Sugarcane is grown all year round, with the length of the growth (ratoon) cycle varying depending on geographic location and climate.
In South Africa, sugarcane in irrigated areas is a 12-month crop, which reaches maturity for harvesting anytime between late February/early March until December. In the rain-fed areas, the crop cycle is ideally around 15 months, also being harvested between March and December each year. In the higher altitude areas of the Midlands, the crop cycle extends from eighteen months to two years.
Sugarcane is a strategic crop for KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, where sugarcane production is located, comprising a substantial percentage of field crop gross farming income across the two provinces