Bananas

Bananas are an important crop on the highly weathered soils of the humid tropical coastal lands of North Queensland.

No Minplus Soil with Minplus

The only difference in growing conditions for these one year old bananas (right) is that the soil on the right had a dressing of 2.5 t/ha of Minplus before planting.

  • Minplus applications of 2.5 t/ha over a series of years has resulted in a considerable improvement in growth rate and size of the bananas on the right.
  • Preliminary results suggest that the Minplus-treated bananas may be harvested earlier than untreated crops, and produce better fruit.

 

Applying Minplus to bananas


Spreading Minplus on Bananas
Minplus applied to Bananas
The Minplus Spreader


Effects of lime and Minplus on banana growth rates


Effects of lime and Minplus
on banana growth rates
  • There is little difference between banana growth responses to standard applications of lime and Minplus applied at 2.5 t/ha twice a year.

  • Note the strong response to a one-off high application rate of Minplus (M.E. Burton, PhD student, JCU, unpublished data).

 

 

 

 

Increased banana yields from heavy Minplus application (25 t/ha)

Compared with the standard soil treatment (= lime applied at 2.5 t / ha twice a year), the heavy application rate of Minplus (25 t / ha) produced an extra 300 kg of bananas from 50 stools.

 

No Minplus means slow
post-cyclone recovery

  Other benefits from Minplus on bananas


  • Minplus supports enhanced growth and rapid returns to commercial banana production after cyclone damage.

  • Damage by strong, cyclonic winds is a common occurrence in the summer in North Queensland.


  • Minplus-treated plantations generally suffer less stool tipping (tree fall) and return to production quicker than those on untreated soils.

No Minplus

  • This banana plantation near Innisfail had no Minplus treatment.

  • Extensive stool tipping occurred as a consequence of the high winds of Cyclone Joy, 23 December 1990.

 


2.5 t/ha of Minplus

  • This plantation had been dressed with 2.5 t/ha of Minplus and also bore the brunt of Cyclone Joy in December 1990.

  • The photograph, taken 3 weeks later, shows abundant leaf litter, but almost no stool tipping.

Regrowth after a cyclone
Post Cyclone Recovery
  • Plant litter is removed from the stools soon after a cyclonic event; the bananas regrow from suckers at the base of the stool.

  • Plantations at Innisfail treated with Minplus return to production much more quickly than those which have not been treated.

Poor root growth:
No Minplus

  • The different responses of banana plantations to cyclonic winds is thought to relate to poor root development in the plants, such as this, which have not been treated with Minplus.


Minplus-enhanced root growth

  • The bananas have developed excellent root systems in soils that have been treated with 2.5 t/ha of Minplus.

  • Such banana plantations usually withstand cyclonic winds with little stool tipping.

Rapid return to commercial
production after cyclone damage
  • Minplus promotes a rapid return to commercial production after cyclonic damage


  • Plantations treated with as little as 2.5 t / ha / year of Minplus returned to full production 8 months after Cyclone Joy in 1990.


  • Plant growth was slower on untreated plantations where replanting was necessary. They took 20 - 24 months to return to full production.