Competitive inhibition of yield potential in a 'Williams' banana plantation due to excessive sucker growth

  • Authors : Robinson, J.C.; Nel, D.J.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 1990

  • Journal title : Scientia Horticulturae

  • Volume (number) : 43 (3)

  • Pages : 225-236

  • Peer-reviewed : Yes

  • ISSN : 0304-4238

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : A desuckering experiment with cultivar 'Williams' banana was established at Burgershall Research Station in the subtropical Eastern Transvaal. Unwanted suckers were excised when they attained a height of 300 (control), 500 or 800 mm, leaving one sucker per mat as the ratoon follower. A fourth treatment entailed desuckering at a height of 300 mm, but with a large nursery sucker left on the mat for later excavation. In the plant crop there was no significant reduction of bunch mass or yield per annum due to desuckering at 800-mm height. However the selected first (R1) and second (R2) ratoon followers which were competing with large unwanted suckers produced smaller bunches, an extended cycle time and lower yield per annum. In the R1 and R2 cycles, the yield reductions with 500-mm desuckering were 8.3 and 9.1%, whereas for 800-mm desuckering yield was reduced by 16.9 and 17.5%, respectively. No treatment differences occurred in the number of R1 suckers excised per mat. The presence of a large nursery sucker in addition to the follower decreased yield by 7.9 and 12.6%, respectively. Leaf area on an 800-mm sucker was 39 times greater than for a 300-mm sucker. Early desuckering of small suckers is recommended to improve yields and reduce labour costs.


  • Open access : No

  • Document on publisher's site : close View article on publisher's site

  • Musalit document ID : IN170203

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