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I recently started a sugar cane farm, and I'm just curious as to the rate at which sugar cane grows.

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2 Answers 2

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I have an automatic piston-harvested farm with 16 cane plants harvested every ~10 seconds. Here are two different estimations of the rate. By "growth" I mean the event of one block being added to the top of a sugar cane plant.

  • When I watch the farm running, it seems to drop about 1 cane every 2 cycles (but this is a fuzzy memory); this would be a rate of (1 cane)/(20 seconds)/(16 plants) = 1/320 growths per plant per second.

  • When I come by to collect its drops, I usually get 6-8 canes (but this excludes the number which miss the water stream and get stuck inside the farm); if the farm has been active and the collection point untouched for a full 5 minutes = 300 seconds (item despawn time), then we get (8 canes)/(300 seconds)/(16 plants) = 1/600 growths per plant per second.

The latter figure is probably closer to correct as it does not involve an estimation of probability.

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So between 5 to 10 minutes? –  Resorath Jul 20 '11 at 22:42
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Yes, but recognize that that's for one plant. –  Kevin Reid Jul 20 '11 at 23:57
    
Dang, are you trying to corner the Sugar market? What do you need all that sugar cane for, anyway? :) –  Cyclops Jul 21 '11 at 14:29
    
The occasional bookcase or cake? — The thing here is that this is running all the time, and I've arranged so that I run over the drops whenever I arrive at my base from a railway. Thus I gather materials without needing to take any action. At that amount of inattention, this much cane collection is just right. — Also, if you think this is too much, you haven't seen my cactus farm (which goes into the same collection system). If you like, check it out on my server at mc.switchb.org! –  Kevin Reid Jul 21 '11 at 15:19
    
First you get de sugar … then you get de women … then you get de power –  MattyD Jul 28 '11 at 4:42

Sugar cane grows using block ticks. Every 16 block ticks it grows, and each block tick happens on average every 68 seconds, that means on average a sugar cane will grow every 1088 seconds, or 18 minutes 8 seconds. This is only with optimal conditions however. Watch all of Wubbi's video, it's really helpful and accurate.

Sources:

http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Tick

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