Aaronn Avit Ajeng, Rosazlin Abdullah, Marlinda Abdul Malek, Kit Wayne Chew, Yeek-Chia Ho, Tau Chuan Ling, Beng Fye Lau, Pau Loke Show
The full dependency on chemical fertilizers in oil palm plantation poses an enormous threat to the ecosystem through the degradation of soil and water quality through leaching to the groundwater and contaminating the river. A greenhouse study was conducted to test the effect of combinations of biofertilizers with chemical fertilizer focusing on the soil fertility, nutrient uptake, and the growth performance of oil palms seedlings. Soils used were histosol, spodosol, oxisol, and ultisol. The three treatments were T1: 100% chemical fertilizer (NPK 12:12:17), T2: 70% chemical fertilizer + 30% biofertilizer A (CF + BFA), and T3: 70% + 30% biofertilizer B (CF + BFB). T2 and T3, respectively increased the growth of oil palm seedlings and soil nutrient status but seedlings in oxisol and ultisol under T3 had the highest in almost all parameters due to the abundance of more efficient PGPR. The height of seedlings in ultisol under T3 was 22% and 17% more than T2 and T1 respectively, with enhanced girth size, chlorophyll content, with improved nutrient uptake by the seedlings. Histosol across all treatments has a high macronutrient content suggesting that the rate of chemical fertilizer application should be revised when planting using the particular soil. With the reduction of chemical fertilizer by 25%, the combined treatment with biofertilizers could enhance the growth of the oil palm seedlings and soil nutrient properties regardless of the soil orders.