Sugar cane is a valuable plant for craftingrockets, making books for bookshelves, maps, and tradingpaper. Sugar cane can also be used with a composter to get bonemeal, however, melon farms are probably more suited for this. The large amount of sugar cane obtainable from some of these farms can make it much easier to get rockets or emeralds.
Sugar cane can only be planted on grass, dirt, podzol, and sand blocks. The block must be directly adjacent to water and not merely above or diagonal as with crops. If a plant's water source is removed, it will break when it is next updated. In Bedrock Edition, the sugar cane is updated with its water, so it breaks immediately.
Every 16 random ticks, sugar cane grows 1 block in height, similar to how cactus, kelp, and bamboo grow. On average, sugar cane will grow 1 block every 18 minutes. Sugar cane's growth rate is unaffected by the absence of light.
Sugar cane can naturally grow up to 3 blocks in height. This limit can be bypassed by placing additional plants on top of an existing one but it will still not grow naturally any further.
Sugar cane, like saplings, wheat, and cacti, will only grow if the chunk they are on is loaded into memory, so you should not venture too far from the field if you want it to grow. In Bedrock Edition the growth range is based on simulation distance.
Manual farm designs
The first step in building a sugar cane farm is choosing a design. When starting out, simply placing sugar cane on a river bank should be sufficient. However, this quickly becomes impractical when implemented on a large scale. Sugar cane farms must balance between compactness, ease of harvest, and difficulty to build.
A double rowed design, while not the most efficient of designs as it has only 2 canes per water, is relatively easy to build and harvest. It is also a good choice for some of the semi-automatic designs below. With this design, it is recommended to use flowing water rather than water sources. Not only is it easier to build it flowing, but when harvesting, any items that fall into the water will flow into a central location.
A more efficient grid pattern design can also be used. This design has 4 sugar canes per water source, so it is highly compact. The downsides are that is more difficult to both build and harvest. The difficulty in harvesting can be removed by placing lily pads or something similar on top of all water blocks. This makes the ground smooth and easy for the player to walk on without falling. Light blocks can be used under or above the water to prevent mob spawning. Since waterlogged blocks now exist, easily obtained slabs can be placed in the upper half of the water sources instead of lily pads without interfering with their ability to sustain plant growth.
When harvesting, walk slowly and sweep side to side breaking all but the bottom block of each sugar cane. Then, pick up any missed items and continue.
To make an average permafarm, you need 5400 blocks of sugarcane growing.
Semi automatic farm designs
In Bedrock Edition, when sugar cane's water source is removed, it immediately breaks. Using this principle, it is easy to create semi-automatic farms that harvest the sugar cane. These designs should still work in Java Edition, however, it will take a bit more time for the sugar cane to break. Some other designs here are classified as semi-automatic due to their lack of ability to pick up the sugar cane. These can often be easily converted into automatic designs as seen in the next section.
Water canal design
Build the double rowed design as shown in the manual farms list. Then, place dispensers containing water buckets to control the water flow. Removing the water streams with the dispensers should cause the sugar cane to break so the player can pick them up and replant.
Top view of an extended piston harvester
Side view of a piston harvester
This design uses pistons to harvest the sugar cane. If the sugar cane is only two blocks tall, it can all be pushed into a water stream. However, if it grows any taller, the top blocks may fall down to the sand where the player can pick it up. This design is often used as the basis for fully automatic farms, however, it must be modified to push the top blocks as well or some of the sugar cane may be lost.
Bone meal design
See also: Tutorials/Bone meal farming
Side view of a simple bone meal farm
In Bedrock Edition, bone meal can be used to instantly grow sugar cane to maximum height. This mechanic can be used to create automatic sugar cane farms.
In the shown design, the dispenser can be filled with bone meal to constantly grow the sugar cane. Since bone meal is not used up on fully grown sugar cane, none is wasted. The player can then stand and constantly break the middle block of sugar cane to quickly farm large quantities.
It is not difficult to connect this with a piston to make it more automatic. However, since pistons cannot push and retract as quickly as the observer clock, it may be desirable to use a different redstone clock. Additionally, a single hopper may not be able to keep up with the large amount of sugar cane, so multiple hoppers or a slower clock should be used. Ideally, a 4 gametick delay clock should be used instead of an observer clock. Even more ideal is a 2 gametick alternating dispenser bonemeal system with a ravager in a minecart to break the top 2 sugarcane blocks.
Fully automatic designs
Fully automatic designs automatically harvest and collect sugar cane, usually relying on some sort of redstone clock or growth detection. These designs are often expensive to build and more lag prone than other designs. However, the large amount of sugar cane they produce can pay off.
The easiest way is to pillar up 3 blocks, and the second block is a piston,the third an observer. Plant the sugarcane and collect it using a hopper system or any other means.
There are four main types of automatic sugar cane farms: Stationary, flying, sim-tick, and zero-tick. Stationary designs, while simpler for platforms without quasi-connectivity, are generally more resource and space intensive as compared to flying designs. Flying designs usually require slime blocks however which may be difficult to obtain for some players. Sim-tick designs move the player so the plant is out of simulation distance, then uses a sticky piston that is within simulation distance to remove and then replace the block beneath it, and when you move back so the plant is within simulation distance, the plant has grown. Zero-tick designs remove and replace a requirement for the plant within the same game tick, also forcing a growth update. These designs usually use pistons or sand manipulation. Zero-tick sugar cane farms are faster in Bedrock Edition, with some getting at or above 2,000 sugarcane per hour per plant.
By using a daylight sensor or other clock circuit, the semi-automatic piston design is shown above can be made fully automatic. To make it more lossless, it is recommended to add another layer of pistons above the original one. In Bedrock Edition, these designs can be an alternative to flying machines that are difficult to create and use for this purpose.
Other variations are also possible, such as this diagonal design which uses a hopper clock rather than a daylight sensor.
Rather than use a clock, some designs use observers to harvest the sugar cane as soon as it grows. Designs such as these inefficiently use space compared to the clock method. Since all the pistons activate anytime sugar cane grows, they are usually less lag efficient too. When constructing, the sugar cane goes on the dirt and rails run where the minecart is shown.
It is possible to speed up the process of sugar cane by removing the water source and replacing it in the same game tick, this process is called zero-ticking. Although this does not work in Java Edition as of 1.16 it does work in Bedrock.
The use of flying machines and hopper minecarts can be combined to create some of the most efficient farms. Flying machine designs generally use only a few pistons and don't create lag except when harvesting. This is usually the preferred type of design when creating a large farm. The main disadvantage to farms such as these is that they can break if unloaded while running. Due to this, it can be risky to have these run without supervision.
This video has some useful information regarding flying sugar cane farming. It contains a practically lossless flying machine design similar to the one above. The lossless design works by covering the water with leaves and using the flying machine to ensure items pushed to places they can be picked up.
Some flying farms focus on just individual rows of sugar cane, instead of larger fields. Designs like these typically cost fewer slime blocks to build, and are usually the cheapest option for mass farming.
This farm uses a four directional flying machine which works out cheaper than most designs, especially for larger farms. It even can reduce the lag caused by entites as it drops less entities into the world.
Here’s how to build an automatic sugarcane farm in Minecraft
Farming is one of the slower parts of Minecraft, but you can make the crops harvest themselves with some redstone and a little know-how.
Once you’ve found a suitable location for your automatic Minecraft farm, create two pillars six blocks high and three blocks apart from each other. Then, set up chests and a hopper near the base. You’ll want the chests facing away from the pillars with the hopper behind them.
The next step is to determine the length of your redstone-powered sugar farm. There’s no limit to how big it can get, but keep in mind that your Minecraft farm will constantly produce sugarcane while you’re out exploring.
Extend the base of the pillars parallel with the chests to your desired length. Replace every eighth block with a redstone block. These will power our automatic hopper minecarts later on. Cap off the end with a solid wall six blocks tall.
Cover both of the railings with powered minecart tracks and place a hopper minecart on each side. Get them moving to make sure your tracks are properly set up, and make adjustments if necessary. They should eternally bounce from one end of the track to the other.
Place a row of dirt blocks above each rail. The sugarcane plants will grow on these. Create backings for each of the railings so the middle of the structure can’t be seen from the outside. This will prevent any precious sugarcane from falling out of the autofarm. Doublecheck to make sure you used hopper minecarts.
Next, create two trenches along the interior. Fill them with water to irrigate the plants. Sugarcane needs close proximity to water in order to grow, so make sure both sides have plenty of water available.
Cover the trenches with a three-block wide layer of cobblestone, then set pistons facing outwards along the railing. The piston should be two blocks above the dirt.
Fill in the row between the pistons with cobble and draw a line of redstone dust along the new trench. Then place observers above the piston facing outwards. When a sugarcane grows three blocks tall, the observers will activate the pistons and harvest it. Your auto Minecraft farm should look like this from above.
All that’s left now is to plant your sugarcane and wait for it to grow. Hostile and friendly mobs can sometimes wander into the machine and mess with it, so cover the exterior with blocks to prevent trespassing. Any material will work, but glass offers an attractive look and lets you more easily monitor the sugarcane farm for any malfunctions.
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Top 3 Minecraft automatic sugarcane farms
Minecraft is a sandbox game that allows the player to build things based on their creativity. Automated farms are one of the best things to build in the game, and they can be made using redstone items. Most of them are fully automatic and produce items in huge quantities.
Sugarcane is an essential item that Minecraft players will need for many things. For example, to set up an enchanting table with a lot of bookshelves, players will need sugarcane to get paper for crafting books.
Gathering sugarcane is not hard, but it can be made a lot easier and faster by building an automatic sugarcane farm.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.
Best automatic sugarcane farms to build in Minecraft
3) Simple design
This sugarcane farm design does not require a lot of resources to build. Players will get a decent amount of sugar cane out of this farm, which should be enough for them to get by.
Minecrafters will need only one sugarcane, observer, piston, hopper minecart, hopper, chest, and sand block to build this farm.
2) Flying machine farm
The flying machine farm is one of the hardest sugarcane farm designs to build. As its name suggests, it features a flying machine that is made using slime blocks and pistons. The flying machine goes back and forth on the farm and breaks any sugarcane that has grown over two or more blocks high.
The farm also has a hopper minecart with rails, which is set up below the sugarcane's layer. The hopper minecart collects all the broken sugarcane and stores it in the chest.
1) Basic piston farm
This is one of the simplest automatic sugarcane farms that players can build in Minecraft. One of the best things about this farm is that players can easily expand it in the future to get more sugarcane out of it.
This farm uses observers, pistons, hoppers, and chests. Observers send a redstone signal to the pistons when the sugarcane has grown three blocks high. The pistons will then break the sugar cane, which gets collected in chests by going through the hoppers.
Also read: Top 5 uses for sugar cane in Minecraft
Minecraft: How To Make An Automatic Sugarcane Farm
With a variety of automatic farms in Minecraft, you should never run out of materials. An important addition to your suite of automated farming facilities is an automatic sugarcane farm.
Sugarcane is a plant that grows near the edge of the water and can be crafted into sugar or paper. As you progress in Minecraft, paper will become incredibly important. You will use it to create maps, books, and bookcases. Instead of searching for sugarcane, add this automatic farm to your base!
Related: Minecraft: The Ultimate Redstone Guide
This guide will teach you how to make a simple automatic sugarcane farm that can be expanded and customized.
Updated September 8th, 2021 by Russ Boswell: Minecraft is still going strong in 2021, with many new players flocking to the Indie darling thanks to its release on a wide array of platforms. Those just joining the procedurally generated adventure may feel overwhelmed by all of the things they can do and create but there are often things that new players overlook. Finding Sugar Cane and constructing an Automatic Sugar Cane Farm is one of the smartest things that any Minecraft player can do. Farming Sugar Cane in abundance is necessary for making a lot of useful items, like movement potions, maps, food, books, and even banners. To help players better understand what they can use Sugar Cane for, and why it's important, the following guide has been updated.
This farm involves some redstone work, but it's nothing too difficult. Below, you can see the full list of materials needed for this automatic sugarcane farm.
- 2 water buckets
- 5 sugarcane
- 2 hoppers
- 37 glass blocks
- 5 redstone dust
- 30 building blocks (your choice, depending on the appearance you prefer)
- 5 observers
- 5 pistons
- 1 chest
- 5 dirt
To build a sugarcane farm, you will need to already have some sugarcane on hand. Fortunately, it's not that hard to find. Sugarcane can be found in almost every biome, near a water source. Chances are, you will probably spawn near a sugarcane source.
If for some reason you cannot find any, the Wandering Trader will sell you 1 sugarcane for an emerald.
Steps to Make an Automatic Sugarcane Farm
First, you will want to lay down 5 dirt blocks in a row. Leaving a row next to the dirt empty, surround the 5x2 space with your building block.
Above, you can see what it should look like. The sugarcane will not place on the ground without a water source. However, you can see it in the image above for reference as to where it will go.
Dig a hole in the middle of the foundation, directly next to the dirt for sugarcane. Extend this outwards underneath the building block, removing 3 dirt blocks. You should have a 4x5 build, with a 3x1 'trench' leading to the side. Check the image above for reference.
Once the hole is dug, place a chest on the outside. The chest should be in the center of the 5 blocks facing you. Feel free to clear an area for easy access. From the backside of the chest, attach 2 hoppers. Hold shift when attaching to chests and hoppers so you won't interact with them. The example above has a removed building block so you can see the layout of both hoppers.
Place two water sources on opposite ends of the empty 5x1 space above the hopper. The water should flow and meet at the hopper in the center.
Next, plant 5 sugarcanes on the dirt, and then use your building blocks behind the sugarcane to place 7 blocks in a row.
On top of the building blocks, place 5 pistons. Pistons are a bit tricky to place, so you may have to use a few temporary blocks to adjust the pistons until they face outwards, towards the sugarcane.
On top of each piston, place an observer. Behind each piston, place a building block with redstone on top. This is the only redstone needed, but it is important in making this farm automatic.
When the sugarcane grows in front of the observers, the redstone will trigger, causing the pistons to push outwards. Each time a piston is activated, 2 sugarcane will be harvested.
You're almost done! Use glass to enclose the farm. When the pistons push outwards, the sugarcane will break and may fly in every direction. To ensure that the broken sugarcane ends up in the water going to the chest, place glass along the edges. For extra precaution, you can also place a glass roof.
Be sure to have a 'maintenance entrance' just in case you need to fix anything. Glass breaks when it is destroyed, so consider adding a door or a ladder to enter through the top. You can change the building block with any block of your choice.
RELATED: Minecraft: How To Enchant Tools And Armor
Additionally, you can use colored glass, or just use your building block instead. The glass adds a nice effect, allowing you to see the inner workings of the farm, but this is not necessary.
Now, you're officially done with the automatic sugarcane farm! This farm will give you material from 5 different sugarcane plants. However, you can expand this farm as much as you want. Check out some tips for expansion and efficiency below.
Tips for Efficiency
As mentioned earlier, this farm can easily be expanded. Above, you can see the original farm expanded. To do this, just follow the same pattern as before. Extend the rows of pistons and observers over each additional sugarcane you plant.
Adjusting the water sources is easy as well. You will still place water in each corner. However, you will have to move the hopper so it stays in the center of the flowing water. Try to have the water sources always meeting in the center. If your farm becomes too long for water to meet, consider making a new row instead of having an extra-long farm.
As with many Minecraft farms, this will only produce sugarcane if you are nearby. Material in Minecraft will not grow if you are far away, so keep this farm near your base.
How Rare Is Sugar Cane And Where Can Players Find It?
Although Sugar Cane is a pretty basic item in terms of Minecraft "rarity," that doesn't mean it's as readily available as other resources. During each new world generation, Sugar Cane has the following chances to spawn at corresponding block height naturally near water:
- Two blocks tall: 11/18
- Three blocks tall: 5/18
- Four blocks tall: 2/18
As far as generalized spawn rates go, Sugar Cane will "try" to spawn at least 10 times in any given biome so long as it's near water. These chances double (and additional 10 times) in both Desert and Swamp biomes. However, it's important to note that lack of water sources in most Desert biomes can make Sugar Cane a bit of a rarity there.
Why Should Players Make An Automatic Sugar Cane Farm?
Sugar Cane is an important resource in Minecraft, often overlooked by players that are just starting out. Those that really want to increase their survival and upgrade their abilities will need to locate a good source of Sugar Cane early on in a new world. Unfortunately, although it's "easy to locate" for the most part, farming an abundance of Sugar Cane can be tricky without creating a reliable farming method.
Many new players will see the value in snagging some Sugar Cane to produce sugar for the elusive Cake (and its corresponding achievement, The Lie) but Sugar Cane is actually much more versatile and necessary than it may first appear.
What Can Players Make With Sugar Cane?
Sugar Cane can be formed into Sugar by adding one to the center square of a crafting table.
The following items can be made using Sugar as an ingredient:
- Cake - 3 x Milk Bucket, 3 x Wheat, 2 x Sugar, 1 x Egg
- Fermented Spider Eye - 1 x Brown Mushroom, 1 x Sugar, 1 x Spider Eye
- Pumpkin Pie - 1 x Sugar, 1 x Pumpkin, 1 x Egg
Players can use Sugar at a brewing stand to make:
- Mundane Potion - 1 x Water Bottle, 1 x Sugar
- Potion of Swiftness - 1 x Awkward Potion, 1 x Sugar
Sugar Cane can be formed into Paper by adding one to each of the middle row squares of a crafting table.
The following items can be made using Paper as an ingredient:
- Book - 1 x Leather, 3 x Paper
- Cartography Table - 2 x Paper, 4 x Planks (Any kind)
- Empty Map - 9 x Paper (Players can substitute one Paper for a Compass to make an upgraded map)
- Banner Pattern Thing - 1 x Enchanted Golden Apple, 1 x Paper
- Banner Pattern Skull - 1 x Wither Skeleton Skull, 1 x Paper
- Banner Pattern Flower - 1 Oxeye Daisy, 1 x Paper
- Banner Pattern Field Masoned - 1 x Bricks, 1 x Paper
- Banner Pattern Creeper - 1 x Creeper Head, 1 x Paper
- Banner Pattern Bordure Indented - 1 x Vines, 1 x Paper
Players can also produce a Firework Rocket with one paper and one gunpowder. The gunpowder can be increased up to three, which will cause the firework to fly higher into the air before exploding. They can also add up to five firework stars to cause different explosion effects.
Next: Minecraft: How To Make An Easy Bonemeal Farm
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Read NextAbout The Author
Jacqueline Zalace is a writer for TheGamer, based in Austin, Texas. When she's not writing or playing video games, you can catch her doing yoga and painting.
Sugar cane farm minecraft
How to create an automatic sugarcane farm in Minecraft
Minecraft players who are fond of enchanting books are bound to run out of paper at some point. This is where an automatic sugarcane farm comes into play.
After running an automatic sugarcane farm for a while, players will eventually have too many books to enchant.
Luckily, automatic sugarcane farms are extremely easy to craft. Minecraft players will only need a few observers, pistons, and some redstone to create this useful contraption.
A full tutorial on how to build an automatic sugarcane farm in Minecraft is detailed below.
Resources required to build an automatic sugarcane farm in Minecraft
The great thing about sugarcane farms is they can be as large as the player desires. This means that the number of resources required depends on how large the player wants their farm to be.
Players will be happy to know that the resource requirement for an automatic sugarcane farm is quite low. Even a small farm can provide tons of sugar cane for players to craft with.
Players will need the following item types to correctly build the farm:
- Redstone Dust
- Dirt or Sand (to plant sugar cane)
- Building blocks
Build tutorial for an automatic sugarcane farm in Minecraft
There are several techniques that players can use to create an automatic sugarcane farm in Minecraft. The technique described below is great for players who are looking to conserve their resources.
To begin, players will need sand or dirt to plant the sugarcane. They are recommended to use two rows of dirt with an empty row in between them. A water pathway can then be placed in this empty row (seen above).
Many players use an observer and a piston for each sugarcane plant. However, this technique will only use one observer.
Every sugarcane plant should have one piston facing it. An observer should then be placed in such a way that it faces one of the plants.
When that plant grows, the observer will activate and send a redstone pulse to every piston, activating them in the process. Players will need to connect the observer to every piston with redstone dust for this to work.
The pistons will break the sugarcane plants if they have grown to a height of two. The pathway of water will then catch the sugarcane and send it into a hopper. This will transfer it to a chest for easy extraction.
The video above showcases a more compact design for an automatic sugarcane farm in Minecraft. However, it uses multiple observers.
Also Read: How to build a small aquarium in Minecraft
Introduction: Automatic Sugar Cane Farm
This is an Automatic Sugar Cane Farm so you never have to harvest again.
1. Minecraft 1.14.4
Step 1: Step 1: Digging
Dig out a 1 x 7 whole in the ground.
Step 2: Step 2: Add the Chest
Dig out the middle and add a chest. This is where your sugar cane will be stored.
Step 3: Step 3: Add the Hoppers
Fill in the 1 x 7 whole with hoppers running into eachother.
Step 4: Step 4: Build the Border
Build the border around the hoppers.
Step 5: Step 5: Add the Sand
Add the sand that the sugar cane will grow on.
Step 6: Step 6: Add the Water
Add the water above the hoppers.
Step 7: Step 7: Add the Piston
Add the pistons and build a bigger border.
Step 8: Step 8: Add the Observers and Redstone
Add the Observers above the pistons and link up the Redstone.
Step 9: Step 9: Add the Sugar Cane
This is the final step so all you need to do is add the Sugar Cane!
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Farming Sugar Cane
Sugar cane is the raw material for sugar and paper. Sugar is used in cooking; paper is used to make maps and books (which you need for Enchanting).
Sugar cane can be found growing next to water. It grows up to three blocks high; if you break off the middle and top blocks, leaving the bottom block in place, it will continue to grow. This makes sugar cane easy to farm as you don't need to replant if you harvest it carefully.
A Simple Sugar Cane Farm
Sugar Cane must be planted on dirt blocks that are next to water. It's best to use canals of running water so that cane when harvested will flow to the end of the stream for easy collection.
This layout works nicely.
Plant single blocks of sugar cane on all the dirt.
Wait for the sugar cane to grow: remember to make sure that your plantation is well-lit so you don't have nasty surprise when you come back.
Ready to Harvest
Harvest the sugar cane by bashing the upper and middle blocks. Job done!
Automated Sugar Cane Farms
If you want a lot of sugar-cane — maybe you're making books for enchanting, or just a decorative library — consider making an automated farm that can be harvested at the push of a button.
It's easy to build automated sugar cane farms that use pistons to break off the top and middle sections of cane, leaving the rest to regrow.
The version I present here uses quite a lot of redstone, but below I will show a different version that uses less materials.
You will need 79 redstone, 32 iron bars, 96 wood planks, 20 sticks, 128 cobblestone and 5 smooth stone for components, plus more stone or cobblestone for building, 16 blocks of dirt and a bucket of water. Plus at least 1 piece of sugar cane to get started!
(The poor man's version requires only 42 redstone, 16 iron bars and 48 planks)
This farm is very compact; 11 x 9 x 5 blocks high. You might want to connect several farms together if you want to harvest vast amounts of sugar cane, though.
1. Build The Base
Build the base: an 8-block canal with water placed at one end, flanked by strips of dirt. There is a 1 block-high wall next to the dirt.
2. Add Pistons
Make 32 pistons:
Arrange the pistons in two banks of 16 like so:
It may help to built a temporary wall of dirt to place the pistons against, if you're having trouble.
3. Wire Up the Pistons
Build a row of blocks level with the top row of pistons, 1 block away. Place redstone torches along the side of these blocks, facing the pistons, and place redstone dust along the top to form a wire.
Wiring up the pistons.
Underneath one end of the row of blocks, place a redstone torch. Place a stone button on the block underneath the redstone torch.
The red circle highlights a stone button; it would be easier to see on a different colour background!
Extend the wiring around the back of the farm so that it controls the pistons on the other side. A repeater is needed to make the current go far enough. Make sure you place it the right way round - there is a little arrow on it that points from right to left.
Make sure to leave a gap between the pistons at the back of the farm and your wiring.
Test your wiring! Push the button, and all of the pistons should extend momentarily.
5. Finishing Touches and Operation.
Add a roof and lighting if you like, but this is optional. Plant your sugar cane and wait for it to grow.
The finished sugar cane farm.
Ready to harvest.
When it is fully grown, push the button to harvest. Almost all of the sugar cane will fall into the water and be brought to you to pick up.
Push the button and collect your sugar cane.
It's easy to chain together a large number of these units if you want to harvest very large quantities of sugar cane.
This farm contains 80 of the units described above and will provide more than enough sugar cane to fill your inventory at the push of a button.
A competent redstone engineer could easily hook these farms up to a clock mechanism to pulse the pistons every 5–10 minutes and provide a steady stream of sugar cane.
Here is a cheaper version of a sugar-cane farm. It uses only 16 pistons, aimed at the middle sections of the sugar cane, and in this picture is operated by a pressure plate (wood or stone) in front of the collection point.
Instead of using the redstone torches, redstone wire is placed in a line along the top of blocks that are behind the pistons.