How to protect the banana crop from the damage caused by extreme cold (frost) during the winter season?

By: Merikheti
Published on: 11-Nov-2023

Banana cultivation requires that the temperature is between 13–40 ° C. When the minimum temperature in winter goes below 10 ° C, then the flow of fluid flowing inside the banana plant stops, which stops the growth of the banana plant and many types of disorders begin to appear in which the main is throat choking. When the flowers in the banana are out of low temperature, the bunch is unable to come out properly from the virtual stem (pseudostem). Chemical causes can also cause this"choke" such as calcium and lack of boron. The front part of the inflorescence comes out and the base (basal) part gets trapped in the virtual stem. Therefore, it is called throat choke. 

The bunch sometimes takes 5-6 months to mature. Plants in which fruit bunch fails to emerge or come out, or turn unusually. Banana cultivation has a significant effect on plant health and productivity due to cold. Bananas, due to the tropical plant, are more prone to damage from cold when exposed to low temperatures. The growth, development and overall yield is affected by the cold. To effectively manage the damage caused by cold in banana cultivation, it is necessary to understand the causes, symptoms and to apply preventive and corrective measures.


Due to cold injury


Bananas are sensitive at temperatures below ten degrees Celsius. Frost damages banana plants, affecting leaves and stems. The cold air increases the rate of heat loss from the plant and increases the stress of cold.


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Corrective measures


Sorting of damaged tissues: sort the affected leaves and stems to encourage new growth.

Cold Clothes: During the cold, the plants can get protection by covering it with a cold cloth.

Heating equipment: Using heater or heat lamps in extreme cases can prevent cold injury.


Freedom from post -cold stress


Monitoring of plant health: Regularly assess the recovery progress of plants. Promoting nutrients: Use fertilisers rich in potassium and phosphorus to promote recovery. Giving 1/4 part of the recommended quantity of fertilisers by light ploughing of banana plantations before the start of winter, also reduces a huge decrease in the fierceness of this disorder. Patience: Give plants enough time to recover naturally. In the agricultural climate of Bihar, we have seen that in the winter, the banana gardens start appearing burnt, but gardens start looking good again in March-April.


Research and technical solutions


Cold-resistant varieties: Develop and cultivate the increased cold-resistant banana varieties. We have seen that long species of banana are more tolerant of winter than dwarf species


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Use advanced weather forecasts to estimate and prepare for cold weather. The best time for tissue culture banana in Bihar is May to September. After this, its cultivation has a very bad effect on cultivation. The biggest principle of it is that flowers should never come in the winter in the banana because in the winter due to extreme cool, the growth of  bunch is not good or sometimes the bunch is not able to come out of the virtual stem properly. The flower in the banana prepared by tissue enrichment starts coming in the 9th month, while the bunch in the banana grown by Sakar comes in the 10th-11th month. Genetic engineering: Bananas require research on genetic modifications to increase cold tolerance.


Conclusion


Banana cultivation involves a combination of preventive, corrective and research-based strategies in effective management of damage caused by cold. Farmers should adopt a holistic approach considering site selection, cultural (agricultural) measures and technological progress to protect the banana crop from the harmful effects of cold stress. By applying these measures, producers can ensure stability and flexibility of banana cultivation in cold temperature areas.