B89.jpg
(FAO - INADES, 1977, 40 p.)

Looking after the plantation[edit | edit source]

36. Cultivation

You must remove the weeds around the young oil palms. This work is done with a hoe or a machete.

During the first year, cultivate 6 times.

Remove all the weeds for 2 metres around each stem. During the first months, the weeds between rows have to be cut.

If you leave the weeds, the cover crop will not grow well.

37. Trimming the plants

You must always cut away the dry leaves of the oil palm.

In order to cut the leaves without damage to the oil palm, your tools must be well sharpened.

Cut the leaves very close to the stem, so that no other plants can grow in the axil of the cut-off leaves.

Remove from the trunk any plants (ferns) that may grow in the axils of the leaves. Remove also the male flowers.

38. Applying fertilizer

The oil palm needs a lot of mineral salts to form its leaves and fruit clusters. When the oil palm is young, it needs above all nitrogen.

When the oil palm has begun to produce, it needs a lot of potash. Potash increases the number of fruit clusters, and makes them bigger.

Oilpalm P33A.GIF


Nitrogen brought down by the rain

How much fertilizer to apply[edit | edit source]

Example: Ivory Coast
On plantations (per tree per year)

Savanna

Forest


Grammes

Fertilizer

Grammes

Fertilizer

Year of planting

500

Ammonium sulfate

250

Ammonium sulfate


500

Potassium chloride

250

Potassium chloride

1 year

750

Ammonium sulfate

500

Ammonium sulfate


750

Potassium chloride

300

Potassium chloride

2 years

750

Ammonium sulfate

750



750

Potassium chloride

to 1500

Potassium chloride

3 and 4 years and afterwards

1000


750



to 1500

Potassium chloride

to 1500

Potassium chloride

On natural palm groves (per tree per year): 1000 grammes of potsassium chloride

Example: Benin
On plantations (per tree per year)

Age of oil palm

Ammonium sulfate

Potassium chloride


Grammes

Grammes

Year of planting

250

200

1 year

350

200

2 years

500

500

3 years

600

750

4 years

600

1000

Protect against insects[edit | edit source]

39. Rhinoceros and augsome beetles Strategus beetle

To protect the young trees, put in the axil of the leaves a mixture of sawdust and BHC.

Oilpalm P35A.GIF


Insects

Palm weevil (Rhynchophora)

To avoid dangerous attacks, be very careful not to wound the trees. The insects may lay their eggs in the wounds of the oil palm.

There are other insects, but it is difficult for the grower to control them.

Oilpalm P36A.GIF


Palm weevil

Oil palms may also be attacked by rate and agoutis.

Rats and agoutis can eat young oil palms. Protect your young oil palms against agoutis by wire netting round each tree. As a protection against rats, you can place little bags with poisoned mane near the oil palms.

Diseases

Oil palms may be attacked by several diseases. If you see distorted leaves or leaves that break, ask for advice from the extension service.

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Published 2006
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