30 Jul 2015

Catena trial BOPP

Catenna trial

In Ghana, the major climatic constraint is the prolonged dry season of 4-5 months, with mean annual water deficits up to 600 mm yr-1. Water deficits are partly controlled by a soil’s physical properties such as texture. Soils with a high water-holding capacity are thus critical for oil palm production to be profitable when rainfall distribution is not uniform. Soil landscapes in the oil palm growing areas in Ghana consist largely of undulating to rolling terrain, with systematic variation in soil physical properties according to slope position resulting in differences in water retention. Despite this systematic variation, little or no attempt is made at present to vary management practices accordingly apart from the requirement to install platforms and terraces on sloping land. In order to investigate the relationship between soil texture, water availability and yield performance, a catena trial was established at Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP), Western Region. In total, eighteen plots were selected, with six plots located in the valley bottom, six plots on the mid-slope, and six plots on the upper slopes. These trials aim at investigating soil moisture and yield performance. Quantifying the yield gaps according to topographic position will provide entry points in maximizing attainable yields across a undulating to rolling landscape with site-specific management interventions.

More about: Oil Palm Best Management Practices in Ghana