A new shoot or sprout springing from the base of a crop plant, especially sugar cane, after cropping.
- ‘Mother pineapple plants produce two types of suckers - ratoons emerge from below the soil; other suckers develop in the leaf axils.’
- ‘The plantation would provide seed, ratoons (cane striplings), tools, fertilizer, irrigation, and so on, and would pay a stipulated price for delivered cane.’
1 (of sugar cane) produce ratoons.
- ‘Hybridizations were made using ratooning plants from the selected individuals in each generation.’
- ‘Farmers can also prevent pests and disease build-up in cotton growing by avoiding ratooning.’
- 1.1[with object]Cut down (a plant) to cause it to produce ratoons.
- ‘The practice of ratooning exploits the perennial tendencies of some land-races and cultivars of sorghum.’
Mid 17th century (as a noun): from Spanish retoño a sprout.