THE EVALUATION OF PROMISING NEW BANANA CULTIVARS
Preliminary results in Burgershall showed that Grande Naine Israel has the highest average P +R1 yield (58.6 t/ha/year), followed by Grande Naine ex. Central America (54 t/ha/year) and Chinese Cavendish (53 t/ha/year). Grande Naine Israel (49 t/ha/year and 61 t/ha/year) was also the highest yielder in the two more-recent cultivar trials conducted at Burgershall and Komatipoort respectively, during the P cycle. Short cultivars such as Buena Vista and Dwarf Cavendish showed yield reductions of up to 11% during the P cycle. Goldfinger showed up to 35% yield reduction during the P cycle in the two major banana growing areas, while in locations with frost and poor irrigation water quality, Goldfinger showed 15% higher yields. In Komatipoort, High Noon (49 t/ha/year) performed better than Goldfinger (45 t/ha/year), but High Noon was still 18% lower yielding than Grande Naine Israel.
Results of the selection trial showed Lancefield (a Dwarf Cavendish selection) and KBC 2 (a Chinese Cavendish selection) to have bunch mass and yield equal to Grande Naine Israel and RS3 and RSS3 (Williams selections) had yields up to 12 % higher than Grande Naine Israel. FHIA 17 outperformed Grande Naine Israel by 25% (59 t/ha/year compared with 47 t/ha/year).