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ApeGoblin 12-27-2018 07:01 PM

Height
 
Which banana cultivars will stay under 16'? I want to grow as much variety as possible, but I intend to use a center pivot. The wiki only has hieghths for a few cultivars. :0519:

Richard 12-27-2018 07:55 PM

Re: Height
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ApeGoblin (Post 321073)
Which banana cultivars will stay under 16'? I want to grow as much variety as possible, but I intend to use a center pivot. The wiki only has hieghths for a few cultivars. :0519:

When we speak of height the usual meaning is pstem -- not total height. For the latter, add 4-5 feet to pstem height to accommodate emerging leaves.


Richard 12-27-2018 08:06 PM

Re: Height
 
I believe "center pivot" refers to center pivot irrigation?

BTW, please add your location to your member profile. Thanks!

ApeGoblin 12-27-2018 08:39 PM

Re: Height
 
Yeah center pivot irrigation and I guess I mean total height. I'm also considering carving out the earth between the spans to get more crop clearance, essentially creating giant swales, but that would be a whole lot of earthwork

Richard 12-27-2018 09:11 PM

Re: Height
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ApeGoblin (Post 321077)
Yeah center pivot irrigation and I guess I mean total height. I'm also considering carving out the earth between the spans to get more crop clearance, essentially creating giant swales, but that would be a whole lot of earthwork

Location?

ApeGoblin 12-27-2018 09:14 PM

Re: Height
 
I'm in Wyoming but the plot of land I want to do this on is about 19 degrees south in Chile. It's all theoretical at the moment

ApeGoblin 12-27-2018 10:03 PM

Re: Height
 
Now that I've spent a bit more time on the wiki, I see that I could grow Goldfinger, Mona Lisa, Grand Nain, anything 'Dwarf' snd some other less common varieties. What would be the best producing short plantain variety?

Richard 12-27-2018 10:27 PM

Re: Height
 
Looks like a wind-swept region. It appears you will want a stout variety.

Another consideration is your customer for the fruit. If the consumers are in Latin America then take a look at Dwarf Puerto Rican plantain. :)

Now just because a banana cultivar exists that meets your criteria, it isn't necessarily available in commercial quantity. So I'd recommend you first determine who your wholesale supplier(s) of TCs will be and then narrow down your crop. You'll also need to account for agricultural export and import restrictions & taxes when selecting a supplier.


ApeGoblin 12-27-2018 10:31 PM

Re: Height
 
I'm actually looking a bit futher south than that, a sheltered bench above Pisagua.

Richard 12-28-2018 03:38 PM

Re: Height
 
BTW, our member Nicholas Naranja operates a banana farm in S. Florida and has experience with central American sources of wholesale banana starts.

Nicolas Naranja 12-28-2018 08:24 PM

Re: Height
 
Most commercial varieties of bananas and plantains are less than 16'.

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You could also potentially use Du Roi, I guess the trip from South Africa to Chile isn't as much of a stretch as South Africa to Florida.

https://www.duroilab.co.za/en/pages/varieties-1

ApeGoblin 12-29-2018 03:20 PM

Re: Height
 
Is that at the top of the psuedostem though? Can't have the pivot breaking leaves or inflorescences

ApeGoblin 12-29-2018 04:59 PM

Re: Height
 
I was intending to put in mostly arundo, miscanthus and sugar cane at first, along with lots of legumes to build organic matter and fertility, and progressively add in banana, papaya, pineapple, moringa, cacao, coffee and fruit trees, with the end goal being a Polyculture alley cropping system, so I'd almost definitely want your arundo. I kinda want to just avoid Cavendish entirely though

Gabe15 12-29-2018 08:24 PM

Re: Height
 
Why do you want to avoid Cavendish? It has a bad reputation to some folks, but in my opinion is grossly misunderstood and at the end of the day is really quite an amazing type of banana.

As Richard stated earlier, if this a project that will be at any real scale and with the intention to sell fruits, your first task will be to see what you can source and what will sell. There is height variation among most common groups of bananas, short bananas are not unusual or rare, and are more or less the standard for any type grown commercially. Once you figure out what is marketable and what you can source, then you can narrow in on what to pick from
among the eligible remaining choices.

ApeGoblin 12-29-2018 09:35 PM

Re: Height
 
I want to avoid Cavendish for the same reason I want to grow a Polyculture, security. Most of the world's banana production is Cavendish, millions hectares of identical genetic clones, the value of which rivals a developed nation's GDP. It's a massive risk to global food security. Diversity is the key to sustainability. I'm thinking this would likely be an export oriented farm, as the Veganic market is strongest in the U.S. and U.K., Isreal is better situated to grow their own bananas. Diverse streams of income are important too though

Gabe15 12-30-2018 12:06 AM

Re: Height
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ApeGoblin (Post 321108)
I want to avoid Cavendish for the same reason I want to grow a Polyculture, security. Most of the world's banana production is Cavendish, millions hectares of identical genetic clones, the value of which rivals a developed nation's GDP. It's a massive risk to global food security. Diversity is the key to sustainability. I'm thinking this would likely be an export oriented farm, as the Veganic market is strongest in the U.S. and U.K., Isreal is better situated to grow their own bananas. Diverse streams of income are important too though

The fact that Cavendish bananas are often planted in large monocultures, doesn't mean that they must be. If you intend to produce them in a mixed cropping system, then they will not be a monoculture, but they still have the potential to be a highly productive plant with easily marketable fruit. Many of the "exotic" varieties might taste good, but are not very productive by comparison, and so even if you get them across the world in decent shape (which is another fairly big challenge), they will likely need to be 3-4x as expensive.

Especially if you are planning to export, the entire banana supply chain is based on Cavendish, and other cultivars often do not react the same in shipping, and they can end up being relatively poor quality if they are treated the same as Cavendish. Cavendish bananas can actually be surprisingly good when not subjected to prolonged cold storage, or accidental chilling injury (which is common in grocery stores). Other varieties which can be quite tasty normally can likewise have their flavor profiles ruined by improper handling.

I know that you are just exploring potential at this point, but I would suggest to not discount Cavendish outright just because of its perceived reputation. It also has a reputation of being an extremely productive and resilient type of banana, it wouldn't be grown on such a massive scale if there weren't some very good things about it. You could consider Gros Michel types, which are considered higher quality (though somewhat less productive), but you need to be certain there is no Fusarium wilt in the area otherwise it will not be feasible, and the same goes for some other "exotic" cultivars. Just because a banana is non-Cavendish, it doesn't mean it has anything special going for it, many are just as or even more susceptible to the same diseases that affect Cavendish.

There is a misperception that Cavendish bananas were created for the industry, and that in it's creation quality was sacrificed for production, which is not true at all. Cavendish bananas are a "landrace" meaning they were developed over thousands of years by farmers just through selection, they were not intentionally bred. They are every bit as unique and amazing as any other traditional cultivar that is not grown in mass monocultures, in their apparent homeland of North Vietnam and Southern China, they are a village banana grown mostly in home gardens. The really amazing thing about Cavendish bananas is that among all the mega-industrialized crops grown in the world today, I believe bananas might be the only crop where that huge industry is based on a traditional landrace cultivar, not something that came out of a breeding program. So, in my view, any issues you might have with Cavendish production really ought to be aimed at the systems in which they are grown, but not at the plant itself.

ApeGoblin 12-30-2018 12:28 AM

Re: Height
 
Well put, thank you. It doesn't make sense to discount them entirely, but I definitely wouldn't want to be financially reliant on them. If any crop is headed for catastrophe, it's the Cavendish banana. There are just so many billions of chances a year for disease to adapt to destroy the Cavendish specifically because of the scale and methodology of it's cultivation, and if it's fungal, or a fungally endosymbiotic virus it has the potential to send spores into the stratosphere and go global.


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