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Effect of different moisture and shade regimes on the growth of D x P ex Kusi oil palm seedlings
The effect of three moisture levels and three shade regimes on the growth of D x P ex Kusi oil palm seedlings was investigated at the Oil Palm Research Institute, Kusi between July 1998 and February 2000 in a factorial experiment laid out in randomized complete block design with four replications. The moisture treatments investigated were W1 (50-60 % field capacity), W2 (65-75 % field capacity) and W3 (80-90 % field capacity). The shade treatments investigated were S1 (0 % shade), S2 (50 % shade) and S3 (75 % shade). Data was collected on leaf number per plant, plant height, butt circumference and leaf area as well as dry weight of plant parts and total dry matter. There were significant effects due to shade and shade x moisture interactions on seedling growth. Seedlings under 50% shade (50% full sunlight) in combination with low moisture supply (50-60% field capacity) were comparable in growth to those under 0% shade (100% full sunlight) with high moisture supply (80-90% field capacity). During the dry season when water is scarce, the application of up to 50% shade (50% full sunlight) in combination with reduced watering (50-60% field capacity) at the nursery will not adversely affect the growth of D x P oil palm seedlings.