Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 14 No 2  2002 Dec p.  1-9
DOI:

The effects of oil palm empty fruit bunches on oil palm nutrition and yield, and soil chemical properties

Author(s): LIM Kim Chiew* ; ZAHARAH A Rahman**

Mulching with oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB) supplemented with inorganic fertilizer is widely practiced in oil palm plantations but with little evidence in support. In the absence of technical information, estates are applying large amounts of N and K fertilizers with the EFB due to the need to maintain high yield. This study was initiated to study the effects of applying N and K fertilizers together with mulching on oil palm nutrition and yield and the soil chemical properties. Three fertilizer rates were applied at two frequencies together with three rates of EFB in a 2 m band in the inter-rows. The experiment was conducted on 17-year-old palm planted on Durian series soil. Application of EFB at 37.5 t ha-1yr-1together with inorganic N and K fertilizers at rate 1 (0.735 kg N and 1.75 kg K palm-1yr-1) improved the leaf N and K levels, bunch number, bunch weight and fresh fruit bunch yield, while leaf Mg was depressed. EFB mulching also improved the soil exchangeable K, Ca and Mg and pH. The frequency of fertilizer application did have any effect on the leaf nutrient levels and yield. Thus, EFB mulching supplemented with N and K fertilizers should always be advocated for improving oil palm nutrition and yield

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Author Information
*Guthrie Research Chemara, Jalan Sungai Ujong, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.


** Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.


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