Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 12, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Little is known about water requirements of banana grown on an Oxisol or about possible differences in water requirements among banana cultivars. A study was undertaken to determine the optimum water requirement for two banana cultivars grown on an Oxisol and to examine how yield, fruit size, and other bunch and plant traits are affected by various levels of irrigation. The highest marketable yield (70.7 Mg/ha) was obtained in the second ratoon crop when plants were replenished with 125% of the water lost through evapotranspiration (WLET). This represents a 53% yield increase over that obtained in plants replenished with 25% WLET. This study demonstrates that banana grown on an Oxisol should be irrigated with not less than 100% WLET. The use of less irrigation may reduce yield by more than 25% and affect fruit quality. The recommendations made in this study are highly transferable and will be used by Extension Specialists and progressive growers.
Technical Abstract: There is a scarcity of information regarding the optimum water requirement for banana (Musa acuminata Colla, AAA group) grown with supplemental drip irrigation on an Oxisol. A 3-yr study was conducted on a very-fine, kaolinitic, isohyperthermic Typic Hapludox to determine water requirement, yield, and fruit-quality traits of the plant crop (PC) and two ratoon crops s(R2 and R3) of 'Grande Naine' and 'Johnson' banana subjected to five level of irrigation. The irrigation treatments were based on Class A pan factors that ranged from 0.25 to 1.25 in increments of 0.25. Drip irrigation was supplied three times a week on alternate days. Results showed significant (P<0.001) irrigation treatment and crop effects for all yield components, fruit length and diameter, number of leaves at flowering and harvest and number of hands per bunch. Cultivar and the treatment x cultivar interaction were not significant (P<0.05). The highest marketable yield (70.7 Mg ha-1) was obtained from the R2 crop with water application according to a pan factor of 1.25. Plant crop and R3 plants irrigated using the same pan factor yielded 48 and 65 Mg ha-1, respectively. Increasing the pan factors from 0.25 to 1.25 resulted in weight gains of the third-upper hand of 594 g in PC, 1284 g in R2, and 1429 g in R3. It was concluded that banana grown on an Oxisol should be irrigated with a pan factor of not less than 1.0.