A WARNING SYSTEM AS A TOOL TO CONTROL MYCOSPHAERELLA LEAF SPOTS IN SMALL BANANA FARMS IN THE SOUTH OF BRAZIL
Banana is the main fruit produced in the southern coast of Santa Catarina State, Brazil. It is a crop typically grown by small farmers, employing mainly family labour. There are 8,500 ha of banana plantations in the region, with an average banana plantation size of 6 ha. Mycosphaerella leaf spots caused by Mycosphaerella musicola and Mycosphaerella fijiensis are the main foliar diseases of bananas in the region. Since November 2000, banana growers have been supported by a warning system to control Mycosphaerella leaf spots. To evaluate the warning system, the evolution of Mycosphaerella leaf spots was compared between a plantation that followed the recommendations of the warning system (Site-1) and one that did not follow the system (Site-2), from January 2005 to August 2011. The system comprises fortnightly field observation of the gross sum of leaf spots on ten plants, adequate crop management and, if necessary, pulverization with fungicide. Basic recommendations of crop management involved desuckering to keep only three plants per mat, weed control, soil fertility and defoliation. Spraying was recommended when the gross sum of leaf spots was increasing and above 800, combined with a forecast for warm and wet weather in the following days. It was found that in Site-1 the diseases were kept under control during 66% of the period against only 12% in Site-2. Two or three applications of fungicides per year were necessary to control the diseases in Site-1, compared with as many as six without such a system. This result shows that the warning system is an effective tool to help control Mycosphaerella leaf spots, even in a small plantation.
Sônego, M., Peruch, L.A.M. and Hinz, R.H. (2013). A WARNING SYSTEM AS A TOOL TO CONTROL MYCOSPHAERELLA LEAF SPOTS IN SMALL BANANA FARMS IN THE SOUTH OF BRAZIL. Acta Hortic. 986, 139-143
integrated crop protection, Mycosphaerella musicola, Mycosphaerella fijiensis, plant disease, spray efficiency