Sustainable Oil Palm Farming / Applying boron (B)

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Download: Module 4: Fertiliser Application


  • Provide oil palms with sufficient boron to produce optimum yields;
  • Limit the loss of boron to the environment.


Boron fertiliser is applied according to the 4R principle: right type, right amount, right place, right time.


Not during very wet periods.


Once per year.

Labour time required

2—4 hours per hectare.

Equipment and materials

  • Bucket, bag or wheelbarrow
  • Kitchen scales
  • Black marker pen
  • Cup or small bowl
  • Fertiliser


See: Table 4; Table 5; Table 6; Table 7.


Farmers and their families or hired labourers.


Boron fertiliser is applied in small quantities and is toxic when applied in too large amounts.

Apply boron fertiliser by following these steps:

Step 1. Before application, remove all weeds from the weeded circle.
Step 2. Weigh the amount to be applied in a bowl or cup, using kitchen scales.
Step 3. Mark the bowl / cup at the right amount using a black marker pen.
Step 4. Break any clumps into small pieces before application of fertiliser.
Step 5. Apply boron fertiliser evenly in the weeded circle for palms of all ages.

Note: Boron fertiliser is mildly toxic, so it is best not to eat, drink or smoke during application and to wash hands immediately after application.

Data recording

Every fertiliser application should be recorded in a logbook as shown in the example below.

Date Time Location Activity Input type Input amount Input costs Labour input Labour costs
People Hours
16/01/13 Field 3 Fertiliser: B Borax 15 kg 200000 1 4 40000


The material from Applying boron (B) is sourced from Smallholder Oil Palm Handbook and put together by Lotte Suzanne Woittiez (Wageningen Universit) and Haryono Sadikin, Sri Turhina, Hidayat Dani, Tri Purba Dukan, and Hans Smit (SNV) in August 2016. See Module 4: Fertiliser Application for more information.

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