Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 35 (2) June 2023, p. 307-319 NORKASPI KHASIM1* and RAJA ZULKIFLI RAJA OMAR1
Received: 30 April 2021 Accepted: 11 March 2022 Published Online: 3 June 2022
Forage sorghum has great potential to be integrated with oil palm as a fodder source for ruminant livestock. However, there was no study conducted on the suitability of forage sorghum cultivation in oil palm agriculture. Hence, the primary goals of this study were to investigate the suitability of several forage sorghum varieties integrated into the oil palm planting area and how they affect the oil palm yield. Five varieties of forage sorghum, i.e., Superdan, Jumbo, Pacific BMR, Sugargraze and BMR Revolution obtained from Australia were used in this study. The field trials were carried out at five locations, i.e., Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Kluang Research Station, MPOB Keratong Research Station, MPOB Teluk Intan Research Station, MPOB Lahad Datu Research Station and Ladang MAAH KLIA. The trials were laid down in a randomised complete block design (RCBD). Each plot was 7 m × 4 m (28 m2) in size with four replicates (20 plots). Seeds were manually dibbled into 70 cm × 20 cm bands. One planting season of forage sorghum took almost six months to complete with four harvesting rounds. Two rounds of planting can be carried out in one year depending on the climatic condition. Results of the study indicated that forage sorghum grew well in the double avenue oil palm planting area. Sugargraze variety produced the highest fresh and dry fodder weight at all trial locations except MPOB/MAAH plantation. It was followed by BMR Revolution as the second highest fodder producer. The highest estimated dry fodder yield was 18.23 t ha-1 season-1 for Sugargraze variety and 12.97 t ha-1 season-1 for BMR Revolution. In terms of nutritional values, total digestible nutrient (TDN) values ranged from 57.00%-63.93% for all five varieties. This study also revealed that forage sorghum planting in the double avenue oil palm planting area did not affect the oil palm yield. The gross and net revenue of fresh fodder production were RM18 840 ha-1 and RM7680 ha-1, respectively. A total monthly income of RM1317 ha-1 can be generated by forage sorghum and oil palm integration. Thus, the integration of forage sorghum in the double avenue oil palm planting area is technically and economically viable for adoption to optimise land use, diversify the income stream of oil palm growers and lend support to ensure the sustainability of Malaysia’s livestock industry.KEYWORDS:
1 Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.
* Corresponding author e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org