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Agriculture > Fruit Crops > Banana (Musa spp.)

Crop Management

Intercultural Operations

Weed control

During early stages, complete control of weeds could be obtained by raising cowpea in the interspaces. In gardens where this is not possible, pre-emergence application of diuron 1.5 kg/ha or oxyfluorfen 0.2 kg/ha is effective. Weeds emerging later could be controlled by the application of glyphosate 0.4 kg/ha. If hand weeding is resorted to, give 4-5 surface diggings depending on weed growth. Avoid deep digging. Do not disturb soil after plants start producing bunches. If green manure crop is grown, weeding operations can be reduced to 1-2 diggings.

Desuckering

Remove side suckers produced till the emergence of bunch. Retain one or two suckers produced after the emergence of bunch.

Intercropping in Nendran variety

Cucumber and amaranth can be cultivated profitably with banana raised in September-October without affecting the bunch weight. For vegetable purpose, cucumber may be harvested within 95 days and for seed purpose the duration may be about 130 days. Greater yam and elephant foot yam can be profitably intercropped with Nendran.

Removal of male bud

The part of the inflorescence which consists of male flowers only, is invariably termed in different parts of the world as male bud, heart, or navel. This has apparently no comprehensible function or value in the normal bunch formation or development.

It was found that pruning the male bud had resulted in some increase in both the length and circumference of the fruit (http://www.ikisan.com/)

In respect of mean duration from shooting to maturity, there was reduction of light days in the pruned plants.

In the case of yield also, there was a significant increase of 0.9 kg in the mean bunch weight of pruned plants which worked out to 7.5 per cent increase in yield.

Other advantages in pruning the male bud include extra monetary returns by sale of male buds which are used as vegetable.

It was observed that the banana thrips which attack the fruit and cause unsightly brown freckling on the fruit, live and breed in the male buds in large numbers. The removal of the male buds obviously results in less damage from this pest.

Propping of banana plants

One of the important problems facing banana growers is the lodging of plants with mature or immature bunches during heavy winds and cyclones. The plants are uprooted or broken at the middle resulting in heavy losses to the growers.

To overcome this problem, the plants have to be propped with bamboos or caesarian poles. Single props are given. The top of the prop is placed against the throat of the plant, under the curvature of the bunch stem.

Trimming of leaves and care of banana bunches

Leaf trimming is an important operation for controlling certain leaf diseases and for promoting light penetration.

Trimming is the removal of the dead leaves that hang down the sides of the pseudostem. It is very important that only the dead and diseased leaves are cut and removed and not the still green leaves that often hang down the side of the pseudostem.

By removing those green leaves, the photosynthetic area is reduced and the final bunch size is affected.

Leaf removal may be done throughout the growing season. By keeping the plantation clean, more light and heat are available for promoting plant growth.

Further advantages of removing dead and dried leaves are that the potential dangers of fruit injury and disease infection are reduced.

Bunch covering

cover

Bagging is a cultural technique used by planters in the French West Indies, Latin America, Africa, Australia, etc., particularly, where export bananas are grown.

The main purposes are the protection of bunches against cold, sun scorching, attack of thrips and scarring beetle.

It also improves certain visual qualities of the fruits. Bunch covering with dry leaves is a common practice in India, which, however, may be a source of inoculum for post-harvest diseases.

Earthing up

Earthing up should be done during the rainy season to provide drainage, and to avoid waterlogging at the base. During summer and winter, the plants should be in furrow and on ridges during rainy season.

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