Sugarcane in a perennial crop harvested annually over a six-month season from June to December. Each crop cycle consists of a plant crop followed by several ratoon crops. Time of harvest influences both commercial cane sugar (CCS) content in the current season and yield in the following season. Legislative requirements force growers to harvest some of their cane during sub-optimal periods and growers have to decide the order in which to harvest blocks when both yield and sugar content that determine block returns are uncertain. Industry data about yield and (CCS) stored in a MS Access database were used in a dynamic programming analysis of potential harvest sequences. Optimal harvest patterns were identified given industry constraints on cane harvested in several equal time periods during the season.


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