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  • 1 Universidade de São Paulo Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura Avenida Centenário 303 13416-000 Piracicaba Brazil
  • | 2 Universidade de São Paulo Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz Avenida Pádua Dias 11 13418-900 Piracicaba Brazil
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Soil as an impurity in sugarcane is a serious problem for the ethanol industry, increasing production and maintenance costs and reducing the productivity. Fe, Hf, Sc and Th determined by INAA were used as tracers to assess the amount of soil in sugarcane from truckloads as well as in the juice extraction process. Quality control tools were applied to results identifying the need for stratification according to soil type and moisture. Soil levels of truckloads had high variability indicating potential for improving cut and loading operations. Samples from the juice extraction process allowed tracking the soil in the mill tandem.