Sugarcane is an important crop in more than 100 countries around the world. Their burning is a cultural activity before and after the harvest; however, pollutants and greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere can affect the human health and weather, respectively. The aim of this research is to report the CO2 emissions of the main countries dedicated to the cane production and explain their relevant relation with the dry matter available to the burn and how it can affect their alternative uses. The methodology used in this study identifies the relation between biomass burned (dry matter) and CO2 emissions, estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations with the techniques of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The study was carried out for the period of 1990–2014. The results show an important positive trend in the increase in the annual production levels and the biomass burned during the harvest period. The high correlation between harvested area and yield per hectare in countries such as Brazil and the United States allows to have more biomass available for alternative uses. Countries such as Mexico and Colombia have a low correlation between both the parameters due to the increase in the harvested hectares and reduction of their performance per hectare.
Part of the book: Sugarcane