Last update: April 14th, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Sugar cane farms in Florida Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows smoke plumes rising from farmland south of Lake Okeechobee in Florida.
The fires are set on sugar cane farms, where sugar growers burn the leaves and tops off the plant. According to NASA, this is a routine practice that leaves the sweeter cane material intact, which makes harvesting and transporting sugar cane cheaper.
Sugar cane farms in Florida and Scientists have been studying the sugar cane fires, including where the smoke goes and how much it may affect human health.
The image was captured onJanuary 5, 2021 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida is a vertically integrated agricultural enterprise that harvests, transports and processes sugarcane grown primarily in Palm Beach County, Florida and markets the raw sugar and blackstrap molasses through the Florida Sugar and Molasses Exchange. The Cooperative is made up of 45 grower-owners who produce sugarcane on approximately 70,000 acres of some of the most fertile farmland in America, located in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Sugarcane grown by Cooperative members is harvested, transported and processed. The raw sugar is then marketed to one of the ASR Group’s sugar refineries. The Cooperative produces more than 350,000 tons of raw sugar annually.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory