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Feb 14, 2014

K+S KALI GmbH and IPNI publish first project results: Splitting up the required volume of complex fertilisers is ideal for oil palm cultivation on sandy soils

“Sandy soils are always threatened by nutrient wash-out, so it is advisable to split fertilisers into several portions in order to maintain a constant nutrient level, thereby improving nutrient usage by oil palms”, is how Prof. Dr. Jóska Gerendás from K+S KALI GmbH explains the first results engendered by the Best Management Practice Project on optimum nutrient management on Kalimantan, Indonesia.


Applying smaller portions of nitrogen and potassium four times per year increases the fertilisers’ effectiveness by 10 respectively 18% in comparison to one-time application (see chart). This is one of the first results engendered by a research project set up by K+S KALI GmbH together with the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Southeast Asia in 2011.


Dividing the required fertiliser volumes into several partial applications allows plants to take up nutrients before they are washed out by the region’s heavy precipitation.

Results of a project conducted on Kalimantan, Indonesia. Nutrient uptake refers to infructescence and trunk.

“Split applications are not feasible for straight fertilisers”, Prof. Dr. Gerendás goes on to explain. “It is therefore advisable to use modern bulk-blends based on Korn-Kali® and other components, in order to meet the oil palms’ high requirements of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulphur and boron. Using these well-balanced composite fertilisers ensures optimum nutrient ratios, so that all requirements may be met.”


The results of the project were titled “Effect of nutrient application frequency on nutrient uptake in oil palm on sandy soils“ and were published at the International Oil Palm Congress PIPOC. In addition to Prof. Dr. Gerendás, the report’s authors include Chris Donough and Thomas Oberthür from IPNI and employees of the plantation PT Sampoerna Agro Tbk.


The Best Management Practice Project aims at sustainably raising the oil yield on existing plantations by using state-of-the-art cultivation methods, thereby curbing the expansion of land under cultivation.


The PIPOC (Malaysian Palm Oil Board International Palm Oil Congress) is a biennial event organised by the MPOB (Malaysian Palm Oil Board) and is the world’s leading conference on all issues related to oil palms. 2000 visitors from all over the world attended the PIPOC in November 2013; most of them from Malaysia and Indonesia, followed by Thailand and Columbia.

Further information

Publication „Effect of nutrient application frequency on nutrient uptake in oil palm on sandy soils“ as download (pdf)


Link to IPNI Southeast Asia website


Magnesium – an indispensable nutrient for oil palms

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