Introduction Of Oil Palm And Its Agricultural Use Biology Essay


Oil palm is one of the country's main agricultural commodities is growing rapidly. Prospects of oil palm cultivation has resulted in higher profits and making interest of foreign investors to invest in this field. It is the main crop is important and has a promising prospect in terms of raw material production or processing results.

Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) originated from West Africa. However, there are some who argue that this plant originated from South America or the species Elaeis oleifera melanococca. Malaysia and Indonesia's oil palm industry began when four seedlings, two seedlings of Mauritus and two more from the Amsterdam Botanical Gardens planted in Bogor, Indonesia in 1848.

Material from this Bongor then planted in the streets as ornamental plants in the district of Deli, Sumatra in the 1870s. Thereafter, the oil palm industry in Malaysia was established in 1917 when Tenmaran Farm Estate in Kuala Selangor and Elmina in 1920 that planted the seeds of the Deli Dura Rantau Panjang and Kuala Selangor in the years 1911-1912. Planting seeds in the oil fields increased sharply in the 1960s when the opening Felda land schemes in rural areas on a large scale.

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Improvement programs in Malaysia and Indonesia since 1920 to breed Deli for commercial purposes after the making of high quality seeds.

Plants that have a simple-pinnate leaves composed of rachis, petiole and leaves all arranged symmetrically on both sides of the midrib. In the early stages of growth from age 1-2 years, a total of 40 fronds per year can be issued. For mature trees, the production of fronds 20-24 fronds per year. The reduction stems is influenced by the percentage of oil production is increasing. Palm is a type of flower inflorescence (monoecious) in which male and female flowers are competing on the same tree. Bunch flowers (hermaphrodite) flowers of male and

female flowers on the same inflorescence generally available during the initial production rate bunch.

Inflorescence of male flowers looking like human fingers and spikelet has

between 12-20 cm long, and there are 200 spikelet / flower inflorescence. Male flowers white with yellow pollen, and progressing from base to end of each spikelet. Total pollen or flower bunch is 25-50g depending on the size and current interest rates for 2-3 days it begins to smell like anise.

Female flower buds shaped inflorescence buds in size between 24-25 cm long and has a rate of 200-300 thousand spikelet. It begins right in 3-5 days, the cream will turn into a pink chocolate after the venture. Pollination level will not be progressing simultaneously from top to bottom bunch. Oil palm fruit will be produced at sheat, these plants start fruiting at the age of 18 months after it is planted. Fruit shape of esokarpa DRUP outer (thin skin), middle mesocarp (husk that contains oil and endokarpa part in the (shell).

Seed oil consists of a nut that after perikarp layer and it consists of an embryo surrounded by endosperm (kernel ) are covered by shells.

Monocotyledon plants have rooting types of fibrous systems. Fibrous roots, roots that branch off and form a closely woven and thick. Some fibrous roots grow straight down (vertically), and some grow horizontally towards the side (horizontal). Amid the roots are air-space to touch with the roots above ground and around the base of adventitious stems will root out the suspense.

If the adventitious roots are reaching the ground so the roots are transformed into common root. Besides palm oil also have a primary root in size (6-10mm)

out from the base of the stem. A secondary root (2-4mm), tertiary roots (0.7-1.2mm) while the quartener roots (0.1-0.3mm) and tertiary roots and quartener root 1-4mm long and is the root of the main absorbing water and nutrients.

Plant Nutrient

Plants need the right combination of nutrients to live, grow and reproduce to complete their life cycle are called essential plant nutrient. Each of these nutrients has a critical function in plants and are required in varying amounts in plant tissue. When plants suffer from malnutrition, they show symptoms of being unhealthy.

Too little or too much of any one nutrient can cause problems. Plant roots require certain conditions to obtain these nutrients from the soil. First, the soil must be sufficiently moist to allow the roots to take up and transport the nutrients. Sometimes correcting improper watering strategies will eliminate nutrient deficiency symptoms. Second, the pH of the soil must be within a certain range for nutrients to be release-able from the soil particles. Third, the temperature of the soil must fall within a certain range for nutrient uptake to occur. The optimum range of temperature, pH and moisture is different for

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different species of plants. Thus, nutrients may be physically present in the soil, but not available to plants. A knowledge of soil pH, texture, and history can be very useful for predicting what nutrients may become deficient.

Roots take up nutrients primarily as ions dissolved in the soil.s water. The ions may be positively charged (cations) or negatively charged (anions). The nutrient ion soup in the soils. Water is in a constant state of flux as the variety of ions dissolve in and precipitate out of solution. Clay particles and organic matter in the soil are negatively charged, attracting the positively charged cations (like ammonium, NH4+, and potassium, K+) and making the cations resistant to leaching.

Negatively charged anions (like nitrate, N03-) are prone to leaching and can become a water pollution problem. Both ammonium and nitrate are important plant nitrogen sources and are commonly found in salt forms in fertilizers. The Cation Exchange Capacity, CEC, is a measurement of the soil.s capacity to hold cation

nutrients. More precisely, it is a measurement of the capacity of the negatively charged clay and organic matter to attract and hold positively charged cations. CEC is useful in comparing the potential for different soils to hold and supply nutrients for plant growth.

Plant nutrient fall into 2 categories:

1. Macronutrient or major essential elements (elements needed in a relatively large

concentration by the plants.)

1. Macronutrient


Nitrogen (N)

. Synthesis of protein molecules.

. Present in purines, pyrimidines and porphyrins molecules.

. major part of the chlorophyll molecule and is therefore necessary for photosynthesis

. improves the quality and quantity of dry matter in leafy vegetables and protein in grain crops.

Phosphorus (P)

. A constituent of nucleic acids, phospholipids, coenzymes (NAD and NADP), and as a constituent of ATP and other high energy compounds.

. aids in root development, flower initiation, and seed and fruit development.

. reduce disease incidence in some plants and has been found to improve the quality of certain crops.

Potassium (K)

. Important for photosynthesis especially for chlorophyll development and for


. Water content in the leaves especially for opening and closing of the stomata.

. promotes the translocation of photosythates (sugars) for plant growth or storage in fruits or roots

Magnesium (Mg)

. Important for photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.

. Mg is a constituent of chlorophyll molecule, without which photosynthesis

will not occur.

. Many enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism require Mg as an activator.

Calcium (Ca)

. A constituent of cell wall, in the form of calcium pectate for formation of cell membranes and lipid structures.

. The middle lamella is largely made up of calcium and magnesium pectates.

. Calcium in small amounts is necessary for mitosis.

Sulphur (S)

. Participates in the formation of protein structure in the form of sulfur bearing amino acids such as cystine, cysteine and methionine.

. Sulfur is taken up by plant in the form of sulfate ion (SO42-).

2. Micronutrient or minor essential elements (trace elements are needed only in a very low concentration by the plant.)

2. Micronutrient


Boron (B)

. Involved in the transport of carbohydrate and synthesis of DNA within the plant.

Copper (Cu)

. Copper acts as a component of enzymes especially in phenolase, lactase, and

ascorbic acid oxidase for a normal metabolism of the plant.

Iron (Fe)

. Iron is incorporated directly into the cytochromes, a compound necessary to the electron transport system in mitochondria, and into ferredoxin.

. Ferredoxin is indispensable to the light reaction of photosynthesis.

. Iron is essential for the synthesis of chlorophyll.

Manganese (Mn)

. Manganese is an essential element in respiration and in nitrogen metabolism,

where it functions as an enzyme activator.

. Manganese can be replaced by other divalent cations such as Mg2+, Co2+, Zn2+

and Fe2+.

Molybdenum (Mo)

. Necessary for gaseous nitrogen fixation and nitrate assimilation.

Zinc (Zn)

. Zinc is necessary for the biosynthesis of the plant auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA).

Akar 3

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Root system age <5 years Root system age >7 years



Total (kg/palm/year)








Nitrogen = AC (25%N), AN (34%N), AS (21%N), UREA(46%N)

Phosphorus = CIRP(33%P2O5,GRP (30% P2O5), JRP(33% P2O5), TSP (46%P2O5)

Potassium = Muriate of Potash (60%K2O)

Magnesium = Kieserite (27% MgO), GML(17% MgO)


The location of the initial symptoms of nutrient deficiency generally occurs on either new or old leaves. If symptoms appear on new leaves, the deficiencies could be from lack of iron, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, chlorine, calcium, or sulfur. Manganese toxicity, certain pesticide toxicities, aphid infestation, broad mite problems, and certain virus problems can also occur on the new leaves and confuse the diagnosis.

If deficiency symptoms appear on old leaves, the problem could be from lack of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or magnesium. Molybdenum deficiency symptoms first appear between the old and new leaves. In ornamental potted plants, Mo deficiency is not common, except for poinsettia. Factors that can confuse diagnosis of plant nutrient deficiency include excessive top growth beyond the

capacity of the root system to support, damage from high salinity, pesticide toxicity, damage to the root system by mites, nematodes, insects, or disease, or any other conditions detrimental to the root system and its environment.

The oil palm is a research-friendly plant and manifests most deficiencies with typical and visible diagnostic symptoms as well described by Turner and Gillbanks (1974). A wide spread of elements is found oil palms tissues but not all that are deficient give rise to characteristic symptoms in foliage. Deficiency symptoms for P, S, Cl, and Mn are indistinct while hunger signs for N, K, Mg, B, Cu and Zn are well defined. However, economically, the primary task is to determine nutrient requirements for optimal yields by oil palms grown on

different soils and climatic conditions

A high yield palm oil production system depends on good agronomic practices. The

following are examples of good agronomic practices:

. good nutrient management plan

. implementation of legume cover crop policy

. nutrient recycling to build up soil organic matter

. soil moisture conservation practices

. erosion control practices



Resize of Re-exposure of Po01



Picture of symptoms

Explanations of deficiency symptoms

Nitrogen (N)

Leaf symptom:

. Chlorosis and small, pale green or yellow, occurring first at the lower fronds.

. Degree of yellowing indicates severity of deficiency.

. Yellow rachis and midribs with narrow leaflets that roll inwards.

. Tips of affected leaflets turn may purplish brown.

Plant symptom

. Reduced frond production and plant growth rate.

. Reduced petiole cross section (PCS) in mature palms

. Delay in onset of first harvest an reduction in yield.

Likely environments:

. Waterlogged conditions (pH<4)

. Shallow or compacted soils.

. After application of organic residues with wide C:N ratio.

Phosphorus (P)

Leaf symptom:

. Short fronds.

. Orange Spotting/Orange Blotch

. Stunted: reduced vegetative growth.

. Trunk diameter decrease with increasing height pyramid shape.

Plant symptom

. Reduced frond production and plant growth rate.

. Reduced petiole cross section (PCS) in mature palms

. Delay in onset of first harvest an reduction in yield.

Likely environments:

. Eroded topsoils

. P-fixing sedimentary soils.

. Soils from volcanic ash

Potassium (K)

Leaf symptom:

. Confluent orange spotting, diffused midcrown yellowing or white stripe


yellowing or white stripe .

. Chlorotic or necrotic spots on older frond.

Plant symptom

. Flat-topped appearance in young palms.

. Reduced frond size and delayed development of entire crown.

Likely environments:

. Peats soils.

. Shallow or compacted soils.

. Low pH sandy soils

. Ex-forest or savannah grassland where intensive cropping was practiced

Magnesium (Mg)

Leaf symptom:

. Olive green to ochre patches on leaflets exposed to light but shaded pinnae

remains green.

. Ochre to bright yellow fronds that turn necrotic.

Likely environments:

. Sandy soils with shallow or eroded topsoil.s.

. High rainfall areas(>3500mm yr).

. Over fertilization of other.

Boron (B)

Leaf symptom:

. Brittle with dark-green colour.

. Abnormal leaf shape( crinkle leaf, hooked leaf).

. Pale, transparent spots aligned on either side of secondary veins in very young palms.

Plant symptom

. Reduced frond length leading to "flat-topped" appearance.

. Truncation of frond trip (blind leaf).

. Fish-bone appearance of severely affected fronds.

. Palm death due to necrosis of palm growing point.

. Poor kernel formation(partly parthenocarpic fruits).

Likely environments:.

. Acids soils (pH<4.5) or very alkaline soils (pH7.5). Peat and sandy soils

. After large application of N,K, and Ca fertilizer.

Copper (Cu)

Leaf symptom:

. Small chlorotic streaks in leaflet tip that gradually turn yellow.

. Pael green to yellow-orange streaks along leaf intervene, but pinnate remain green.

. Necrotic, desiccated leaf tips

Plant symptom

. Midcrown chlorosis.

. Retarded growth and reduced palm length.

. Stunting and palm death

Likely environments:

. Peats soils.

. Very sandy soils (>90% sands).

. After large applications of P and N fertilizer without sufficient K.

. After large applications of Mg fertilizer.

Iron (Fu)

Leaf symptom:

. Pale green to yellowish-green interviens.

Plant symptom

. Chlorosis is of the youngest 3-4 fronds.

. Yellow, desiccated older frond. The frond snapping in middle or upper crowns.

. Collapse of spear and leaf cabbage.

Likely environments:

. Very calcareous soils (pH>7.5).

. Deep peat soils.

. After large applications of P fertilizer.

. Deep organic soils over sandy soils.

Sulphur (S)

Leaf symptom:

. Bright yellow colour

. Orange necrotic spots.

. Reddish discoloration on leaf margins starting from leaflet tip.

Plant symptom

. Plant death.

Zinc (Zn)

Leaf symptom:

. Deficiency is not common in oil but but may be induced high soil P status and

occur ultrabasic and ultramafic soils with high soil pH. It is also believed to be a factor involved in the "peat yellows" condition found on peat soils.

. It appears as small narrow white streak on lower and mid crown fronds.


Leaf symptom:

. Yellowing of entire foliage.

Plant symptom

. Cluster of affected palms next to healthy palms on well drained soils.

Likely environments:

. Low lying areas or basins that are difficult or uneconomic to drain.

. Blocked drain outlets.

. Compacted soils (hardpan).

Legume Cover Plant

Leaf symptom:

. P: reduced leaf size.

. P: lustreless dark green leaves.

. K: marginal yellowing, necrosis starting at tips of older leaves.

. K: leaf base and midrib remain green,

. Mg: yellowing of older leaves particularly interveins.

. Mg: yellowing mottles on leaf tips which become necrotic and desiccated.

Plant symptom

. P: very dark green or dark redpurple bines.

. P: poor establishment.

. P: stunted, reduced growth.

. P: leaves progressively smaller along the bine.

. P: defolaiton


1. Method of distribution

- Manual of either the circle or line sheath.

2. The time of distribution

- Avoid application of fertilizers in the long summer or winter rain.

3. The frequency of distribution

- Depending on the topography of the farm, soil type, annual rainfall, and fertilizer.

4. Fertilizer Rates

- Depending on age and yield potential of the area.

5. Place Laying Steel

- Depending on the age and topography of the steel plant were sown either in a

circle, hallway or patio sheath.

6. Quality Steel

- Low quality steel has a lower nutrient content than it should be noted and if no

cause of not getting enough nutrient and nutrient losses on the farm.

- Two component need to aware of nutrient composition of steel and the percentage

of moisture in the steel.

- The receipt of each type of fertilizer should be sampled for analysis of two

components prior to the fertilizer applied to farm.


1. Not really original stock farm

- There was extensive erosion on the farm caused the loss of much land (topsoil)

2. Volatilisation

- Occurs on the element of N fertilizer such as urea. Can be reduced through:

a). Application of element of N fertilizer( urea) in a moist.

b). N steel covered with soil sown ( in struggle).

c). N fertilizer application is split into several rounds.

3. Leaching

- Often occur in the study soil and high rainfall.

- Element N, K, and Mg are the major nutrient can be lost through the leach ate.

- Loss of the leach ate can be reduced by:

a). A type of fertilizer application is split into several rounds.

b). Sowing flat steel in the active root crops to increase absorption. Avoid

fertilizing during the rainy month of high rainfall exceeds 250mm per month or

the number of days of rains over 15 day per month.

c) the empty fruit bunch (EFB) mulching to improve soil organic matter content.

Raising the soil pH by liming acid to increase rates cation exchange (CEC).

4. Erosion

- To involve the loss of soil nutrients and substances contained with it.

- Loss of nutrient through erosion and runoff can be reduced by:

a) The application of fertilizers is divided into several rounds.

b) Maintain a good ground cover in fields.

c) The use of empty fruit bunches or pruned fronds as mulch. Construction of a

terrace and a good plant site in hilly areas

d) The use of tires (soil bunds) or 'silt pit' to decelerate and trap the water flow on

the terrace.

5. Nutrient substances bound by the land (Fixation)

- Nitrogen (N) be bound by the pea plant or microbes to the decay of organic


- Phosphorus are bound by the soil that is rich in Fe and Al. This binding process

can and will be reduced when:

a). Organic materials have completely decomposed and the element of N released

by mineralization.

b). Application of fertilizer phosphorus (P) the band (band application), in the

sheath or outside circle of the active root area to minimize contact with soil

fertilizer and perform a low lime on soil pH. Mulching the soil surface with

pruned fronds or palm empty fruit bunches.


Sustainable agriculture involves the management of agricultural resources to satisfy changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the environmental quality and conserving natural resour. Sustainable land management should maintain the soil productivity, minimize risks, preserve the soil and water quality and be economically feasible and socially acceptable. The increasing demand for agricultural land has led to more intensive land use, resulting in rapid land degradation. The application of hazardous compounds and excessive

fertilizers has worsened the land degradation and its fertility.

The increase in fresh fruit bunch (FFB) production is depends on several factor such as soil, fertilization, weather, rain temperature, light and agronomic practices and level of farm management. Good fertilizer management is the key high productivity and efficiency in most oil palm plantation. However it is benefit go beyond maintaining healthy palms and yields. It is also a pre-requisites for sustainability of oil palms. Effective fertilizer management

involves three key aspect: appreciating the agronomic principle fertilisation and fertilizer management, proper filed practices and understanding the criteria and indicator of palm health.

Balanced fertilization with N, P and K according to nutrient removal, leaf analysis and soil tests are necessary for sustained and profitable palm oil production. Site-specific nutrient management plans incorporating nutrient balances are proposed to help identify situations where surplus fertilizer applications may result in high production cost or undue losses to the


From the nutritional perspective, a plant cannot tell if applied nutrients come from a manufactured fertilizer or a natural source. Plants use nutrients in ionic forms. Soil microorganisms must break down organic soil amendments, organic fertilizers and many manufactured fertilizers before the nutrients become usable by plants. From a nutritional perspective, the primary difference between manufactured and organic soil amendments/organic fertilizers is the speed at which nutrients become available for plant use.

For manufactured fertilizer, their release is typically, but not always, a few days to weeks.

Some are specially formulated as "controlled release", "slow release" or "time release" products that release over a period of months. With natural-organic fertilizer, nutrients typically become available over a period of months or years. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. The high salt content of some manufactured fertilizers and some organic soil amendments could slow the activity of beneficial soil microorganisms.

Nutrient management planning should be comprehensive and involve components that also complement each other. The component of sound nutrient management plan includes:

. Accurate yield level and goal (to predict yield using yield response equations based previous trial data)

. Estimate of nutrients applied and removed by crops.

. Determination of the most limiting nutrient (by foliar and soil analyses, and past fertilizer application records)

. Consideration of all nutrient sources including commercial fertilizers, organic amendments and realistic estimates of availability of different nutrient sources.

. Maintenance of soil fertility by replacing the nutrients removed and planning nutrient recycling for reducing of nutrient application.

. Adequate soil conservation measures indicators of erosion and run off transport.

There is considerable interest in reducing the use of chemical fertilizers while maintaining crop yields, not only to lower the cost of production but also to minimize pollution. Organic fertilizers, for example, can be used, especially to supply N. It is known that external chemical inputs are needed to achieve sustained high crop yields, their availability and cost (without subsidies) may be prohibitive for their use in food crop production in many developing countries. In addition, continuous use of only high external chemical inputs can

result in increased land degradation on poorly buffered upland soils. Combining decreased levels of inorganic N inputs with organic N inputs may be an avenue for sustaining N availability to a crop in the transition to alternative management as well. It is, therefore, imperative that alternative integrated soil and nutrient management systems are developed that can maximize incorporation of biological nutrient sources and organic material.