Sugar cane bales are a byproduct of the sugar industry. Sugar cane bales provide a clean, straw like mulch, and it contains low levels of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulphur. Unlike a lot of other mulches, it does not take nitrogen from the soil. It improves the nutrients of the soil as it decomposes and also improves the soil’s structure. However, if it is allowed to fully dry out, it will become hydrophobic, actually interfering with the water’s ability to filter through to the soil below.