Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Toppling of Banana
Helicotylenchus multicincitus, Cosmopolites sordidus
Recognize the problem
Toppling in Banana is a
very serious problem in Grenada. Either the banana borer/banana weevil (Cosmopolites sordidus), or the banana
spiral nematode (Helicotylenchus
multicincitus) or heavy winds cause the problem. Profits to farmers can be
significantly reduced by about 30-40% annually.
Poor field sanitation
and nutrition are predisposing factors for the problem to develop and spread.
Both the nematode and the larvae of the borer can be transmitted in the corm and/or roots from one plant to the next. The larvae of the borer attack the corm and cause much
tunnelling in the process. The nematodes attack the roots, resulting in poor
uptake of fertilizer and severe weakening of the root system thus causing
toppling. Look for tunnels or brown roots to indicate what is causing toppling
of the plants.
banana fields with clean planting material only to prevent transmitting the
nematodes or borer
planting material at the edge of the old field
before bringing to the new site. Also remove and leave behind any dead leaf
sheaths that are attached to the corm.
use material from tissue culture, if available
your field clean by means of regular detrashing, pruning and weed control.
Always chop toppled or harvested plants and old pseudostems to remove food
source from the borer.
- Lie freshly
split pseudostems cut side down on the ground near the mats as a trap for borers. Every three days inspect the traps and crush borers
control for borers and nematodes is available but highly toxic
- If no tunnels or brown roots are found, the cause might be
wind so construct windbreaks to prevent more plants toppling
The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to:
Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada
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