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Publication Type
Journal Article
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Williams, J.; Fagan, H.J.; Coates-Beckford, Phyllis L.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Life Sciences
Article Title
Aspects of banana cultivation and root health in the Windward Islands
Medium Designator
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Connective Phrase
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Journal Title
Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad)
Translated Title
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Reprint Status
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Date of Publication
2004
Volume ID
81
Issue ID
2
Page(s)
87-94
Language
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Connective Phrase
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Location/URL
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ISSN
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Notes
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Abstract
A survey was conducted in the Windward Islands of Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent to obtain information on the characteristics of banana farms, cultural practices adopted, the thriftiness of the crops, the health of the roots, and the abundance of root-parasitic nematodes and fungi. Most farms appeared to be thrifty, irrespective of farm size and duration under cultivation, and apparently received proper crop care. Leaf spot disease control, weed control, and the conditions of the drains needed improvement on some farms. Farmers perceived the unavailability of chemicals, leaf spot disease, and drought as the main production constraints. Other perceived constraints were pest, heavy rainfall, soil texture, slope of land, and lack of labour. Necrotic roots parasitized by micro-organisms occurred on all farms. The most abundant root-parasitic nematode was Radopholus similis and the most frequently detected fungus was Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense. All species of root-inhabiting nematodes and fungi were detected at high and low altitudes. Helicotylenchus sp. and Trichoderma spp occurred more frequently at altitudes less than 229 m above sea level (asl) than at higher altitudes and the percentage occurrence of Fusarium spp and the degree of root necrosis were significantly higher in farms at altitudes higher than 229 m asl than at the lower altitudes. The nematode population densities in roots were positively correlated with the degree of necrosis in roots of suckers at high altitudes in St. Lucia. The information gained from these studies will be useful in the development of integrated control measures.....
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