The information contained in these guides is designed to help banana producers in reef catchments identify and adopt better land management practices.
The aim is to support agricultural profitability while improving the quality of water in the Great Barrier Reef, as part of the Reef Plan initiative.
Optimise nutrient rate and application
This guide provides information on improved management practices to optimise nutrient rate and application. Practices include:
- regular soil, leaf and/or sap nutrient testing to inform nutrient application (e.g. bananas pre-plant soil test and paired leaf and soil tests at least annually)
- multiple applications timed to irrigation and rainfall, including methods of fertigation, foliar and band application
- regular calibration of fertiliser and/or fertigation equipment, particularly by product type and batch
Information fact sheet: Optimise nutrient rate and application
Optimise pesticide use as part of a pest management plan
This guide provides information about using flexible management strategies based on block monitoring and taking into account:
- weed species, stage of weed and crop growth
- pest threshold numbers, populations of beneficial species and levels of crop damage
- block history, prevailing environmental conditions, chemical options, rate and timing of applications, and selection of equipment
- efficient use of residual and knockdown chemicals (e.g. regular calibration of equipment, nozzle selection, band application, product label recommendations).
Information fact sheet: Optimise pesticide use as part of a pest management plan (all practices in one document)
Optimise soil retention and water infiltration
This guide provides information to optimise soil retention and water infiltration through practices of:
- minimising tillage throughout crop cycle
- maintaining or establish groundcover during high risk periods. e.g. grassed interrows and trash placement for bananas
- managing headlands, vegetation buffers, drains and sediment traps to capture and/or filter runoff from the production area (note to banana growers, this relates to vegetated headlands that are not highly trafficked by farm equipment)
- mechanically cultivating across the slope
- scheduling irrigation based on soil properties, crop growth requirements, and monitoring of soil moisture and weather forecasts
- managing fallow with cover or break crop
Information fact sheet: Optimise soil retention and water infiltration (all practices in one document)
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