Soil Stability for Oil Palm
Soil stability relies on the strength of soil structure. Strong soil structure will contain pores that allow the passing of water and air as well as provide room for soil organisms and plant roots to move and grow. Given challenging soil types and the high water and nutrient requirement for this crop, soil stability is a key performance indicator for oil palm.
In 1996, it was discovered that a sticky glycoprotein called glomalin has a direct correlation to strong soil structure. Glomalin is produced by symbiotic, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), the active ingredient found in MycoApply®. Not only do mycorrhizae facilitate soil penetration and extension of the active root zone of the plant through the fungi’s mycelial branching (hyphae), glomalin binds micro-soil particles into macroparticles forming strong bonds that result in soil stability and an environment primed for plant growth.
Research indicates as many as 80% of all plants species worldwide have developed symbiosis with AMF, including oil palm. This crop benefits from MycoApply in three ways. First, MycoApply has a dramatic impact on stand establishment for new trees which contributes to reaching earlier production. Second, hyphae provide valuable soil penetration and more efficient access to water and nutrients. Third, these beneficial fungi produce the glomalin that is fundamentally necessary for strong, healthy vineyard soils. It follows that by reinoculating with MycoApply each season, long term positive effects can be realized on soil, oil palm quality, and yield.