Spatial variability of leaf nutrients in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) plantations in Goa, Karnataka, Mizoram and Gujarat states of India were examined for implementation of site-specific fertilisation programs. Georeferenced leaf samples were collected randomly for the oil palm plantations. The leaf nutrient concentrations were assessed and analysed statistically and geostatistically. The concentrations of leaf nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S) and boron (B) in oil palm plantations varied widely at different locations. Leaf P concentration was positively and significantly correlated with S concentration at Goa, Karnataka and Gujarat. Positive and significant correlation between leaf Ca and Mg concentration was recorded at Mizoram and Gujarat. Geostatistical analysis of leaf nutrients showed different distribution patterns at different locations. This study revealed the need to determine spatial variability of nutrient status of oil palm plantations before planning a differential fertiliser program. Therefore, saving of nutrients could be achieved by adopting site-specific nutrient-management strategies.
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Vol. 67 • No. 1