Fertilizer Management in Oil palm

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Oil Palm
Oil palm after fertilization

We have always been telling our clients that 70 percent of oil palm production cost goes to fertilizer application but if the reverse is the case on your farm or you have not been achieving this on your farm, there might be an internal problem. If you have been spending more in other production areas.

Nutrients are applied through fertilizer to attain good growth and yield. Oil palm is a gross feeder that demands a balance of micro and macronutrients for plant growth for a newly planted crop. The first dose of fertilizer should be applied 3 months after planting. The recommended dose of fertilizer can be applied in the form of a straight or complex form, depending on the nutrient content.

For the first year, 870 grams of urea, 1250 grams of single super phosphate, 670 grams murate of potash, 125 grams of magnesium sulfate, and 25 grams of borax.

For the second year, 1740 grams of urea, 250 grams of single super phosphate, 1333 grams murate of potash, 250 grams of magnesium sulphate, and 50 grams of borax.

From the third year onward, 2610 grams of urea, 3750 grams of single super phosphate, 2000 grams of Murate of Potash, 500 grams of magnesium sulphate and 100 grams of borax in to be applied.

Fertilizers are to be applied in 4 equal split doses during the year with the second dose at 50 to 500 kg farmyard manure or 100 kg green leaves manure per palm, 5 kg of neem cake fertilizer per palm can also be applied.

When organic fertilizer are added appropriately, the amount of chemical fertilizer should be proportionally decreased. Fertilizer can be broadcast in a ring form and then incorporated into the soil with a raker around the clean weed environment which should be 2 ft away from the palm base.

Fertilizer application

In areas or fields where irrigation is been practiced, fertilizer must be applied around the moisture zone, or it must be irrigated immediately after fertilizer application.

In an irrigated field, fertilizer can also be added into the irrigation water through a process called Fertigation.  The recommended fertilizer doses 1550 gram of urea, 650 gram of DAP, 1000 gram of murate of potash per palm per year.

Fertigation (per acre) – 60 kg urea, 37 kg DAP, 57 kg of murate of potash. An equal split of this fertilizer should be applied in a year at a monthly interval.

When provide the recommended dose of fertilizers to obtain a good yield

NB: Several factors can change the rate or dosage of fertilizer that can be applied on your farm, these include the slope of the land, soil fertility status of the farm. If part of your land is sloppy, the fertilizer application rate will be different. Our next article will provide more insight into fertilizer application on a sloppy land.

Fertilizer Sources

Nitrogen (Urea)

Potassium (Murate of Potash)

Phosphorus (Single Super Phosphate)

Magnesium (Magnesium Sealmate)

Boron (Borax)

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