Fertilizer Management: Toxicity

Aluminum toxicity is widespread in the humid tropics where soils are acid and highly weathered. Low pH results in the accumulation of soluble Al in the soil that reduces root growth and impairs root function. Aluminum toxicity is thus manifested in the appearance of Mg and K deficiency, particularly in young palms but can be corrected by applying rock phosphate or dolomite at planting to ameliorate soil pH. Magnesium fertilizers have also been shown to reduce the effect of Al toxicity on plant growth for a variety of crops (Grimme and Härdter, 1991).

Nickel toxicity can be a difficult problem in soils derived from ultrabasic or ‘serpentine’ rocks. Palms affected by Ni toxicity exhibit narrow, fish-net like chlorotic patterns on younger leaves, and growth can be severely retarded. Nickel toxicity is difficult to correct and, whilst mulching with EFB (where available), liming, and additional K fertilizer may help to alleviate the symptoms, it is not recommended to plant oil palm on ultrabasic soils. Some sources of poor quality rock phosphate are also known to contain a large concentration of Ni, and these fertilizer materials should not be used.

Micronutrient toxicities are rare under humid tropical conditions and are usually only found after excessive application of micronutrient fertilizers. Great care must be taken when choosing the application rate for micronutrient fertilizers since the difference between deficiency and toxicity is often quite small. Copper toxicities may develop as a result of excessive and careless fertilizer application, the latter especially from excessive use of Cu-containing fungicides.

Copper toxicity symptoms first appear as small, oval or round, light brown spots on the leaf surface. The spots have depressed centers and may coalesce into extensive necrotic areas with yellow margins on the leaf surface.

Boron toxicity symptoms start on the younger leaves where interveinal chlorotic streaks appear on leaf tips. Chlorosis is rapidly followed by necrosis, developing from the distal to proximal end of leaves. Boron toxicity may be corrected by the application of N fertilizers, which precipitate B and improve palm growth by diluting the concentration of B in palm tissue.

Boron toxicity

The application of molybdenum to palms as foliar spray resulted in a decrease in yield in young palms on an acid sand soil in Nigeria (Ataga et al ., 1982). Bunch yield was also reduced when palms were treated with a foliar spray of manganese. In both cases, however, no leaf symptoms were reported.

Excessive application of soluble fertilizer may lead to fertilizer scorch to the oil palm canopy
    Agronomic team (Zulkifli, GHH, AS, HR) examining hyperacidity problem of oil palm on deep peat

The hyperacidity disorder can be found on palms planted on excessively drained acid sulfate and peat soils. Typical symptoms include the gradual necrosis and desiccation of leaflets on lower fronds, but the spear and young leaves are not affected. Liming with dolomite or BA is not very effective and hyperacidity can be better prevented by maintaining the water-table just above the jarosite layer or 30 cm from the surface, whichever is lower.

Hyperacidity
Hyperacidity – damage to rachis
(Photos taken by GKJ)
Reference
Goh K.J. and Rolf Härdter (2003) General oil palm nutrition. In: Thomas Fairhurst and Rolf Hardter (eds). Oil palm: Management for large and sustainable yields. Potash & Phosphate Institute and International Potash Institute: 191-230
Note: The full list of references quoted in this article is available from the above paper.

News

AAR wishes to congratulate Ms. Gan Siau Ting and their team members for being awarded the 2013 PIPOC’s Best Poster Award, for their poster paper “A High Density DArT- and SNP-based Linkage Map of ...
AAR wishes to congratulate Mr. Sim Choon Cheak for being awarded the 2012 Scholar Award, Southeast Asia region by IPNI. For further details, please visit IPNI website at http://www.ipni.net/article/I...
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe GLC Open Day, a showcase of government-linked companies in collaborations with private sectors was held from 24-26 June 2011 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Boustead Holdings Bhd. is on...
The original article in PDF format\r\n\r\nAs food prices escalate throughout the world, scientists say it is time for Malaysia to pay more attention to soil and crop research.\r\n\r\n\"The crisis of high foo...
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDr. Kee Khan Kiang, Director of Research, AAR holding the certificate of achievement during the 5th Malaysia Power Brand 2011 Award Gala Dinner held on 27 March 2011.\r\n\r\n\r\nCongr...
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: This article is written by Dr. Chee in mandarin and published by Agroworld, Issue No. 236, February 2011, Kuala Lumpur : 34-36. (Translated by Soon, S.H. and reviewed by Wong, C.K.)\r\n...
RM4.4b allocation for oil palm replanting (published in Business Times dated 5 January 2011)\r\n\r\nThe original article in PDF format\r\nMalaysia\'s oil palm industry will spend RM4.4 billion to replan...
From \'Dolly Parton\' bunches to smaller one, oil-laden ones (published in Business Times, 23 November 2010)\r\n\r\nClick here to enlarge image\r\n...
Congratulations to AAR on being awarded the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification for its Tissue Culture Laboratory (published in New Straits Times dated 20 November 2010)\r\n...
(The mandarin version of this article is published in Alam Pertanian, issue 8, 2010. This article is translated from mandarin to English by SSH)\r\n(The Bahasa Malaysia version of this article is a...
\"油棕品种 - 矮种,高产量,高油量特点 - 打造丰硕收成油棕园\" (published in Alam Pertanian, issue 7, 2010)\r\n\r\n\r\n...
\"Baka Kelapa Sawit Terkini Untuk Meraih Hasil Yang Tinggi\" (published in Info Pertanian, issue 7, 2010)\r\n >>Mandarin version<<\r\n\r\n\r\n...
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nScope of certification: Production and sales of tissue cultured clonal oil palm planting materials starting from the receiving of embryoids\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAcknowledgeme...
Aerial Impression of AAR\'s New Complex\r\n\r\n\r\n[ngg_images source=\"albums\" container_ids=\"2\" display_type=\"photocrati-nextgen_basic_extended_album\" gallery_display_type=\"photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnai...
We regret to announce the sudden demise of a dear friend and colleague Madam Ho Yuk Wah recently. The International Oil Palm fraternity has lost a valuable member who had contributed so much to the in...
AAR moving into new office complex (published in The Star dated 18 January 2008)\r\n...
Strong demand boosts CPO price (published in Financial Daily dated 18 January 2008)\r\n...
Cheap oil palm replanting loans for smallholders (published in New Straits Times dated 18 January 2008)\r\n...
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOrder form\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPreface\r\n\"There has never been a cover crop like this before in our plantations\" was the common comment that we heard at the Seminar and Field Tour on \" Mucuna bract...
The Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang refuted allegations made by some Western non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that peat soil in Sarawak was unsuitable for plantin...
Centre for crop research (published in The Star dated 25 February 2007)\r\n...
Queen\'s Royal Visit to Goodenough College\r\n\r\nMr. Patrick Ng (second from left) was presented to the Queen of United Kingdom on 10 November 2006.\r\n\"Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of United Kingdom would...
AA Resources optimistic of 20pc sales growth (published in New Straits Times dated 19/07/2006)\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEditor\'s notes\r\nErrata\r\n1) Dr. Soh Aik Chin is Head of Agricultural Resources and not chief exe...
Cloned oil palms push up AAR revenue (published in The Star dated 19/07/2006)\r\n\r\nEditor\'s notes\r\nErrata\r\n1) Dr. Soh Aik Chin is Head of Agricultural Resources and not chief executive officer....
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWe are proud to announce that Dr Soh Aik Chin, the Head of Advanced Agriecological Research Sdn. Bhd., has been awarded the Fellow of Academy Science for year 2006 under the biological scien...
Clones from Ijok (published in Malaysian Business dated 16-30 June 2006)\r\n\r\n\r\n...
AAR is proud to announce that Mr. Patrick Ng (Research Officer), who joined us in 1998 has been awarded the prestigious \'British Chevening Scholarships\' for year 2006 from the British Council of Malay...
\r\n\r\n\r\nAAR wish to congratulate Madam Siti Norasikin Binti Moksen (Research Clerk) on her successful completion of the Executive Diploma in Management with Distinction from University of Malaya. It is ...
\r\nWe are proud to announce that Dr Soh Aik Chin, the Head of Advanced Agriecological Research Sdn. Bhd., was presented the prestigious Malaysian Toray Science Foundation 2005 Science & Technology ...