ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 64 Number 3
Effect of climatic factors on fresh fruit bunch yield and its components in the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)
Annual relative humidity (RH), annual rainfall (RA) and sunshine hours (SH) were the three climatic factors with the greatest influence on fresh fruit bunch yield (FFB) in the oil palms studied. Annual mean temperature (T) and RA had the greatest direct effects on mean bunch weight (MBW). Annual heat unit accumulation (HU) had a direct path coefficient of 0.82 on the number of bunches (NB). All six dimatic factors investigated accounted for 54%, 69% and 52% of the observed variations in the production of FFB, NB and MBW, respectively. NB and MBW had positive genotypic and phenotypic correlations with FFB. NB, which had the greatest direct path coefficient of 0.79 on FFB, was the most important yield component for predicting FFB. The subtle indirect effect of sex ratio (SR) on FFB, especially through NB was more important than its direct effect on FFB.
Keywords: Oil palm; Climatic factors; Yield; Nigeria