By S Gowen
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Extra info for Bananas and plantains
4 IRRIGATION A banana plantation requires large amounts of water for maximum production and this has been well documented in the literature. Purse glove (1972) maintains that 25 mm/week is the minimum required for satisfactory growth. Tropical banana plantations may consume 900-1800 mm water in the 10 months from planting to harvest (Stover and Simmonds, 1987). 3 mm/day depending on the combination of temperature, humidity, radiation and wind. Water requirements of banana and plantain are met by effective rainfall and by supplementary irrigation.
Suitable for fertigation. 4. 5. Dripper blockages induce water stress very rapidly and such blockages are difficult to detect in the field. Summer rains in the subtropics encourage widespread rooting in areas not wetted by drippers. These roots become inefficient in subsequent dry periods. Experimental comparisons There is some experimental information available on the comparative effects of different irrigation systems on banana productivity, using similar total water quantities. Arscott et ai.
Irrigating to the deepest level at which roots are found is likely to be wasteful of both water and nutrients. Although the maximum extension growth rate of banana roots is rapid, being recorded at 185 mm/week by Lassoudiere (1971) and 200 mm/week by Robinson and Alberts (1989), the main spread of the roots is horizontal rather than vertical. 6 m away from the plant, but only down to 300 mm below the plant. Abruiia et at. (1980) in Puerto Rico, counted 80% of plantain roots from 0 to 150 mm depth, 15% from 150 to 300 mm and only 5% below 300 mm.