The Solution: Green Cane Production

Other countries have shown that green harvesting is a cost-effective, healthier alternative to sugarcane field burning. The plant’s waste product can be left on the ground as a mulch, transported to a facility with air scrubbers to produce electricity, or turned into bioplastics or biofuels.

In fact, green cane production is now becoming standard, except in pockets like South Florida.

At least 70 percent of the harvest in São Paulo, Brazil, is greenharvested (Source: http://sugarcane.org/sustainability/best-practices).  It will be the only means of harvesting in São Paulo by 2017, thanks to the so-called Green Protocol. The Green Protocol is a voluntary agreement established between the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), the ORPLANA sugarcane planters organization, and the government of state of São Paulo to end the use of burning in sugarcane harvesting. Further, Brazil has become the world’s second largest ethanol producer by using its sugarcane for alternative fuel.

In Australia, partly because of concerns about the environment, the percent of cane harvested green rose from 3 percent in 1982 to over 40 percent by 1995 (Source: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/X0513E/x0513e04.htm).

Why can’t Florida be as progressive as Brazil and Australia?

Andrew Wood an expert on green harvesting from Australia where modern green harvesting was pioneered, has studied the Florida Sugar Industry and determined the type of green harvesting which is best suited to Florida’s soils as detailed here: (http://bit.ly/2dGFPT9)