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May 11, 2022

Ratoon / noun / ra·​toon

We can use the word “ratoon” in English as both a noun and a verb. When used as a noun, “ratoon” represents the growth of a new shoot or “sprout” at the base of a perennial crop plant. When we use the word “ratoon” as a verb it is normally descriptive of sugar cane harvesting. The harvesting process involves leaving part of the shoot or stubble in the ground to start a new growth cycle. The ancients used a method called “ratooning” to propagate new bountiful crops of sugarcane originally raised from seedlings. The most distinguishing feature of “ratoon” crops is that they grow from the leftover stubble of the previous crop’s harvest. Examples of crops that go through the “ratoon” crop process include sugar cane, rice, and bananas.

In a Sentence

Farmers begin ratooning and bringing in the sugar cane crops on schedule every season.

Many people don’t know that rice is a popular ratoon crop that grows indefinitely.

Ratooning is an ancient farming process that produces bountiful crops each year.


Spanish and Latin.  We find the first use of the word “ratoon” in English during the early 16th century around 1631. Etymologists say “ratoon” was originally introduced into language as a noun with the definition representing the root of perennial plants like sugar cane. Since its inception, the word “ratoon” has taken on a new meaning as a verb that depicts growing new crops from remnants of the old. “Ratoon” was first recorded as a very in the early 17th century around 1732. We use the word in English as both a verb and a noun.


Bud, Offshoot


Wither, Wilt


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