The National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) has advised banana growers to apply nutrients for the crop in the critical growth stage of five to six months.

Application of nutrients to the plant at this stage is necessary for getting high yield and for nutritional deficiency correction, if any, said M. M. Mustaffa, Director, NRCB, in a press release.

To achieve good yield, farmers were advised to apply 200 grams of urea, 300 gm of Muriate of Potash, 20 gm Bentonite sulphur, and 50 gm Dolomite per plant along with 5 kg farm yard manure.

These nutrients have to be applied 1.5 feet away from the trunk around the plant.

In nematode-infested areas, application of neem cake 500 gm or 30 gm carbofuran granules per plant is necessary to control the nematode infestation in soil. Banana weevils’ incidence can be monitored by using banana longitudinal split stem traps. If weevils are noticed in the traps, the trapping has to be continued for four weeks.

The traps have to be smeared with Beauveria bassiana solution. The liquid formulation of Beauvericide is commercially available in the market.

Banana Shakti, a micro-nutrient mixture available at NRCB, can be applied either as foliar spray or 10 gm soil application at the fifth month from planting. Leaf spot disease incidence may appear during the winter. This can be managed by spraying 10 millilitre of petroleum oil (Banole) with 0.5 ml propiconazole in one litre water.

The spray should be directed towards lower and upper side of the leaf.

By adopting these technologies, banana plants could be protected from nematodes, leaf spot disease and weevils, said Dr. Mustaffa. For more information, farmers can call 9442553117.