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The Banana Bag:  The Best Way to Protect your Banana Crops

Health, protection and quality with a banana bag

bolsa protegiendo cultivo de platanos
Preserves the integrity of bananas by protecting them with agricultural bags.

The best quality in the product

Each person has the power to demand quality in whatever it is that they desire to eat.  At the same time, growers have the obligation of offering a product that is in good enough shape to satisfy even the most demanding.  This is an inescapable fact for all segments of the produce business and, in this case, for the marvelous banana.

The product’s appearance can say many things.  Surely you have had the experience of wanting to eat a banana but it turned out to be mushy soft and the black spots did not give a good impression at all.  Often, in order to achieve the highest quality standards, a special effort needs to be made.  This effort can at times be quite expensive, but at times it can also be less expensive and, when compared to the profit and the improvement in the product, will make you forget your small investment.  For growing bananas or plantains more efficiently, there is a product called banana bag or banana protection bags, which provide a great number of benefits while protecting your crop and giving you better quality bananas.

defensa contra heladas para cultivo de plátanos
INVERNAVELO®, the best defense for banana crops against frost

The best option for the care of the environment

Banana protection bags are large sleeves that are often made of plastic, but ours are a special woven fabric in order to be eco-friendly.  They allow banana bunches to be protected from the harshness of cold and the sun.  As is well known, banana bunches can often be well within the reach of animals (dependent on the geographical zone) and of insects.  Banana Bags also protect their content from these entities.  Each one of these agents can cause large losses in your crop, even as bad as a total loss, if special care is not taken.  In order to better understand the benefits of banana bags, let’s see how they intervene to provide protection in each of these cases.

tela invernavelo protegiendo platanos
INVERNAVELO® Fabric provides strong protection against weather or external threats.

 

Protection against the natural environment

Bananas, the same as many plantation plantings, are especially sensitive to extreme temperatures.  That is to say, very low temperatures could cause banana growth to be reduced considerably.  This is important given that bananas are a fruit that run the risk of rapid deterioration after having reached complete maturity, and need to be shipped in the shortest possible interval for sale and consumption.  For that reason a change in the expected date of maturity can cause a big headache, and, not only that, also monetary losses.  In a more extreme case caused by the cold, there are those who say they have suffered losses due to growth having been completely paralyzed, a problem with irreversible consequences.

INVERNAVELO® instalada en campo protegiendo cultivos
The fabric prevents bananas from being damaged by both the sun and frost.

On the other hand, when temperatures are very high, sunburn can occur on the product, be it from direct exposure to the sun, or also, without being far-fetched, from the simple touch of the banana leaves which can reach harmfully high temperatures for the health of the fruit and damage it upon contact.  Whichever is the case, it is necessary to protect the bunches using a banana bag since this will permit creating a small microclimate which allows the bunch to grow normally and out of harms way thanks to the redirection of ultraviolet light and a smaller and more secure space.

Protection against insects and animals

Many of the dangers in raising a secure crop of bananas are found in those agents that set a trap for them.  Basically there are some more dangerous than others with the primary enemies being those that can climb up the plants and those that can fly, taking into account,as always, the geographical zone where the banana crop is being raised.  Birds and many species of mammals, e.g. monkeys, can be a real headache.  This can often sound like a joke or something that would only be seen in a movie and only rarely in real life, but the fact of the matter is that there are people who have found their secure crops partially destroyed and will know that it is something serious and to be kept in mind at all times.  If you use the banana bag to protect your crop, you won’t need to worry because it enables you to maintain your precious fruit far from the teeth or beaks of these invaders.  The fabric of the banana protection bags is strong enough to resist their attacks and to render them impotent upon failing to fulfill their mission. 

acercamiento de bolsa de plátanos
Approach of a bag of bananas, you can see how this technique also protects the fruits from undesirable insects.

Take care of your crop from all factors

On the other hand, there are also those insects that keep on getting dangerously close and beguile the health and quality of the banana.  Some can generate toxins that put production and even growth into danger.  In the same way, they can cause the banana to rot more quickly and also alter its appearance and taste.

 

On the other hand, one should also take special care with respect to one’s health since there are creatures, like spiders for example, that like to borrow the space of growing banana plants.  Here, if one lets them, they could completely contaminate the leaves and bunches of bananas with their bothersome webs.  Not only this, should it be the case that you need to battle with a number of these arachnids, you could be endangering your well-being since these critters often defend their territory, and depending on the type of invader that you are battling, you could find yourself in danger with one little bite.  Thus, once more it is a problem that can be easily avoided by installing a banana bag and keeping at bay arachnids, insects, and their annoying toxins from our bunches of bananas.

bolsa con INVERNAVELO® protegiendo cultivos de platanos
The INVERNAVELO® fabric will prevent insects from invading and damaging crops.

Techniques for bagging the bunch

Now knowing the big benefits of using banana protection bags, all that remains is knowing how to install them correctly.  Besides, it is also important knowing the different bagging techniques that can be used in order to obtain healthy, protected, high quality bananas.  It does no good knowing what to use the bags for without knowing how to use them and how to get the most out of them.

Basically there are two ways of doing the bagging operation and which one gets used depends on the amount of growth that the bunch has that we want to cover.  For crops that have not yet begun the process of maturing or the fruit has not started to enlarge (that is to say when the new bunch has not yet flowered), preventive bagging is used.  This bagging method gets used as a preventive measure against weather changes or to reposition the bunch.  The fruit, not yet having started to enlarge, makes it easy to position properly and uniformly.  Be aware, it is always necessary to allow for growth and the residues that can be harbored in the interior of the banana bag.

instalar bolsa bananera INVERNAVELO® tubular
To install the banana bag, just cut a stretch of tubular INVERNAVELO® and tie both ends, that easy, that simple.

Crop protection with insecticides

On the other hand, if what we want to cover is a bunch that has started to enlarge, the most advisable would be to use the traditional bagging method.  This method, once the cover for the bananas has been put into place, allows for protecting the healthy growth of the fruit.  The traditional installation gets done from the bottom of the bunch up to the thickest part of the leaf from which the bunch is growing, where a knot should be tied with considerable force in order to avoid accidents as the bananas begin to grow and gain weight.  Sometimes the bottom of the bag can be left open for various reasons.  It could be to maintain continuous ventilation for the bananas and thus avoid excessive moisture, or it could also be to allow for the application of insecticides.  Protection of the crop by means of insecticides is of vital importance because we do not want a simple agent to ruin a work of considerable duration of time.  In spite of the fact that the use of banana bags can diminish the amount of insecticides that is needed, it is always necessary to spray at some predetermined interval.  Even more importantly, before covering the bunch with the bag, it is advisable to carefully rinse it in order to prevent pests and pathogens, that are a danger to the health of the product, from being able to adhere to the bag.

The color you use helps the growth of the plant

The color to use for the banana protection bags can also be a key factor in achieving the highest quality product.  In the case of white and of blue bags, the redirection of ultra violet rays is greater, so that only the necessary heat and light are allowed to enter.  This creates a large percentage increase in the value of the product due to improvement in size, taste, color, and general quality.  According to some companies that have adopted the use of plantain bags, they have seen an increase in profit of 90% and even of 100%, enough reason for them to use these marvelous bags for every one of their crops.

bolsas de bananos INVERNAVELO
With this method, it is enough to open the bottom to check the state of your fruits without so many complications.

Reduces growing time with fabric

There are some that recommend monitoring the maturing process since the use of banana protection bags can accelerate maturing.  That means that not only do they protect and improve quality but that they also permit more rapid growth and maturity than normal.  The best part is that there are no harmful side effects.  This is a practice that simply generates more and more profit.

For example, if a bunch of bananas is left to grow naturally without any additional inputs like chemicals or bags, from planting to harvest should be about a minimum of nine months (without considering adverse weather and other possible disruptions).  Using a banana bag (and obviously using all the properties that it offers correctly), however, could reduce the time until harvest by one month.  The only reason is that the fruit has been so well cared for, and has grown with such pleasure, that its growth and maturity simply approach faster without showing any counterproductive effects.

Interacts with the different bags

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The only thing left to advise our clients is that they should try out the distinct properties that the banana bag has to offer.  For example, how much insecticide would normally be used for an unprotected crop versus how much would be used when using banana protection bags.  Something else to try out would be leaving the bottom of the bag open.  How productive can it be?  Perhaps it would be advisable in climates that tend to be very hot with the extra ventilation benefiting your crops.  Another factor to consider is whether the rodents that threaten your crops are pesky enough to disturb your crops.  A solution that many growers recommend is that of double bagging which can provide extra thickness that the teeth, claws, and beaks of those that want to claim your precious product need to get through.  Of course, if ventilation is an issue, this practice may have an adverse effect if not done correctly.  

Last but not least, transporting the product can turn out badly, if the product is not handled correctly, but the banana bag can also serve as packing material, if you aren’t intending to use it again for successive crops.  This happens because during transport the product tends to get bruised, but the banana bag will continue fulfilling its mission [and prevent that] while at the same time it will continue to allow that the product be kept at an opportune temperature so that, upon arrival at its destination, it will be to the satisfaction of demanding consumers.  This, the same as many processes of growing crops, demands dedication and effort to the very finish, but, with the help of banana protection bags, you definitely will be able to show off the fruits of your labor.

ivo desprotegido y la cantidad a usar junto con la aplicación de una bolsa bananera. También una técnica a probar puede ser la abertura de la parte inferior de la bolsa, qué tan producente puede ser, tal vez es recomendable en un clima que tienda a ser muy caluroso y esa ventilación extra pueda favorecer a sus cultivos. Otro factor a tomar en cuenta es que si por casualidad los roedores que acechan son bastante quisquillosos para lograr perturbar sus plantaciones, una solución que muchos agricultores recomiendan es el empleo de un doble embolse, que puede aportarle un grosor extra contra los dientes, uñas y picos que quieran apoderarse de su preciada producción.

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