright Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
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UFDC Membership

Peter Henry Rolfs
University Archives


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By P. H, Rolfs Dean
of the Agrioultural College

Every county in the State of Florida .cows

sugar cane to perfection. As a matter of fnot, Floride

wa; one of the first pla-es on the North American continent

where cano .-rowing for sug-r na' was att.ei-pted, rcri

Escanbia County on the west to Dade County on th.e snutzh,

cane is grown in 1 .r.-e iuai-tity. Ther is no hthcr crop

roIn in the- St.ite that is so uniformly su ccscful in pro-

ducinzg 2 'O:- Pt.'ns.

in additi,'n to its p. rfect adapt-illity to

the c,: i r..te, t- plat is adapted to a wide variati-.. in

soils. It gro-; -.ell on nearly cvcry soil typ, in the t tc,
Th-: hewv .r anri more fertile soils produce th,. 1. j. r.t ton-

n-ge. 1.nd-r f'.vor-ble conditionse the ordinary 'oil t--pc- ucl.

as is used for gro-wing ordinary frm crops mny: he co.uited on

to give t-enty-five tons or nore of su-;. c:n'l per :'nre in a
year On the- rich muck lrnds, espec!, lly t-osc around LaTe

Okeechobee, known the custard. .,ple rim, M uch 1 -vgor ton-

nage -i.' tliis -:. fr'-quently produced. Th- bi''- ja-:k ri-' es

nnd white sandy ;oils, while prolucin,- a. .,-1.p rof 1:up. riod

qus"ity, arc not to be rrcom'cnde,' .ic being Rttrastivc to

planting to su.gPr cane. TiChe hoIDTLOC:. soils, espi-)'-!.ly in

the -.anatee and Volusia County rocionrs v:ere the types of soil

employed for the eorlic st e 'fo.ts of suaor cane production in


thl- 5Uti.te. Up to th.: p.:-sent tipeL sugar cane hos been

ro-:fn ...l.t entirely for tic production syrup. Florida

produces sore of th:.- finest syrup that 1.v ]r- in t.he world.

Florid: i7Tr.-p of a --oOr quality h-.s never been pro,!uc d in

surf:fcient quanti. to s-tisfy the- rirket annt with i:s pMpu-

larity h.:..'- come ,,. very great-ly increased demnud, "ith the

sysLeriai.izi -i of -yrup production has co,)e rn inpipve]ient in

the quality 1f th. product put on the i In tl:. old

d.-ys when the fr'iers relied pr IIncipally on the op:.n kettle

for syrup, tihe product was extremely variable, some

of it bein.: little! better than molasses. Those who n.I- e a

fine quality of 3iyrup soon .n-ide a reputation for t-c- .e:,,elves

an', had an al,"Iost 1'ilirihited market -.'or their product,

A .r a. many v"r-ietics of sugar ocne htvec been

grown in t > Ttate. Practically every v. iety 'mo.:n in the

':est Indies amd to -.rts of. the United hwve beenn tried

in one place or anQthc-r. From this great medley of varieties

th-t have b.;en tried some stand out with striking prominence.

The harCiest and not c,-rtain grower of the sugar cwnc groupp

is the J.anp CLe. The quality of syrup produced i* ex-

cc ..e it u1. t.:C qiua ity large. It h:.-s been a favorite for

a gro n. y,.(aru .d will continue to b planted for' a long

t imne.

Cayana-10 is a type of sug-, r n' In nt'ririediate

in appc.'rance between Japanese cane c ordinary su-ar c-ne.


It hvs proven itself to 'ie a r- rir-k .bly robust variety ,nd th

seed is i-n -:rt des.nd, th re b.-In on!y ouh to supply a

sanall p-r -nt of th t desired.

The Red or Purple can-.. Is roin!. quite .We,,ral l'

thruou t. -e ci.lre i'or .n., of t.-e r.t..f.e, It c'-.n b.. relied upon

as -ivin .- f. i..17 ,no, -r'p j,. I tures surtf ic nt ly for : u.:Lr

production !i.; to ten ;.'Lhs. It is Q.or_ ,-. r: 1... -rown

for syrup 'Ro.ducttion thc_' any oao ..hv r variety.

Th,: R'-: ".,-'_,* :. bc. *..ned ::t,'. i.._v ..-. It
ylji.ld. c. 7n:' :.. r- .er tnnnr r th. Red or firpic d

Is a *oo-. i- ty or te -Laanoc: n. he..' vier lnds.

:..'-r n c..'f'--t trains osf whnt, is i:mown

as the "ree-. oano !:. roCw-n noF. t lagel:.: in the :-ontral nid

souL.'ern on of. ..e otrte, wL' re the season for i,.trvaui:;

is lons1 r tLPn in th.. north:-rn cnd : est.-rn portion. It produces

a _li t ool, rcd syr'..p and onlf is very desi-- >l~ on the.

ma rket,

D-74 and D-95 arc t-wo varieties tht thve been

-rown extensively in .i Lo.iana. The former L.e.E been .6rown in

practically every portion of Florida an' is. g -ncxr.lly rell

t '.ought f.C* It is U-trd, very brittle but hr.s a c. quality

of withstrining he:-;v;rr winds without locdin>. It is a good

sugar producer as :l1 vs a good syrup nal,-er. It is a special

favorite in Louisiana because of its early maturing and in that

State is used for sugar production.


In central and south Florida some of the taller

growing and late maturin.- varieties are used to a onnsiderable

extent. Very frequently the name of the variety of oane used

there is not known


Florida is capable of producing more sugar than
can be produced in any other State. She has the soil and the

climate that are most favorable. The only obstacle in the way

is the man end of it. The drainage of immense areas of muck

lands makes it possible to have almost unlimited land for growing

cane. 7'ith an abundance .of capital ready to invest in sugar

making, we should have one of the largest sugar producing centers.

The present indications are that within another decade sugar produc-

tion will be one of the leading if not the leading agricultur-1

line in the State. Florida has spend millions of dollars to

make the Everglades available to agriculture and agriculture

will now reply her ten or a hundredfold annually.

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