30 Jul 2015

Irrigation trial Norpalm

Irrigation trial

In Ghana, low fruit bunch yields are partly explained by poor climatic conditions, particularly suboptimal rainfall amount and distribution. It is estimated that each 100 mm increase in water deficit reduces yield of FFB by 10–15%. If the palms were subjected to severe water stress in the preceding year as well, the reduction in yield can be as much as 40–50%. Sufficient water supply is therefore essential for economic and profitable oil palm production. The yield gap due to limited water availability alone, is estimated at 10 t ha-1 in Ghana. In order to estimate the maximum bunch yield potential under non-limiting water conditions in Ghana, an irrigation trial was established at Norpalm Ghana Ltd., in collaboration with Solidaridad West Africa. Sixteen plots were randomly selected in a 30 ha block, of which eight blocks received irrigation. Yields of all blocks will be measured over the course of two to three dry seasons to get an accurate estimate of the yield potential. Additionally, two fertilizer treatments are applied to investigate the interaction between irrigation and fertilizer inputs on yield performance. these trials will provide insight on the extra yield increase with ample water, and profitability of production of oil palm under supplementary irrigation in Ghana.

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