18 Jul 2017

IPNI SEAP Quarterly Newsletter 2017 - 2

Quarter 2, 2017


Estimating Future Fertilizer Nutrient Requirements by Maize

Maize is the second most important annual crop after rice in Southeast Asia (SEA) which includes Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. According to USDA 2015/2016, total area harvested for maize was 8.85 million ha, accounting for 7.9% of total crop area in these countries, which contributed 3.2% to global maize production (968.292 million tons) in 2016.

Once a staple household food, maize has become a commercially traded ingredient for livestock feed. In 2001, more than two thirds of the global maize supply was consumed as animal feed (Rosegrant et al., 2001). In addition, maize is also raw material for bioethanol production.

Graph 1 below shows land use for maize in SEA from 2001-2016.

An article by J. Kruse (GHI, unpublished data, 2009) projected that global maize production will increase by 111%, from 2000 (608.1 million tons) to 2050 (1283.1 million tons). Under such a scenario, assuming SEA countries continue to contribute 3.2% to the global maize production until 2050, the production of maize in SEA will be 41.42 million tons (2016 as base year).

Assuming that maize land area in SEA remains constant from 2016 until 2050, we estimate the future demand of fertilizer nutrients by looking at the annual yield improvement from 3 scenarios (Table 1) with the aim of producing at least 41.42 million tons of maize in 2050. The 3 scenarios are as follows:
I. Increase significantly the production of maize
II. Increase moderately the production of maize
III. Increase slightly the production of maize

IMPACT model provided data showing the projection of maize annual growth production from 1997 to 2025: Indonesia 1.5%, Malaysia 1.3%, Myanmar 2.1%, Philippines 2.6%, Thailand 2.1% and Vietnam 2.0% (Gulati and Dixon, 2008). We forecast the annual growth of maize yield by averaging values obtained from literature reviews (Gulati and Dixon, 2008) and percentage of compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

In order to estimate the nutrient requirement of maize grains under these scenarios:
a. We use the following nutrient uptake values: N=12.0, P=2.1 and K=3.6 (all in kg per ton of maize grains) based on IPNI estimation (2017) and the Field Crops Research paper by Setiyono et al. (2010).
b. We assume the fertilizer nutrient requirements to replace these removed nutrients based on fertilizer use efficiencies of N=40%, P=25% and K=40% (IPNI estimation/unpublished data, 2017).

Annual yield improvement
Scenario I: If better crop cultivars, breeding technique and agronomic management are introduced, this can help improve the grain yield of 3% in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand respectively, 4% in Philippines and Vietnam; 5% in Laos every year, then an estimation of approximately 98.94 million tons of maize grains can be achieved in 2050.

Scenario II: If there is a moderate annual grain yield increase by 1.7% in Indonesia; 2% in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand; 2.4% in Cambodia; 2.5% in Vietnam; 2.8% in Philippines and 3% in Laos, additional expansion of land area is unnecessary to meet global demand as an estimated 64.97 million tons of grains can be produced in 2050.

Scenario III: If the annual yield increment is at a lower percentage, for instance, 1% for all SEA countries, we estimate grain production of 42.79 million tons in 2050 without any increase in land area. Of course, if the demand in 2050 is higher than the estimate we use, then, production of maize may require an expansion into areas currently not used for maize production.

Nutrient requirement
Under these 3 scenarios, the amount of fertilizer nutrients required to produce the needed maize is significant (Table 2). In 2020, between 0.95-1.05 million tons N, between 0.27-0.29 million tons P and between 0.29-0.31 million tons of K; in 2025: between 1.00-1.25 million tons N, between 0.28-0.35 million tons P and between 0.3-0.37 million tons of K; meanwhile in 2050: between 1.28-2.97 million tons N, between 0.36-0.83 million tons P and between 0.39-0.89 million tons of K.

Now, we can further assume that fertilizer use efficiency (FUE) will improve over the years with technology advancement. We look at three options: FUE improvement by 20% in 2020, 40% in 2025; and 80% up to 2050. Hence, the estimation of nutrient requirements in 2020 will be 0.79-0.87 million tons of N, 0.22-0.24 million ton of P and 0.24-0.26 million tons of K; in 2025, 0.72-0.89 million tons of N, 0.2-0.25 million tons of P and 0.21-0.27 million tons of K; or in 2050, 0.71-1.65 million tons of N, 0.2-0.46 million tons of P and 0.21-0.49 million tons of K.

We assume that stover (crop residue of maize) was not returned to the field in this analysis. Maize annual planting cycles and nutrient removal of stover to be returned to the field can be taken into consideration for such scenarios in order to improve the prediction of future demand in terms of land use and nutrient requirements.

By Mei Shih Tan, IPNI SEAP Research Officer

Graph 1: Historical value of land use for maize in the Southeast Asian region, 2001-2016

Table 1: Maize grain production based on different scenarios, with land use as a constant

1 No changes in land requirement for maize in SEA from 2016 until 2050
2 Scenario I – Maize grain yield increases annually from 2016 by 3% in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand respectively, 4% in Philippines and Vietnam; 5% in Laos
3 Scenario II - Maize grain annual yield increases 1.7% in Indonesia; 2% in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand; 2.4% in Cambodia; 2.5% in Vietnam; 2.8% in Philippines and 3% in Laos from 2016 to 2050
4 Scenario III - Maize grain yield increases by 1% annually from 2016 to 2050

Table 2: Grain nutrient removal and fertilizer nutrient requirement by maize based on different scenarios

    • USDA (2017) US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service. https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/app/index.html#/app/advQuery. Accessed 15 June 2017
    • Kruse, J. (2009). Global demand for agricultural commodities. Unpublished article. Washington, DC: The Global Harvest Initiative
    • Gulati, A., Dixon, J., editors (2008). Maize in Asia: Changing Markets and Incentives. CIMMYT- IFPRI-IFAD-Academic Publishers, Washington, DC, USA; Mexico, DF, Mexico; New Delhi, India
    • Rosegrant, M.W., Paisner, M.S., Meijer, S., Witcover, J. (2001). 2020 global food outlook: Trends, alternatives, and choices, A 2020 vision for food, agriculture, and the environment initiative. Washington DC: IFPRI
    • Setiyono, T.D., Walters. D.T., Cassman K.G., Witt, C., Dobermann, A. (2010) Estimating maize nutrient uptake requirements. Field Crops Res. 118:158-16
    • IPNI SEAP unpublished data (2017) on maize fertilizer use efficiency


Journal of Agricultural Research in Myanmar
Yezin Agricultural University in Myanmar now produces a journal of agricultural research in their region bi-annually that will be made available in IPNI. Preview of content attached in pdf below. Please write in to IPNI SEAP to get your copy.

Myanmar - Journal of Agricultural Research.pdfMyanmar - Journal of Agricultural Research.pdf

Rice farmers encouraged to plant maize after harvests
In Thailand, “Low-land rice farmers will be encouraged to plant maize after rice harvests in an attempt to reduce high-land forest encroachment to clear land for maize cultivation.
Agriculture Minister Chatchai Sarikalya said on Monday that, from his discussion with representatives of the animal feed manufacturers’ association, it was learned that animal feed producers need between 7-8 million tonnes of maize year as raw material to produce animal feed.”

Source: Thailand News Gazette, June 5, 2017

Global Forest Watch
Global Forest Watch is an interactive online platform that offers a variety of data and tools to help you understanding land and forest use, and the changes they may undergo. Whether you're looking for general facts or specialized information about fires, climate, or commodities, this platform can help you to get some context and background information. Global Forest Watch offers the latest data, technology and tools. Click below for an interactive global map that shows tree cover loss in various countries. You can for example perform an analysis on land use change or subscribe to alerts for a specific area of interests, or you can change the base map to see terrain, satellite imagery, roads, and more, and you can also view high resolution satellite imagery from the Sentinel-hub.

Source: Global Forest Watch

The secret life of planters
“The impact oil palm has had on Malaysia has never been in doubt. Ever since it was planted commercially a hundred years ago by Frenchman Henri Fauconnier at the Tennamaram Estate in Batang Berjuntai, Selangor, the native West African plant has not just transformed the country’s economy but also indelibly shaped the nation’s landscape while leaving its mark on much of daily life. As my plane begins its descent to Sandakan, on Borneo’s north-east coast, miles upon miles of neatly planted palms amid the rainforest catch my eye.

Granted, oil palm has not enjoyed much positive press of late due to issues that range from sustainability to the plight of the orangutan. However, this was what piqued my interest most and made me accept an invitation to join Joseph Tek, the 51-year-old CEO and managing director of IJM Plantations Bhd (IJMP), during his Walk With The CEO programme — a bi-annual engagement initiative open to analysts, members of the media, academics and other stakeholders that has been ongoing since 2004 and which was designed to give an immersive experience of the often-insular world of planters. “I was thinking to myself, why preach to the converted?” muses Tek. “Planters sometimes live in a world of their own and I thought we should start to reach out.”

Source: The Edge Weekly, May 31, 2017

Celebrating 100 years of Malaysian palm oil
The oil palm tree has been the bedrock of Malaysia’s economy, socio-development, political stability and ability to innovate. As we mark the centenary of its cultivation this year, we look back at 10 milestones to understand the challenges and efforts that have gone into producing palm oil. As a sustainable crop, the oil palm plays a critical role in helping to feed more than three billion people in over 150 countries. Feeding an additional two billion people by 2050 with limited arable land will be no small task.

Source: New Straits Times, May 19, 2017

Malaysian palm oil industry undaunted by smear campaigns
“THE palm oil industry was a cornerstone in reducing the poverty rate in Malaysia from 50% in the 1960s, down to less than 5% today. The success of the industry, however, did not come without a price. “Today, we are so successful but we went through so many challenges. Because of the success of our palm oil, countries that produce other vegetable oils attacked us,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong. “Because we are so competitive, that’s why they are always targeting palm oil,” he said.”

Source: The Star Online, May 18, 2017

100 years of glory and the next horizon
“Certain French legislators have been a bane for the palm oil industry, with their attempts to introduce discriminatory and unfair taxes that can severely curtail the entry of palm oil into France and cast a shadow on its competitiveness in other parts of Europe.
Ironically, it was a French who started commercial oil palm planting in the then Malaya. Having imported a few bags of seeds from Sumatra, Henri Fauconnier planted on trial plots in Kuala Selangor in 1914 before establishing the first commercial plantation in the neighbouring Tennamaram Estate, Batang Berjuntai (now Bestari Jaya) in 1917, exactly 100 years ago.”

Source: The Star Online, May 17, 2017

Palm oil production to rise in Indonesia
“Stronger yields are expected in 2017 for Indonesia – the world’s largest producer of palm oil, at 34m tons last season, or 54% of global supply, according to the US Department of Agriculture – although some effects of last year’s El Niño weather phenomenon, such as drought conditions in many areas, are still being felt.
Industry projections put crude palm oil (CPO) production for this year in the range of 33m-35m tons as output increases in the second half – the upper end of the forecast bracket puts CPO yields some 10% higher than last year.”

Source: Oxford Business Group, May 22, 2017

Myanmar turns to coffee as crops threatened by climate change
With climate change affecting crop production, Myanmar is taking steps to boost the coffee industry by holding events such as the Coffee Forum in Nay Pyi Taw.
“With the development of the Myanmar Coffee Sector, Myanmar coffee growers and entrepreneurs will earn more foreign exchange,” said Vice President U Henry Van Thio at the opening of the forum. “Yet, compared to that of coffee growing countries in South-East Asia such as Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, Myanmar’s coffee sector was found to have lagged behind due to weaknesses in technique, lack of exchange of news and information and a shortage of experience in growing the coffee crop,” he added.

Source: President Office, May 24, 2017

Sugar cane: Farmers profit from high output, high prices
“Better sugar yields this year for farmers have given. Thailand abundant sugar outputin the current 2016-17 crop as global prices are rising, allowing farmers to reap gains from their crops this year. This is according to the Thai Sugar Millers Corporation Ltd (TSMC). Rising prices are likely to encourage farmers to switch from rice and other crops to sugar.”

Source: Bangkok Post, April 26, 2017

Myanmar sees gains in rice, corn production
“Rice and corn production in Myanmar is expected to increase in the 2016-17 marketing year, while production of wheat is forecast to fall, according to an April 20 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

Source: World-Grain, April 26, 2017


Rising coffee culture continues to drive consumption in China
“China has long been seen as a growth market, albeit one with long term rather than short-term potential, but figures released by Euromonitor in its latest report suggests that short-term growth is advancing steadily. Euromonitor's February 2017 report said the retail value of coffee grew 4 per cent in 2016, to CNY7.2 billion (US$1.0 billion). It grew 3 per cent in retail volume, to reach a level of 65,000 tonnes. The company said on-trade volume sales grew faster than retail volume sales in 2016. It notes that Nestle (China) Ltd led the coffee market in China in 2016 with a 66 per cent retail value share. Adding a note of caution, Euromonitor said it expects coffee to grow at 2 per cent CAGR in the short-term rather than at the rate achieved in 2016. Euromonitor attributed the growth in the market to rising consumer interest in coffee culture in China, leading to an increase in consumption. "Consumers continued to demand quality coffee both in and out of the home," said the authors of the report. "Furthermore, the number of specialist coffee shops and cafes expanded rapidly, in order to cater to increasing demand.”

Source: Coffee & Cocoa International May 2017, Vol. 44 (2): 42 -43

ICCO raises prospect of structural surplus but El Nino may be coming
“Cocoa prices have fallen steeply in the last year. The regular in Cote d’Ivoire has failed to prevent speculation by exporters and the price paid to farmers seems likely to be cut as reserve funds are used up. The ICCO says it believes it could be the start of a long-term structural change, but not everyone agrees.”

Source: Coffee & Cocoa International May 2017, Vol. 44 (2): 46 -47

Genetic variation in nutrient uptake and nutrient use efficiency of oil palm
Abstract: Observations of the vegetative and reproductive biomass produced annually and the mineral element contents have been conducted on diverse oil palm plant materials tested in a genetic test in Indonesia. The results show that the nutrient uptake (for trunk growth, leaf renewal and bunch export) greatly varies (CV = 10% for N uptake and 17% for K uptake) with the origins of the planting materials considered. For equivalent production, the uptake in nutrients of certain plant material may differ very significantly; for the same level of uptake in nutrients, production can vary significantly. This study supports the hypothesis that the optimal nutrient thresholds are intrinsically linked to the plant material. It assumes that some planting materials have different needs and that a fertilizer regime could be adapted to their specific needs without losses in performance. To confirm these assumptions, the need of implementing specific experimental devices with differentiated fertilization regimes is discussed. - J. Ollivier, A. Flori, B. Cochard, P. Amblard, N. Turnbull, I. Syahputra, E. Suryana, Z. Lubis, E. Surya, E. Sihombing & Durand T. Gasselin

Source: Journal of Plant Nutrition, 40:4, 558-573 (2017)

Global nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer use for agriculture production in the past half century: shifted hot spots and nutrient imbalance
Abstract: In addition to enhancing agricultural productivity, synthetic nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) fertilizer application in croplands dramatically alters global nutrient budget, water quality, greenhouse gas balance, and their feedback to the climate system. However, due to the lack of geospatial fertilizer input data, current Earth system and land surface modeling studies have to ignore or use oversimplified data (e.g., static, spatially uniform fertilizer use) to characterize agricultural N and P input over decadal or century-long periods. In this study, we therefore develop global time series gridded data of annual synthetic N and P fertilizer use rate in agricultural lands, matched with HYDE 3.2 historical land use maps, at a resolution of 0.5 × 0.5 latitude–longitude during 1961–2013. Our data indicate N and P fertilizer use rates on per unit cropland area increased by approximately 8 times and 3 times, respectively, since the year 1961 when IFA (International Fertilizer Industry Association) and FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) surveys of country-level fertilizer input became available. Considering cropland expansion, the increase in total fertilizer consumption is even larger. Hotspots of agricultural N fertilizer application shifted from the US and western Europe in the 1960s to eastern Asia in the early 21st century. P fertilizer input shows a similar pattern with an additional current hotspot in Brazil. We found a global increase in fertilizer N/P ratio by 0.8 g N g−1 P per decade (p < 0.05) during 1961–2013, which may have an important global implication for human impacts on agroecosystem functions in the long run. Our data can serve as one of critical input drivers for regional and global models to assess the impacts of nutrient enrichment on climate system, water resources, food security, etc. – C. Lu and H. Tian

Source: Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 181-192, 2017

Tolak Ukur Produksi Untuk Intensifikasi Produksi Kelapa Sawit yang Berkelanjutan di Indonesia dengan PALMSIM
This article which translated into English means “Benchmarking Yield for Sustainable Intensification of Oil Palm Production in Indonesia using PALMSIM” is extracted with permission from MEDIA PERKEBUNAN, Edition 162, May 2017. Copyright 2017 PT. Medbun Nusantara Jaya. - M.P. Hoffmann, C. Donough, H. Sugianto, A. Castaneda Vera, M.T. van Wijk, C.H. Lim, D. Asmono, Y. Samosir, A.P. Lubis, D.S. Moses, A.M. Whitbread and T. Oberthür

Source: IPNI Southeast Asia website


We have also updated our SEAP Reference Database with references dealing mainly with the following topics: cocoa, plant nutrients and oil palm. For a complete listing of these references, please click here.


Press Release
IPNI Southeast Asia Program has disseminated the following press releases in the first quarter of 2017:
    • Newsflash (26 May): IPNI Annual Photo Contest Returns

Popular Article
Published in Media Perkebunan (Edition 162, May): Tolak Ukur Produksi untuk Intensifikasi Produksi Kelapa Sawit yang Berkelanjutan di Indonesia dengan PALMSIM
Translation: Benchmarking Yield for Sustainable Intensification of Oil Palm Production in Indonesia using PALMSIM


13th ISP National Seminar 2017 (NATSEM 2017)
17 - 19 July 2017
Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Malaysia Palm Oil Expo (MAPEX) / Malaysia International Palm Oil Conference (MIPOC) 2017
18 - 20 July 2017
Sibu, Sabah, Malaysia

PALMEX Thailand 2017
17 – 18 August 2017
Surat Thani, Thailand

PALMEX Indonesia 2017
2 – 5 October 2017
Medan, Sumatra Utara, Indonesia

International Palm Oil Congress and Exhibition (PIPOC) 2017
14-16 November 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Disclaimer: News from the Region is a selection of regional agriculture-related articles extracted from internet sources. IPNI does not verify, endorse, or take responsibility for the accuracy, currency, completeness or quality of the content in these sites. Due to the nature of this service, IPNI cannot always verify every single news item. Be sure to check with the official websites of the companies, universities, research centers, and government agencies before using any information in the IPNI SEAP Quarterly Newsletters or webpages, as IPNI cannot vouch for news items submitted by the public. Links to external websites are included for the sole purpose of providing easy access to the source. The inclusion of external hyperlinks does not constitute IPNI’s endorsement of the views expressed by these websites. IPNI shall not be responsible for any damages caused directly or indirectly by the use of any information or content from within linked websites.

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