Annual cropping production (ACP) is a technique used worldwide to target favorable market conditions. This technique has allowed commercial banana production outside the traditional production belt such as South Africa, Thailand, Israel, and China. In 2003 an evaluation of thirty-three cultivars was initiated near Savannah, Georgia to determine their suitability for ornamental, nursery, and ACP for niche/ethnic markets under Georgia weather conditions. In South Georgia and other temperate regions around the world, the pseudostems are normally killed to ground level during most winters. However, excellent plant growth rate, good flowering, and limited commercial fruit production was observed. Identifying one or more cultivars with potential to produce commercial fruits may result in a huge market opportunity, especially because the United States is the largest consumer and net importer of bananas. Despite the erratic fruit production, male flowers, leaves for cooking, and suckers for ornamental purposes have potential to generate significant farm income in this belt. Of the cultivars investigated, ‘Musa 1780’ (believed to be an ‘Orinoco’ type), ‘Sweet Heart,’ ‘Dwarf Namwah,’ ‘Ice Cream,’ ‘Kandarian,’ and ‘Belle’ cultivars were the most successful, but the growing season was slightly too short. The study was conducted from 2003 to 2006. Data was analyzed using Proc Mixed.


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