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 AS  Vol.11 No.1 , January 2020
Towards Sustainable Oil Palm Plantation Management: Effects of Plantation Age and Soil Parent Material
Abstract: This study was conducted to generate information required to guide plantation management in relation to replanting on soils derived from different parent materials. Six oil palm estates in coastal lowlands of southwest Cameroon were considered. Oil palm yield data (in t&#8901;ha&#8722;1 of fresh fruit bunch, FFB) and corresponding age of palms (in years after planting, YAP) were obtained for the various estates. In all the estates, average yields were <10 t&#8901;FFB&#8901;ha&#8722;1 and highly variable. Plantation age, solely, explained between 20% - 58% of the variation in yield. The highest average yields (11.5 t&#8901;FFB&#8901;ha&#8722;1) were obtained in plantations aged between 9 and 18 YAP and the lowest (4.66 t&#8901;FFB&#8901;ha&#8722;1) were obtained in old plantations (>23 YAP). Plantations located on volcanic parent materials generally had higher yields compared to those established on sedimentary parent materials. In order to intensify production and increase yields while conserving the environment, one important measure to consider is the replacement of aged palms, and the recommended optimal replanting age in coastal plains of southwest Cameroon should be at most 23 YAP. Estimated mean yields, if aged palms are replanted on time, can increase by 43% - 65%. Additionally, site-specific nutrient management options should be considered in plantation intensification programs.
Cite this paper: Kome, G. and Tabi, F. (2020) Towards Sustainable Oil Palm Plantation Management: Effects of Plantation Age and Soil Parent Material. Agricultural Sciences, 11, 54-70. doi: 10.4236/as.2020.111004.
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