Site specific fertiliser recommendations to increase income of smallholder oil palm producers in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea

Rogers, Gary, Webb, Mike, and Nelson, Paul (2006) Site specific fertiliser recommendations to increase income of smallholder oil palm producers in West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. Report. PNG Oil Palm Research Association, Kimbe, Papua New Guinea.

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Abstract

Oil palm is an important cash crop for farmers in Papua New Guinea, especially in West New Britain Province (WNBP). Nutritional constraints are a major limitation to productivity. Fertiliser recommendations for company plantations are based on fertiliser trials and annual leaf sampling and symptom assessment, which is not possible for individual smallholder growers due to their large number (>9,000 in WNBP) and the small size of their blocks (1-6 ha each). Fertiliser recommendations for smallholder growers have traditionally been given at one rate for the whole province. However, it is clear from plantation data that optimum fertiliser rates vary throughout the province, due to environmental factors. This project produced site-specific mature palm fertiliser recommendations for smallholders by extrapolating from the company plantations. The extrapolation was achieved using eight regional soil maps and a geographical information system (GIS). The soil maps were scanned, digitised, geographically registered and incorporated into a MapInfo GIS. A Landsat image was used as the base map and various other layers, including plantation management units (MUs), smallholder blocks, topographic maps, geological maps, and roads were included. Soil map unit descriptions were incorporated into the GIS. For each of the soil map units underlying company plantations, a fertiliser recommendation was calculated by combining the recommendations for each of the MUs overlying that unit, weighting for areas. That recommendation was then applied to smallholder blocks on that soil map unit. In cases where several soil map units underlay one smallholder block, an area-weighted average was calculated. For smallholder blocks underlain by a soil map unit that did not occur in company plantations, broader soil type units were used. Where there was no match between the plantation soil types and smallholder soil types even at the broad group level the recommendations were taken from the nearest blocks with values. The new fertiliser recommendations were reported as maps and in tables and distributed on a CD, which is the main output of this project. The CD also contains the digital regional soil map that was produced and other relevant data. The fertiliser recommendations are intended a) as a guide to the optimum rate rather than an absolutely correct value, b) to be used together with information on grower productivity, cash flow etc, and c) to be modified as more information becomes available.

Item ID: 5681
Item Type: Report (Report)
Funders: AusAID, Agricultural Innovations Grant Facility
Projects and Grants: AIGF Project No. 1106
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2009 22:53
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070306 Crop and Pasture Nutrition @ 60%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820399 Industrial Crops not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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