Press mud  is  a  residue  left  over  from  sugarcane  after  extraction  of  juice.Depending  on the  quality of  cane and  the  extraneous matter  that  comes  with  sugarcane, press  mud is about  3.5%  to  4.5%  of  total cane  crushed. Thecomposition of raw press mud includes carbon,nitrogen,  phosphorous,potash, calcium, magnesium, copper,  zinc, manganese, iron,  silicon  and  wax. 

The composition  varies  significantly  on  the  soil  conditions,  cane varieties,  period  of  supply  of  cane  and  geographical  variations.The content  of  nitrogen, phosphorous and potash in press mud is about 2.5%, 1.5% and 3% respectively.Simultaneously,  spent  wash  is  an effluent, which  is  a  waste  of  distilleries  producing alcohol/ethanol,  mostly  attached  to  sugar  mills.  The  spent  wash  also  has beneficial nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium etc.

At  present,the  sugar  mills  use  spent  wash  with  press  mud  to produce biocompost  as  a manure.  This is an approved method of disposal of distillery effluents.  As per experience, the productivity of not only sugarcane but other crops also is much better with use of this manure.    It  is  therefore,in  the  interest  of farmers  and  the  agriculture sector  to use press mud and spent wash to produce this manure.

Almost  all  the sugar  mills  in  India  produce  manure  by  using  press mud, which,  besides being soilfriendly manure also substitutes potash,a large quantity of which is imported in the  country, thus, saving foreign  exchange  also. In case,such a thing is allowed to happen,the mills would not be able to produce the soil friendly manure and all the useful nutrients including potash,which  is  largely  imported,  would  be  burnt  in  cement  kilns.Keeping  in  view  the benefits  of the  manure  and reasonably  good  availability  of  the  same,  it  would  be  in  the interest of farmers’ community that biocomposting is encouraged.


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