Simulation of oil palm growth and yield.

D.W.G. van Kraalingen, C.J. Breure, C.J.T. Spitters

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    32 Citations (Scopus)


    A dynamic model is presented to simulate growth and yield formation of oil palm (Elaeis quineensis Jacq.) in dependence of weather data and plant characteristics. From incoming amounts of light, light interception of the foliage and photosynthetic characteristics of individual leaflets, daily rates of crop photosynthesis are calculated. After subtraction of respiration requirements, remaining assimilates are allocated to the various plant tissues. The demand for vegetative growth is met first and the excess assimilates are used for generative growth. The model was tested with long-term data of two planting density trials. In general a good fit was found between simulated and observed yields. For the period between 6 and 12 years after field planting, simulated gross photosynthesis averaged 310 kg CH2O ha−1 day−1, of which about 51% is used for maintenance of standing biomass. Remaining carbohydrates are used for growth, with vegetative growth demanding about 120 kg dry matter (DM) palm−1, y−1. A sensitivity analysis with the model emphasized that any increase in crop photosynthesis, due to improvement of husbandry or genotype, will result in a proportional increase in bunch yield without much influence on vegetative growth.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-244
    JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1989


    • elaeis guineensis
    • oil palms
    • agricultural meteorology
    • yield increases
    • yield losses
    • yields
    • models
    • research

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