Colombian Banana Growers Alerted over El Niño Phenomenon


The main banana workers' association in Colombia has alerted the growers of this fruit to the arrival of the "El Niño" phenome-non and recommended that they take preventive measures for the next six months.

The Banana Association of Colombia (Augura) made a series of "nutrition" recommendations for the climatic conditions of the El Niño phenomenon for banana cultivation following a number of predictions of this climatic event for the first semester of 2019.

Among the recommendations are the applications of "anti-stress nutrients" to reduce the negative impacts of low rainfall caused by the meteorological phenomenon in the Caribbean producing countries, which should be applied as an additional measure to the conventional fertilization plan established for the farms.

Regarding the applications of nitrogen, the association said "maintain the conventional doses, never increase them."

"By increasing nitrogen levels the plant becomes more succulent and vulnerable to dehydration, using nitrogen sources such as Ammonium Nitrate (NO NH) or Potassium Nitrate 3 (KNO) immediately and until the end of April 2019 following the recommendations of the technical assistant assigned to their farm ", said Augura.

The guild of banana growers suggested "not to use urea, mainly in the absence of irrigation, since in dry conditions it could lose up to 50 percent through volatilization".

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States indicated that there is a high probability of decreasing rainfall in northern and eastern Colombia, associated with the occurrence of El Niño in the first half of 2019.

The forecast says "models expect the occurrence of a fully developed El Niño episode which would last during January, February and March of 2019."

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