oa Agrochemophysica - Estimating the state of maturation of a banana bunch from meteorological and supporting data

Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0302-7112



Knowledge of the emergence to harvesting (E-H) interval for a banana bunch is essential to any crop-forecasting procedure. It is therefore also important to know how environmental factors influence the rate of advancement towards maturity during the period from flowering to time of harvest. The assumption was made that the weekly maturation rate responds to weekly mean temperature according to a sigmoid relationship. A specific response curve was postulated which yielded a close, but not entirely satisfactory simulation of 104 mean E-H intervals, measured weekly over two years. To explore the reasons for the deviations between observed and simulated E-H intervals, and to throw light on the possible roles of factors other than temperature, each member of the set of temperature-based weekly maturation rates was arbitrarily adjusted and readjusted until a new set capable of giving a much improved simulation of the measured E-H intervals was obtained. Discrepancies between the two sets could unfortunately not be accounted for, although the influence of sucker production is suggested. Throughout the process of simulation, a fixed maturation rate was applied for each specific week, irrespective of whether the bunch was newly-emerged or nearing harvest maturity. Supposing, on non-mathematical grounds, that the weekly maturation rates as adjusted approximate a unique � best-fit� set, it would appear that for all practical purposes, the maturation rate of a banana bunch is independent of the state of maturation.

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