Mechanical properties of plantain pseudostem and implications for susceptibility to lodging
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Plantain is an important staple food among Ghanaians but large quantities of the plants are lost due to lodging effect of windstorm. Peoples' livelihood and food security are at risk and there is the need to reduce the losses.
The mechanical properties of the pseudostem of three varieties Apantu pa, Apem pa and Apem hemaa were examined. Samples of the plantain pseudostem were obtained by cutting down matured fruit bearing plants, 20 cm from the ground and at the petiole. Young’s modulus, Yield stress and Ultimate stress were determined using three - point bending test method which followed the ISO (178) testing standard. The test results showed that the Young’s modulus, Yield stress and Ultimate stress of the rainy season samples were significantly higher than that of the dry season samples. Therefore, the timing of the lodging as determined by the season (dry or wet) has an influence on the mechanical strength of plantain pseudostem.