Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 31 (2) June 2019, p. 262-270 NORKASPI KHASIM* and RAJA ZULKIFLI RAJA OMAR*
Published Online: 27-Jun-19
The dual purpose of latex timber clone (LTC) rubber; i.e. to produce good quality timber as well as latex yield, had inspired the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to carry out a study on integration of LTC with oil palm. Experiments were conducted to determine the suitability of integrating LTC (RRIM 2024 and RRIM 2025) with oil palm with respect to the effects on the yield of oil palm. The LTC were planted in the double avenue oil palm planting system at two planting densities of 136 palms ha-1 and 120 palms ha-1. In each oil palm planting density, LTC was planted at two different densities, 372 trees ha-1 and 422 trees ha-1. The advantage of double avenue oil palm planting systems is that the avenues between the palm rows are wider to allow for greater light penetration and better environment for growth of LTC. The study showed that both types of LTC, the RRIM 2024 and RRIM 2025 were growing well under the double avenue oil palm planting system. The rubber trees produced cup lumps and rubber wood log with no difference in the two oil palm planting densities. More importantly, this study found that the integration of LTC has affected the yield of oil palm. The oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB) was significantly reduced as early as Year 5 of harvest and continuously decreasing for four consecutive years until the Year 9 of harvest. Current results showed that even though the space between oil palm planting has increased to 18.3 m but the result remains the same. The reduction of oil palm FFB yield could be due to competition for light and nutrient between LTC rubber trees and oil palm. Yield produced from the LTC rubber trees would not be able to compensate losses from FFB yield. Therefore, this study concluded that LTC is not recommended for integration with oil palm in the double avenue oil palm planting system and also in standard triangular planting system.KEYWORDS:
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.