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Studies on the Growth and Yield at Various Times of Sucker Emergence of Banana




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Studies in detail of plant growth growing period, the development and grade of fruit as well a6 bunch yield of banana at various times of sucker emergence were conducted at the plantation of the Chiayi Agricultural Experiment Station from October, 1966 to August, 1969. Suckers emerged at different months in a year round were set up and the growth of plant height, pseudostem diameter and leaf development were measured once a month through the whole growing period. The fruit grade and yield were also recorded individually at harvesting. The results obtained are summarized as follows: (1) As the influence of seasonal variation on the growth of banana plant, there had two distinct periods: (a) from March to August when weather was warm and rainy, the growth of banana plant was very vigorous; (b) from September to the next year of February, it was a cold-dry season, thus the banana plants grew very slowly, and they showed semi-dormant status particularly on the young suckers (Fig. 1,2). Therefore, the growing curves and fluctuation of growth rates during the whole growing period of banana among the various times of sucker emergence were very significantly different (Fig. 1-4). (2) The loaf developments of banana were very closely related to the climatic condition and the outbreak of leaf spot disease. The number of new unfurling and green leaves of a plant varied with the changes meats temperature and rainfall. In warm-rainy season, more then 4 leaves unfurled every month but only 0.8 leaves unfurled monthly during the cold-dry season (Table 4 & Fig. 5). On the other hand, there was a very close relationship between the monthly number of dried leaves and infection degree of leaf spot disease. Since leaf spot took place in April but attacked seriously in June through October, thue, it was very apparent that the number of dried leaves increased accumulatively reaching a peak in September of the year (Fig. 11). (3) The total number of leaves formed by a plant at various of sucker emergence of banana were not significantly different However, it had about 25 28 leaves without counting those with leaf width of less than 15cm. before floweriug. Besides, the suckers emerged from July to September were found to have a less number of green leaves at shooting stage but without significant differences as compared with others. At harvesting time, there were more than 4 green foliages on the plant whose sucker emerged from September to December but only 0.75-1.60 green leaves were obtained on those from May to July. The differences among various times of sucker emergence were very significant (Fig. 6). (4) A very marked difference was found with growth period of banana between various times of sucker emergence. The suckers emerged from April to June had a short growth period at the average of 16.3-16.8 months, but a longest period was found on the suckers emerged from August to December that took at the mean of 19.8-20.8 months from emerging to harvesting. The differences of fruit maturing period at various times of sucker emergence were also statistically significant. Among the different times of the year, the fruits of the suckers emerged from July to October needed a longer period more than 100 days for maturing (Table 7). (5) It was evident that the suckers emerged from September to December produced vigorous plant, big finger and high quality of fruit (Table 6, 8). For the bunch weight per plant, the seekers emerged from September to December gave the highest yield with the mean of 17.29-17.92 kgs., while those from May to July showed the lowest yield at th average of only 13.70-13.99 kgs, per bunch (Fig. 9). (6) Based on the results obtained from the distribution of flowering and harvesting dates, the suckers emerged from January to April may produce for the most part of summer and fall banana, and those from May to August may yield mostly of fall and winter banana, while those from September to December may bear chiefly of spring and summer banana, respectively (Fig. 7,8). Therefore, the production of banana could be regulated by means of controlling the times of setting followers and with other plantation managements to produce banana at most favorable time with suitable quantity for exporting in the year round.

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