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BANGKOK 20 May 2019 13:53
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Palm Oil Or Rubber

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OK Thx for that. There is no immediate rush, the pocket rocket has now decided that she wants to go into small time pig farming here in Ranong. I just hope it's down wind. :o Her sister a few hundred yds away is now into it and has their house down wind :D

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I have read on one of the links that the price of rubber has dropped from its high of 103 baht a kilo to 57!.

The Rubber Plantation farmers are not happy.

My Wifeis from the South and she is always getting calls from her Brothers saying that there is land available at very good prices, I have been tempted but never brought.

This thread has been extremely enlightening and many thanks to all those that have contributed.

I think if I was going to invest now, I would probably go for Palm.

Anyone agree/disagree?

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ThaiPauly

This thing of Oil Palm or rubber has been going on for many years. I think in the future you will do well with either. Rubber prices are down a bit now and I am sure they will go up. The demand in India and China is just too great. Oil palm is bound to go up as Thailand hasn't really got its act together with biodiesel and that has to come pretty quick, and as well oil palm has a million prime uses. I would suggest that you let the site dictate what you grow. Very steep areas make harvesting oil palm difficult. Oil palm needs better soil and water supply than rubber. The first few years oil palm needs a good dose of fertilizer. I sure there are many reasons for chosing. Oil palm gives a quicker return on investment. Four years versus seven.

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There has been a huge gov't investment in palm oil and a new biodiesel plant in the Krabi area.

____________

The bio-diesel plant in Krabi is now producing 10,000 liters of bio-diesel from oil palm per day for tourism business operators and fishing trawlers.

Krabi governor Sonthi Techanan (สนธิ เตชานันท์) said the plant, set up with a budget of 18.5 million baht, will further increase its production capacity to 100,000 liters per day.

The bio-diesel plant was built to promote the use of alternative fuel to help save business costs as initiated by His Majesty the King, Mr. Sonthi said.

Source: Thaisnews.com

Edited by udon

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Going down the main Highway though Surat there used to be acre upon acre of rice. Almost as far as the rice can see. Earlier on this year I saw that all of this was been turned over to Palm Oil.

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It is unfortunate that a lot of people doing the conversion don't really know the difference. There is a lot of oil palm put into rice fields that are growing at about 50% of what it should. The government doesn't seem to be helping a lot with the transition.

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^Timber,

Just curious for an opinion,

My wife's oil palm crop is planted on old rice land in what was once a low and flood prone area south of Nakhon Si Thammarat city toward the coast. You may be aware of the large project started by the King in the area to better drain the area (Chiang Yai).

Anyway, the area is dry most of the year now and the tree's are looking fine 1 year on. We've adding A LOT of drainage cannals to the land to help the water along when it rains too much - nothing is high and dry either.

Have you seen similar approaches in other areas? I'm out of Thailand most of the time and cannot compare. Oil Palm is a recent development in that area and there are no mature plantations to compare it to.

What general problems have you noticed in plantations that are on old rice farms? You mentioned in your last post that you think yeild could be 50% higher in a lot of them. Thanks.

Edited by Azul_Blanco

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Hi good to here from you.

Hmmm... Several problems.

1. Not enought fertilizer. They don't seem to realize how hungry oil palm is. The rice has depleted the soil and need to add something. Oil palm is a hungry devil at the best of times. See lots of oil palm in big fields with off green colors.

2. I think you need to establish drainage that you have some control over. Oil palm can stand some flooding but not an awful lot. In some cases there has been no drainage established and the high water table which is to be expected is holding the oil palm back.

3. Where drainage ditches have been established, let's say six feet deep or so, when they hit the dry part of the year there is no watering down. They can see lots of water. but it isn't really available to the plants. I think an excellent opportunity for a drip system. Can water and fertilize all the time. I think it is like learning English, better to have a little bit often and a whole bunch once in a while.

4. My wife isn't really into these things so having some problems with communication, but I think if you are going to put an investment into the land part of that investment should be to find out what you have got. Soil tests to find out what you should be adding to suppliment what is already there.

5. There should be lots of oil palm specialists down south, between Surat Thani and Krabi. In North America you have extensionists that work the field helping farmers and ranchers with their problem and providing up to date information. They people there might enjoy the odd trip into the field to see what you have and what you intend to do with it.

Just some opinions. Not right all the time, right some of the time.

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Thanks for the input.

We had the soil tests done before planting and have been maintaining fertilizer according to the tests. The land was briefly used for rice but was just left sitting for almost a decade before the palm crop was planted. The soil was in reasonably good shape. The trees are looking good now but are only 1 year old and not producing fruit bunches yet. I was a bit worried that the water level was so near the soil surface but so far so good!

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I think the fruit starts coming about 3.5 to 4.5 years and increases as time goes by. I have read a lot of stuff about what you should do when the both the male and female fruit starts coming, but would like to have someone with some experience take a look at the plantation and give me some advice on what they think. Big thing as you say they look good.

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A nice little summary on rubber from Encarta Encyclopedia

To gather the latex from plantation trees, a diagonal cut angled downward is made through the bark; this cut extends one-third to one-half of the circumference of the trunk. The latex exudes from the cut and is collected in a small cup. The amount of latex obtained on each tapping is about 30 ml (about 1 fl oz). Thereafter, a thin strip of bark is shaved from the bottom of the original cut to retap the tree, usually every other day. When the cuttings reach the ground, the bark is permitted to renew itself before a new tapping panel is started. About 250 trees are planted per hectare (100 per acre), and the annual yield for ordinary trees is about 450 kg per hectare (400 lb per acre) of dry crude rubber. In specially selected high-yield trees, the annual yield may range as high as 2225 kg per hectare (2000 lb per acre), and experimental trees that yield 3335 kg per hectare (3000 lb per acre) have been developed. The gathered latex is strained, diluted with water, and treated with acid to cause the suspended rubber particles within the latex to clump together. After being pressed between rollers to consolidate the rubber into 0.6-cm (0.25-in) slabs or thin crepe sheets, the rubber is air- or smoke-dried for shipment.

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Just some comments for information. I just came back from the inlaws. They live in the south. One was harvesting 17 mats per night on 7 rai and the other harvested 48 mats on 15 rai. It goes up and down a bit. They are getting about 3 kg/rai per night. They lose about 50 days a year for leaf fall and I couldn't find out how much downtime they have for rain. Would be nice if you have some comments for the database. Pretty hard to get records that aren't there.

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Great thread, lots of inof and sites to visit.

I may have missed it, found the rubber facts and figures, but does anyone know the palm oil figures per rai ? Interested to see the returns from palm oil, as I do not really consider the rubber tree returns really worth it, but thats just me.

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