Martignani has developed a suite of electrostatic spraying solutions to treat the deadly banana fungus Black Sigatoka that meet the needs of different-sized plantations.

The first, the K800 Electrostatic Backpack Sprayer, is recommended for small plantations of 1-2ha and is equipped with an electrostatic charge device to optimise the treatment, ensuring homogeneity, precision and no drift.

The Power Take-off Whirlwind M612 Major, meanwhile, can be carried or pulled by tractors and is suitable for medium to large-sized plantations. “Thanks to its raised cannon, this sprayer can work approximately up to 10ha per hour, with ranges up to 30 metres,” the company says.

Finally, the engine-driven Whirlwind M819 Master Plus can be truck mounted or pulled by tractors and is for plantations of 200ha or more. It is equipped with a powerful double-air intake fan. It is powered by a 140 HP John Deere engine, which allows it to cover up to 20ha per hour with ranges up to 50 metres.

Martignani has been a leading supplier of electrostatic low volume sprayers for many years. Its solutions guarantee the efficient, modern and quick delivery of treatments and are used widely on banana plantations across Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The company says its electrostatic charge treatments guarantee the highest accuracy and homogeneity in covering banana plants and absence of drift.

On Fyffes’ farms in Ecuador, Whirlwind M612 Major sprayers are a key component of the high productivity agro-ecological production system created by the multinational, helping it to cut production costs, reduce its environmental impact and increase yield.

“Despite the limitations for mechanisation due to the rainy season and to the irregular topography of the area, we have managed to carry out the treatments once a week with Martignani from the beginning of the season,” says Alex Morales, Fyffes’ farm development manager in Ecuador.

“This ensures that the phytosanitary management of farms is excellent. No banana plantation in this area can do that with its own means, as it depends on aerial fumigation. We have reduced costs and our environmental footprint while enhancing productivity.”

Morales adds that although Finca San Jorge is a 100 per cent organic banana plantation, the indicators suggest productivity levels will be similar to those on a conventional plantation.

“This is especially relevant as in an organic production system the availability of supply complying with organic regulations is limited. That’s why the frequent and efficient monitoring of Black Sigatoka is the key to sustainable banana production,” he says.