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Cultivation of Banana da Terra

Byadmin

Nov 10, 2022
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In the Presentation, we find: “In Brazil, there is no manual or book on Terra bananas, for fried or boiled consumption, which has some peculiarities in its cultivation, such as high susceptibility to pests, slow production of offspring, the elevation of the rhizome and, consequently, low longevity, productivity, and profitability.

Therefore, Embrapa Mandioca e Fruticultura considered it essential to prepare this book, based on information available in Brazil and abroad, considering that transferring knowledge and technologies is one of its greatest concerns, which does not end with its generation, but with its introduction into the production system and, later, into the respective banana production chain. It aims, therefore, to pass on to the producers of Terra-type bananas, the knowledge accumulated over years of investigation.

Cultivation of Banana

The Terra banana is most grown in tropical areas of African, American, and Asian countries, as well as in the French Antilles and the Caribbean. In Brazil, the largest producing states are Bahia, Espírito Santo, Amazonas, Pará, Goiás, and Pernambuco. The world production of bananas of the AAB and ABB groups, which includes the Terra type, was 30,500,000 tons in 2001. Africa produced about 50% of this total, South America 25%, Asia 15%, and Central America 10%.

Terra bananas are used in the preparation of various dishes of Brazilian cuisine, with emphasis on the North and Northeast regions. It is also used in the manufacture of chips, mainly in the Amazon region. In African countries, it is the staple food in some producing regions, where consumption reaches 220 kg/inhabitant/year. In the Caucasus Valley, in Colombia, it reaches 300 kg/inhabitant per year, that is, close to 822 g / day per person.

By not applying modern inputs and technology in their crops, the Terra banana producer can obtain some profit, but this is only relative since their crops quickly degenerate to a limit in which the production and the quality of the same are not commercial acceptability.

banana
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The information contained in this book is of real interest, especially to those who are dedicated to the cultivation of Terra bananas and can make the best use of it. They bring together chapters that range from climate and soil conditions, planting, and cultural practices to marketing, production costs, and alternative uses of the product”. Élio José Alves- Embrapa Cassava and Fruit Growing Researcher. From p. 9 and 10.

Climatic Requirements – Climatic factors related to temperature, rainfall, winds, light, altitude, and relative humidity are decisive for the commercial exploitation of bananas Temperature – To obtain good harvests, high and constant temperatures are necessary, ranging between 20º C and 32º C. Temperatures below 20º C delay the physiological development of the plant, increasing the time between the emergence of the mother or offspring plant and the cutting of the bunch, causing chlorotic symptoms in the leaves that die prematurely.

Most of the homogeneous microregions

Consequently, the pseudostem loses turgidity (firmness), the growth of the banana tree is slow, the bunches do not emerge vigorously and the hands (hands) are born deformed. The temperature range of 15º C and 35º C is considered an extreme limit for the cultivation of the culture and the 22º C to 31º C range is considered to fully meet the vegetative and production needs of the banana tree.

Most of the homogeneous microregions that produce Terra bananas in Brazil are between 18º C and 31º C, and these temperature levels are essentially tropical, common in the North and Northeast, as well as in part of the Southeast and Center-West regions. . P. 20 to 21.

Water Needs (Rain, Irrigation) – Water consumption by the banana tree is high and constant since approximately 87.5% of its weight is made up of water. The amount of rain necessary for the good development and production of banana trees is around 1,900 mm per year, well distributed, that is, without water deficiency.

In deep soils with good water retention capacity, 1,200 mm/year, well distributed over the months of the year, can provide good yields and satisfactory fruit quality. In natural conditions of rainfall distribution, this availability rarely occurs, but it can be adjusted with the use of irrigation, to 120 to 180 mm/month, according to the type of soil (with greater or lesser water retention capacity), values this considered ideal for the development and production of high-quality bananas.

The scarcity of water in the soil becomes more critical in the phases of floral differentiation (flowering period) and at the beginning of fructification, compromising the emission of the inflorescence (bunch) and the development of fruits. When the scarcity of water in the soil is prolonged, the leaf rosette is compressed, making it difficult or even preventing the release of inflorescence. In this circumstance, the bunch may even lose its commercial value. P. 22 and 23 of the aforementioned book.

Solar Radiation (Light)

Solar Radiation (Light) – Under low light intensity, banana trees need a greater number of days to complete their vegetative cycle. Banana trees that grow in the shade of trees reduce their size, and their roots develop superficially and need two or more months to fruit, compared to those that grow in full sun exposure.

In regions of high luminosity, the period for the bunch to reach the commercial cut-off point is 80 to 90 days after its issuance, while in low-light regions at some times of the year, the period necessary for the bunch to reach the point of Commercial cut ranges from 85 to 112 days. Under intermediate luminosity, the harvest takes place between 90 and 100 days after the bunch is issued. Sometimes even more, in the months of lower temperatures, that is June to August in Brazil.

The range of light hours per year must be between 1,500 and 2,500. Low values, less than 1,000 hours, are insufficient for bananas to have good development. Excessively high levels, that is, especially when they are in the cartridge phase or have just been opened. The days of strong insolation cause damage to the fruits if they are not protected, this damage is commonly known as “sunburn”.

Wind

Wind – The wind is a climatic factor that can cause small damages to the destruction of the banana plantation. The damage caused by the wind is a) rupture of the leaf veins, caused by winds above 20 km/hour, which reduce the harvest due to the weakening of the plant; b) fruit loss due to pseudostem and root breakage; c) damping-off of plants, due to the fragile network system of the banana tree, making the effect of the wind even greater.

Altitude – Earth-type banana trees can be grown at altitudes ranging from zero to more than 1,000 meters above sea level. However, yields and product quality are reduced with increasing altitude, since the vegetative cycle is prolonged, and can go from 10 to 24 months in crops established at 20 to 1990 meters above sea level. In this case, the weight of the bunch can also be reduced from 35 kg to 10 kg, respectively.

In addition to the cycle, other characteristics of the plant show alterations, such as the shape of the bunch, which at sea level is cylindrical, with compact hands, becoming a truncated cone, with hands more distant from each other and separated from the rachis, at the highest altitude ( 1990 meters).

From an economic point of view, it should be considered that all Terra-type banana clones can be cultivated from sea level to 1,350 meters of altitude, with the exception of “Horton” (D’Angelo in Brazil), whose cultivation would be up to 800 meters above sea level.

In low-tech crops (regional consumption) you can grow Terra bananas, without any exception, up to 2,000 meters above sea level.

Relative Humidity

Relative Humidity – As they are typical plants of humid tropical regions, banana trees develop better in places with annual average relative humidity above 80%.

This condition accelerates the emission of leaves, prolongs their life, favors the emergence of inflorescence, and uniforms the color of the banana fruits. However, when associated with rain and high temperatures, it causes fungal diseases, especially Black Sigatoka. Low relative humidity favors the development of thicker leaves with a shorter shelf life.

Texture – The ideal soil for banana plants is deep alluvial, rich in organic matter, well-drained, and with good water retention capacity. But the banana tree is cultivated and adapts to different types of soils.

The very sandy ones (Quartz sands, medium texture Red-Yellow Latosol, etc.) should be avoided, as they generally have low nutrient contents and low water retention capacity, increasing production costs due to the need for more frequent fertilization and practices aimed at improving water supply.

On the other hand, those that are very clayey can cause difficulties in root growth, poor drainage, and poor aeration.

Topography – In general, when weather conditions are favorable, crops can be established both on slopes and on flat terrain. Flat to slightly undulating terrains, with a slope of less than 8%, are more suitable, as they facilitate crop management, mechanization, cultural practices, harvesting, and soil conservation. Areas with a slope greater than 30% are considered unsuitable for the crop.

Depth – Although most banana roots are located in the first 20 to 40 centimeters of depth, it is important that the soil is deep, with more than 75 centimeters without any impediment.

Soils with a depth of fewer than 25 centimeters are considered unsuitable for the crop. In shallow soils, the small number of roots that grow in depth cannot penetrate very far into the soil, causing the plants to be subject to toppling over. Hence, it is important to observe the soil profile as a whole, and not just the surface layers, to detect the presence or absence of impediment layers.

Soils for banana cultivation can be classified into four groups: 1- Soils that do not present limitations to obtain high productivity. They are flat, well-drained, deep soils (minimum of 120 centimeters), medium to clayey texture, well structured, permeable, fertile, with neutral or slightly acidic pH, without danger of flooding and without salinity problems; 2- Soils that have some limitations due to natural fertility, undulating or strong undulating relief, effective depth and/or drainage, which lead to lower productivity than those obtained in the soils of the previous group and, thus, require greater investments to obtain high yields; 3-

Soils that are not suitable for cultivation, due to very low natural fertility (savannah and savannah vegetation) and/or very sandy texture, requiring more intensive cultivation practices than in the soils of the previous groups, in order to obtain economically profitable productions; 4- Soils not suitable for cultivation, because they have many limitations (they are shallow, stony, with unfavorable physical conditions and/or with risks of salinization) and low yields that, to be increased, require very high investments.

Continuing on the subject of the book “Cultivo de Bananeira Tipo Terra”, by EMBRAPA, having already seen the chapters on Climatic Demands and Soil Choice, from chapters I and II, we are going to transcribe part of chapter III on Liming and Fertilization, from p. 35 onwards.

Terra bananas are cultivated by small producers, mainly in the North and Northeast regions, where the soils are often poor in nutrients and the lack of studies and information on these cultivars leads to the practice of management without correct techniques, especially regarding the liming and fertilization.

The importance of nutritional balance throughout the plant cycle is essential to obtain high yields and, for this, each nutrient essential to the plant’s metabolism must be available in the soil solution in adequate amounts and proportions. To correctly fertilize the banana plantation, it is essential to consider the nutrient contents in the plant and their availability in the soil. Soil chemical analysis should be done before planting. The sample must be representative of a homogeneous area (up to 10ha), being collected at random and formed by approximately 15 to 20 subsamples.

Liming – Liming is a practice that, in addition to reducing soil acidity, raising pH, and neutralizing toxic aluminum, provides calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) for plants. The amounts of Ca (131kg/hectare per cycle) and Mg (193kg/ha per cycle) absorbed by the “Terra” banana tree are higher than those of sulfur (S), and phosphorus (P); thus, these nutrients must be supplied by liming.

Organic Fertilization – must always be carried out, especially in lighter soils (sandy), as it improves the physical, biological and chemical properties of the soil. In addition, it stimulates root development and shoots production, as well as reducing the number of rhizome borer adults.

It is the best way to provide nitrogen at planting, especially when using conventional seedlings, as nutrient losses are minimized. It is recommended to apply in the planting hole: 15 to 20 liters of bovine, goat, or sheep manure, or even 4 to 6 liters of poultry manure, or 2 to 4 liters of castor oil cake, or other organic compounds available in the region or on the property.

NPK fertilization – Nitrogen (N) is important for the vegetative growth (production of leaves and shoots) of the banana tree. It is recommended to apply 230kg/ha, starting one month after planting, especially when using conventional seedlings.

It is a nutrient that moves in the soil, so it must be split. The number of applications will depend on the texture of the soil and the rainfall or irrigation regime, with a minimum of four applications, for the best use of the nutrient. Deficiency symptoms can be observed both by the weak development of the plants, as well as by the light green color of the leaves and by the production of stunted clusters, with a smaller number of hands.

Chemical analysis of the third leaf from the apex (10 to 25 cm from the inner medial part of the blade, without the midrib), collected at the time of flowering, can be used to confirm the visual deficiency of the nutrient. The proper nutrient range in the leaf should be 26.5 to 31.2 g/kg.

Phosphorus (P) – must be applied in the planting hole, together with organic fertilization, as it will favor the development of the root system. Normally, due to the low levels of P in the soils cultivated with banana (less than 6 mg/dm3), the amounts applied per hole should be around 500 g of single superphosphate. The application of this source is recommended because, in addition to P (180g of P205/kg), it also contains Ca (190g/kg) and S (110g/kg).

The nutrient must be supplied again in the next cycle, and the amount will depend on the result of the new chemical analysis of the soil. The lack of nutrients can be observed by chlorosis and necrosis in the form of sawtooth and petiole breakage of older leaves, still green, as well as fruits with a less sweet taste. The proper nutrient range on the third sheet should be 1.3 to 1.7 g/kg.

Potassium (K) – is the nutrient most absorbed, exported, and returned to the soil by banana trees; It is very important for the formation of superior-quality fruits. If the nutrient is not available in adequate amounts in the soil, at the time of flowering, when the plant needs it the most and no longer produces leaves, K will move from the old leaves to the new ones, causing yellowing and necrosis of the edges of the older leaves. and early loss of them.

The decrease in the number of leaves reduces the production of carbohydrates, leading to the production of stunted bunches, small and unmarketable fruits, with irregular maturity and not very tasty pulp. Thus, K is the nutrient that most affects fruit production. The foliar diagnosis is used to confirm the nutrient deficiency, being in the appropriate range between 22.0 to 25.3 g/kg.

The amount of the nutrient to be applied will depend on the chemical analysis of the soil. When the levels are low (less than 40mg/dm³), 450kg of K20/ha should be applied; in soils with contents higher than 160mg/dm³, application in the first cycle can be dispensed with.

The subdivision will depend on the available labor, the rainfall, or the irrigation regime, remembering that K is also a nutrient that is mobile in the soil, so it must be subdivided.

The banana plant’s need for the nutrient starts from the 5th month onwards when the production of vegetative mass (leaves) intensifies; In the following cycle, considering the exportation by the bunch and the use of the nutrient, it is recommended to apply at least 250kg of K2O/ha. The most used source is potassium chloride (KCl), due to its greater availability in the market and lower price. Due to the source used, the amount of chlorine absorbed by the banana tree is high (280kg/ha/cycle, being lower only than K (459kg/ha/cycle).

Cultivars: The banana trees of the subgroup Terra or Plátanos are widely cultivated in tropical countries because they constitute basic and economic food for the inhabitants of these regions.

The cultivars of this subgroup are very heterogeneous, they have large fruits that are mostly consumed fried, boiled, or roasted, due to their high starch content, even when ripe.

There are dozens of types that differ in terms of plant height, pseudostem color, fruit peel color, persistence or absence of male inflorescence, and fruit shape and size, among others. These characters are stable and reproduce faithfully by vegetative multiplication.

Terra varieties are tall, medium, and short, with Terra or Maranhão, Terrinha, D’Angelo, Comprida or Ringideira, Pacova, and Pacovaçu standing out in Brazil.

This subgroup generally presents the rhizome with a tendency to rise to the surface of the soil during cultivation, reducing the fixation of the plants, which can fall over. Therefore, shoring in the production phase is recommended for tall varieties.

These banana trees differ from the others of the AAB subgroup (Mysore, Maçã, Pacovan, and Prata) for having yellow-orange tepals, absent male rachis or, when present, covered with persistent bracts and with floral remains, male inflorescence (heart) at sometimes absent, thin fruit, orange fruit pulp, tasteless when green and rich in starch when ripe.

In the main producing countries of Terra-type bananas, the most important type is the horn, with large fruits and medium bunches, of high economic value due to its exportation to Latin markets and the United States.

Cultivar Terra or Maranhão – It is a French type cultivar, moderately vigorous, and tall, with the following characteristics, green in color with purple spots due to the presence of anthocyanin; b-Bunch -Pendulum inflorescence.

The number of hands varies from 9-12. The number of fruits per bunch varies from 86 to 132. These fruits are 20-30 cm long, 4-5 cm in diameter and weigh 170-190 g, with a long pedicel, yellow skin when ripe and typically pink pulp.

The bunches weigh an average of 25 kg, reaching 50 to 60 kg, with almost erect fruits that, due to the peduncular curvature, face upwards. The curvature progressively decreases towards the last bunches that are practically in a horizontal position.

The bananas have well-defined crooked corners, despite being almost plump in the middle. The rind, pale green, and discolored come off easily when ripe.

The ripe fruit is yellow in color, with a slightly pink, starchy, and firm pulp. The male rachis is covered with flowers that fall off easily, during the filling of the fruits. The heart at the end of the cycle is reduced to a cluster of dry bracts.

Cycle – It has a very long vegetative cycle (the period between seedling germination and the harvest of the mother plant), ranging from 590 to 620 days, and a production cycle (time interval between the harvest of a banana bunch and the harvest of your child’s bunch) from 1090 to 1120 days.

It is very demanding in nutrients and therefore the leaves are prematurely necrotic. Under favorable conditions of cultivation or under irrigation, it has good productivity, which can reach from 30 to 35 t/ha/cycle. P.43

Cultivar Terrinha – It is a variation of the cultivar Terra in which there was a reduction in the size and size of the fruits. Therefore, it is also a French-type cultivar.

Pseudostem – It has a medium size (3.0-3.5 m) and a fine diameter (18-24 cm). Bunch – Weighs on average 12-16 kg, with 8-14 bunches. The fruit’s present aspects are similar to those of the Terra cultivar, but with a smaller size reaching 12-14 cm in length. Cycle – The vegetative cycle varies from 390 to 470 days and the production cycle from 740 to 870 days.

FHIA 21– It is a hybrid. The most important feature of the variety is its resistance to Black Sigatoka since all other Terra-type bananas are susceptible. Pseudo-stem- measures 2.0 to 3.0 meters in height, with a diameter of 20 to 30 cm at the base, green with spots (purple), pendulous inflorescence, heart (male inflorescence) that reduces during fruit development and which becomes minuscule at harvest time.

The number of hands varies from 9-12. The number of fruits per bunch varies from 86 to 132. These fruits are 20-30 cm long, 4-5 cm in diameter, and weigh 170-190 g, with a long pedicel, yellow skin when ripe, and typically pink pulp.

The bunches weigh an average of 25 kg, reaching 50 to 60 kg, with almost erect fruits that, due to the peduncular curvature, face upwards. The curvature progressively decreases towards the last bunches that are practically in a horizontal position.

The bananas have well-defined crooked corners, despite being almost plump in the middle. The rind, pale green, and discolored come off easily when ripe.

The ripe fruit is yellow in color, with a slightly pink, starchy, and firm pulp. The male rachis is covered with flowers that fall off easily, during the filling of the fruits. The heart at the end of the cycle is reduced to a cluster of dry bracts.

Cycle – It has a very long vegetative cycle (the period between seedling germination and the harvest of the mother plant), ranging from 590 to 620 days, and a production cycle (time interval between the harvest of a banana bunch and the harvest of your child’s bunch) from 1090 to 1120 days.

It is very demanding in nutrients and therefore the leaves are prematurely necrotic. Under favorable conditions of cultivation or under irrigation, it has good productivity, which can reach from 30 to 35 t/ha/cycle. P.43

Cultivar Terrinha – It is a variation of the cultivar Terra in which there was a reduction in the size and size of the fruits. Therefore, it is also a French-type cultivar.

Pseudostem – It has a medium size (3.0-3.5 m) and a fine diameter (18-24 cm). Bunch – Weighs on average 12-16 kg, with 8-14 bunches. The fruits’ present aspects were similar to those of the Terra cultivar, but with a smaller size reaching 12-14 cm in length. Cycle – The vegetative cycle varies from 390 to 470 days and the production cycle from 740 to 870 days.

FHIA 21– It is a hybrid. The most important feature of the variety is its resistance to Black Sigatoka since all other Terra-type bananas are susceptible. Pseudo-stem- measures 2.0 to 3.0 meters in height, with a diameter of 20 to 30 cm at the base, green with spots (purple), pendulous inflorescence, heart (male inflorescence) that reduces during fruit development and which becomes minuscule at harvest time.

 

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