Harvesting the Sugar Cane
in the Rio Grande Valley


This tractor is equiped with a flame thrower attached to the draw bar


After getting the OK from the main office, the flame is put to the sugar cane to burn the excess leaves leaving the cane stalk to harvest.


Before starting to burn, the atmospheric conditions must be right. The wind must be blowing from the correct direction, the humidity and temperature must be at a certain minimum.


As the tractor drives around the field, the torch sets the sugar cane on fire.


The Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, Inc. employees know exactly in which direction the flames and smoke will travel.


Notice the electrical poles along the road. All things like roads, electrical poles and communities are taken into account before burning begins.


A huge mushroom cloud forms and black ash falls from this cloud for hours.

The smoke from the burning of sugar cane can be seen for miles.

This water truck stands by at every burning of sugar cane fields.

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