The effectiveness of different herbicides in the destruction of banana Xanthomonas wilt infected plants.
Early detection followed by the destruction of infected mats is one of the recommended and effective methods of controlling banana Xanthomonas wilt. As manual destruction is very tedious and time consuming, herbicide injections in the pseudostem or the stump were evaluated as a suitable alternative. The study was carried out in Luwero district in central Uganda. Herbicide injections were made on 'Pisang Awak' plants (Musa ABB group) using different concentrations of Roundup and 2,4-D at a pseudostem height of 30 and 100 cm. In addition, the herbicide was injected in the centre (diameter-wise) and in the peripheral part of the pseudostem (tangential-wise). Herbicide applications into the stump were also evaluated. All plants (100%) injected with 2,4-D had fallen and started rotting by three weeks after application. However, at three weeks, none of the plants treated with Roundup, regardless of the concentration and the height of injection had died. Similarly plants injected with 2,4-D had less re-sprouting compared to plants treated with Roundup. Therefore, 2,4-D is more effective than Roundup in destroying 'Pisang Awak' plants and in suppressing the re-sprouting of lateral shoots. Since 2,4-D is also cheaper than Roundup it is recommended for use on small-scale plantations. At least 1.6 ml of the original concentrate of 2,4-D and 2.0 ml of the original concentrate of Roundup needs to be applied per mature plant. The most effective pseudostem injection height was found to be 100 cm. The angle of injection whether peripherally or central and the plant growth stage did not affect the herbicides' efficiency. The results also showed that pseudostem injections are more effective than stump herbicide applications.