Sugarcane has a long history here in Louisiana. When you head out of the city for a plantation tour you will find yourself quickly surrounded by sugar plantations. After Florida, Louisiana is the number two state for sugarcane production in the United States. The harvest usually occurs from late October through mid November. Although the cane is no longer plowed by hand, as can be seen in this 1910 photograph from Raceland, Louisiana, there are still a number of operational sugarcane refineries in Southeast Louisiana, including Domino’s. The state yields about 15 million tons of sugarcane yearly and a little under 2 million tons of raw sugar are produced from that harvest. After the harvest, there is an old tradition of burning the crop. This burning has a number of benefits, from ridding the fields of snakes and rodents to making it easier to pick up the blackened cane stalks by burning away the razor sharp cane leaves. It also has the added bonus of leaving behind ashes that make a wonderful fertilizer for the next crop! Finally, the burning liquefies the sap within the stalk making it easier to extract one the cane reaches the sugar mill.
Sugar Plantations of Louisiana
Jan 30, 2014 | History