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High uniformity and low application rates are critical in order to meet the demands of a highly water-consumptive banana plant.  

Water stress is a very real issue in banana plantations and can have a major effect on banana fruit yield. While roots can go to the depth of .75m most active roots are closer to the soil surface and if there is soil compaction, it hurts the plants ability to take in water and nutrients. The plant’s tolerance to soil water saturation is very low. Plant densities range from 1400 to 1800 plants per hectare.

These factors make the banana plant a very water sensitive crop. High uniformity of water application and high uniformity of water infiltration are critical.  Low application rates (around 3mm per hour) help in reducing soil compaction, reducing saturation, reducing runoff, and enabling infiltration.

In banana plantations under tree systems are the most common choice and stream trajectories of 15° or lower are ideal to prevent wetting of the fruit. In the past impact sprinklers were the predominate choice for these systems, however impacts do not always provide the optimal uniformity and low application rates needed in a banana plantation so growers are now looking to the Nelson Rotator and Spinner to provide unmatched performance. 

For systems with wider spacing the R2000 Rotator® is a great option and works well in the range of 10m x 10m to 12m x 12m. For growers looking for an economical option and a bit tighter spacing the R10T P8-15° will get great water application. Recently the Nelson 7 Series Micro sprinklers, the S7 Spinner and R7 Rotator, have entered the market for growers who are looking for options in the range of 5m x 5m to 8m x 8m. All Nelson sprinkler options for bananas have either standard nozzles or Flow Control nozzles. Flow control nozzles ensure each sprinkler delivers the same amount of water regardless of elevation change or distance from the pump.

Resources
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Rotator® Full Coverage Irrigation
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Rotator® Sprinklers for Bananas (US Units)
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Rotator® Sprinkelrs for Bananas (Metric Units)
Irrigating Bananas with Nelson Rotator Sprinklers
Recommended Products for Bananas