marillen at earthlink.net
Thu May 10 20:22:25 EDT 2001
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Minor point: Banana bunchy top is caused by a virus, not a fungus.
On Thu, 10 May 2001 18:09:19 -0400, Don Yellman wrote:
>Ummm....... Doreen, you know how much I hate to disagree with you, but
>when I served as Econ officer at the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil,
>Ecuador from 1970-73, I was also the banana officer, and got deeper into
>bananas than I would like to tell you about. At that time, bananas were
>Ecuador's number one export crop. The region around Guayquil,
>especially to the South in El Oro province, is the largest banana
>growing and exporting area in the world.
>Williams Hybrid was the dominant commercial variety until the mid to
>late 50's, when an outbreak of a fungal disease known as "bunchy top"
>wiped out Central America and spread rapidly into Northern S. America.
>Cavendish was developed specifically to resist that disease, and is now
>the exclusive variety in the whole region. Cavendish is also larger and
>slightly less "fruity" tasting than Williams. Williams survives in many
>other parts of the world where bunchy top did not strike. I grew it
>while living on Saipan in the early 80's, and it is widespread across
>Micronesia, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia.
>Incidentally, bananas are one fruit that absolutely has to be picked
>green. If left on the tree after achieving full size, every banana will
>split open on the stalk. I say this because I have split quite a few
>Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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