Banana cultivations of the Prata type are particularly susceptible to Panama disease (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense).
XStress is a foliar applied speciality fertiliser, containing the micro-nutrients copper, iron, manganese and zinc formulated with specific plant extracts.
XStress allows plants to continue growing under high stress conditions, when normally the plant would stop transpiration and photosynthesis.
By feeding the plant essential micro-elements through the leaf and reducing the plants natural stress, XStress ensures cell structure and function remains unaffected, maintaining plant health. A stronger plant is naturally better at resisting disease infection (1).
To see how effective XStress is at preventing establishment of Panama disease, a trial was set up to compare performance against the fungicide flutriafol (2).
XStress was applied at 1.0 l/ha and flutriafol applied at 3.2 l/ha, each sprayed 3 times at 20 day intervals.
The treatments were compared to banana plants that were healthy at the start of the trial and plants that were already diseased. Incidence of disease was measured at 4, 6 and 9 months.
The results confirm that XStress is highly effective at reducing the infection of Panama disease by improving plant health therefore stoping the fungi from entering the plant cellular structures.
Combined with traditional fungicide treatments XStress offers the potential for a highly effective IPM strategy or used alone for a pesticide reduction programme.
See more about XStress.
(1) Full information on XStress and mode of action available from Ecoculture.
(2) To investigate if XStress would help reduce the incidence of Panama disease, an experiment by APTA in Vale do Ribeira, Jaupiranga, São Paulo (Brazil) was conducted in a banana cultivation of Prata type between December 2014 to December 2015. Full results available on request.