The Oil Palm

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 15, 2008 - Technology & Engineering - 592 pages
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The oil palm is the world's most valuable oil crop. With palm oil production increasing by more than 50% in the last decade of the twentieth century and set to double in the next twenty years, it has never before been so important to understand the history, use and cultivation of this fascinating crop.

There have been many new developments since the third edition of The Oil Palm in 1988, particularly in the fields of clonal propagation, agronomy, breeding and molecular genetics. This new edition has been completely rewritten, and is the first book to record and explore these and many other developments.

The book traces the origins and progress of the industry, and describes the basic science underlying the physiology, breeding and nutrition of the oil palm. It covers both cutting-edge research, and wider issues such as genetic modification of the crop, the promise of clonal propagation, and the effects of palm oil on human health. The practical problems of maximising yield of oil and kernels are discussed in relation to the present 'yield gap' and oil extraction rate decline in Malaysia. The oil palm is also compared to the soya bean and other oil crops, and the recent history of the price of oil palm products is considered in the light of this.

The Oil Palm makes an essential contribution to oil palm research and will be an indispensable reference and guide for agricultural students, researchers and all those working, worldwide, in the oil palm industry.


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1 The origin and development of the oil palm industry
2 The classification and morphology of the oil palm
3 The climate and soils of the oil palmgrowing regions
4 Growth flowering and yield
5 Selection and breeding
6 Vegetative propagation and biotechnology
7 Seed germination and nurseries
8 Site selection and land preparation
11 Mineral nutrition of oil palms
12 Diseases and pests of the oil palm
13 The products of the oil palm and their extraction
14 Marketing economics end use and human health
15 Concluding remarks
Reference list and index of citations
Color Plate Section

9 The establishment of oil palms in the field
10 Care and maintenance of oil palms

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About the author (2008)

About the authors:

Dr RHV Corley is a plant physiologist who worked for over 15 years in oil palm research in Malaysia. He was the head of research for Unilever Plantations for a further 16 years, and is now a consultant on tropical plantation crops.

Professor B Tinker was for 7 years at the West African Institute for Oil Palm Research, and has been a consultant in Malaysia. For 12 years he was on the Programme Advisory Committee of PORIM (now MPOB). In the UK he has been Professor of Agricultural Botany, Deputy Director and head of soils at Rothamsted Experimental Station, and Director of Science at the National Environment Research Council.

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