Monday, June 8, 2009


1. Spacing Of Oil Palms On Undulating/Hilly/Steep Terrain

Palms are spaced out along terraces to achieve an optimum and even stand for a given area which will remain economically productive throughout its life. If palms are spaces closely, crop may be high during its early years, however it will decline when individual palms begins to compete each other for available space and light. It is therefore vital that palms planted on terraces are spaced out in relation to the distance between terraces to achieve uniform density within any given slope.

This is achieved by adopting a modification of the violle lining method.

The violle lining method basically onvolves varying the distance between planting points along the rows in inverse proportion to the distance between terraces. This means that when the distance between terraces is widened, the distance between planting points is proportionately narrowed or conversely, when the distance between terraces is narrowed the distance between planting points is proportionately widened.

In methamatical terms, the violle lining method employs the following formula:

Lining measurements are made along the slope (not horizontally as this is impractical on hilly terrain), thereby resulting in an increase in actual density in proportion to the increase in slope.

This when lining for a density of 55 palms per acre, the planting density will automatically increase with the degree of slopes as indicated in Table 1.

SHOULD a density of 50palams per acre are required, adjacent terraces should be no closer than 26 feet and no further apart than 31 feet. In the case of a density of 60 palms per acre, adjacent terraces should be no closer than 23 feet and no further apart than 28 feet.

2. Lining for 55 palms per acre

For lining of plating points two measuring lines (preferably PVC insulated cable) are required.
Line A is 58 ft long and is cloured and marked off with metal tags as shown in the diagram below:

Line B is 65 ft long and is marked with colored metal tags shown in the diagram below. It will be used for demarcating two planting points at a stretch along treaaces.

Line A is threaded through metal rings fixed to the shoulders of a wooden T while one end of Line B is affixed to the top center of the tee as shown in Figure 4 below:

The first (top) contour terrace is initially lined using a tap measure and ordinary lining pegs placed 30 ft apart and 2 1/2 - 3 ft from the back of the terrace.

Next a planting point is established on the second terrace mid-way below the first two planting points on the first terrace. This estab;lishes a measure of triangulation, which however, may not continue far due to the greater radius of a lower terrace.

A man than stands at this initial planting point on the second terrace and holds the shaft of wooden T, in the general direction of the second terrace.

Line B is held taut in a straight line to the shaft of the T.

Line A which passes through the top of wooden T is held with one end at the back of the first terrace while the other end is pulled down to the back of the third terrace. This will provide a measure of the distance across two terraces.

Line A must be held perpendicular to Line B. The lining technique is diagrammatically shown in Figure below:

The colored portion of Line A that corresponds with the back of third terrace determines the planting distance between palms on the terrace being lined and pegs are therefore placed at the two corresponding coloured tags on line B.

For example, if the distance between from the beck of the first terrace to the back of the third terrace falls within 56 - 58 ft (green portion of Line A), then the two planting points along the second terrace will be pegged at 27.8 ft (green tag) and 56.6 ft (green tag) as indicated by Line B.

This procedure is repeated along the terrace and subsequent terraces, each time commencing from the last marked planting point.

3. Lining For Densities of 50/60 palms per acre

The same procedure described above should be applied when lining for other planting densities. Measuring line A and B should be marked as shown below:

50 palms per acre

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