07 Nov 2016

First stage completed: IPNI Southeast Asia project on oil palm productivity in all stages of production cycle

November 7, 2016. Penang, Malaysia – There is a significant gap between actual yields achieved and the potentially attainable yield in most oil palm fields in Indonesia and Malaysia. “This gap” explains Chris Donough, Senior Oil Palm Advisor to the International Plant nutrition Institute (IPNI), “begins to form at the establishment of a field due to shortcomings in practices at each stage in the production cycle from the nursery that produces seedlings for field planting, to the maintenance of the young palms during the immature stage, up to the fruit production in the mature stage.”

Acknowledging this issue, IPNI Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), together with two plantation partners (Wilmar International Limited and IJM Plantations Berhad) and Canpotex International Pte. Limited, made a commitment in 2011 to initiate a novel project to assess the impact of best management practices in all stages of the production cycle, including nursery, immature, and mature palms over a period of at least 10 years. Unlike conventional experiments that usually study practices at each stage independently, this unprecedented project at two sites in Indonesia and Malaysia, quantifies and tracks the cumulative impacts of best management practices through all stages of palm production.

A major milestone has been achieved in 2016 with the completion of the nursery stage at both sites. First results*, indicate huge opportunities for improvement in nutrient use efficiency in the nursery stage, while emphasizing the usefulness of soil tests in selecting suitable material for filling nursery polybags. The seedlings produced from the nursery stage have now been planted in the field at both sites to start their immature growth stage.

According to IPNI, the excellent performance of seedlings in the nursery stage is expected to give immature palms a head start and result in further cumulative improvements in the complete production cycle.

* Sugianto et al. (2016) Nutrient use efficiency in oil palm nurseries. Better Crops, 4:16-18.

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About IPNI
The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) is a not-for-profit, science-based organization dedicated to the responsible management of plant nutrition for the benefit of people. Through cooperation and partnerships with respected institutions around the world, IPNI adds its strength to agronomic research, education, demonstrations, training, and other endeavors. Best management practices for nutrient stewardship encourage the concept of 4Rs - applying the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. To learn more about IPNI, please visit: www.ipni.net

Dr. Thomas Oberthür, IPNI Director of Southeast Asia Program
Email: toberthur@ipni.net

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