Using the Latest Technology
From Field to Factory
Science and technology are important parts of farming. We rely on agricultural practices that are time-tested, continually improved, and supported by the best research and technology available. Our techniques not only follow state regulations, they are generally considered "Best Practices" to fully ensure the safety of our community.
We have improved and honed these techniques over decades through farmers’ local knowledge and expertise as well as leading research from institutions like the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).
Controlled, Pre-Harvest Sugarcane Burning
The Florida Forest Service has pioneered conservation through controlled, prescribed fires, explaining that “prescribed burns are an effective tool to reduce fuel buildups, which can cause dangerous wildfire conditions.” These prescribed fires reduce dry brush and help preserve Florida’s valuable ecosystems.
Safe, Regulated, Permitted
Florida’s prescribed burn program is a national model for successfully managing state forests and natural lands through carefully coordinated, safe, and permitted prescribed burns. The Florida Forest Service issues permits for many different kinds of prescribed burns—not just burns related to the pre-harvest of sugarcane. Prescribed burns help prevent large wildfires, improve wildlife habitat, and help preserve endangered plant and animal species.
The safety of our community and employees is a primary concern for U.S. Sugar, and we use controlled, pre-harvest burns to reduce wildfires and create a more effective harvesting process, which helps to reduce traffic congestion on Florida roads and vehicle emissions during the harvesting season.
This process is strictly regulated and well-controlled through the Florida Forest Service. During harvest season, sugarcane fields are burned in contained, small areas—40 acres at a time—with fires lasting 15 to 20 minutes on average. We receive permits on a daily basis to ensure that a comprehensive review of weather conditions and surrounding area (or proximity to sensitive areas) has taken place.