Oil palm grow in lowlands of the humid tropics, with evenly distributed rainfall of 1800-5000 mm/year. The oil palm is adapted to a wide range of soils and to a low pH, but it is sensitive to a high pH (above 7,5) and to stagnant water. The oil palm is a perennial plant with a generic life of over 200 years, its economic life lasts 20-25 years. The nursery stage may take 11-16 months, while the first harvest may start 32-38 months after planting, and the peak yield is usually recorded between 5-10 years from planting. The harvested part is the fruit (fruit bunch).
Healthy, well selected seedlings are a pre-condition for early and sustained high yield. In most cases granular multi-nutrient compound fertilizers (NPK Mg + micronutrients) are the preferred nutrient source for seedlings in the nursery. For oil palms that are already planted in the field, N rates range from 1,5 kg-8 kg/palm of ammonium sulphate (AS) or its equivalent, depending on the yield potential, which is affected primarily by the total rainfall and its distribution as well as the intensity of solar radiation.To maintain a good fertilizer response and high yields in older palms, (selective) thinning is often necessary where interpalm competition has become a problem as a result of initial high density planting in combination with a high fertility regime and good rainfall.
COMPO EXPERT offers a controlled release fertilizer (CRF) line, branded as Basacote® and Flexicote® that can consistently release the macro- and micronutrients for healthy growth of oil palm seedlings in the nursery. Additional foliar application of micronutrients from the Fetrilon® Combi line, and biostimulants line (such as Basfoliar® Avant Natur SL and Basfoliar® Kelp SL) may help in boosting the growth of oil palm seedlings. On the other hand, for mature oil palms COMPO EXPERT offers stabilized-ammonium (NovaTec® with DMPP technology) to minimize the nitrous gases emission, reducing N-leaching and thus improving N-efficiency in oil palm plantation.