Preparing for a Potential Ganoderma Attack

Palm Oil Magazine
Doc. Special

PALMOILMAGAZINE, JAKARTA – In the past, researchers and specialists have observed that ganoderma, a type of fungi, resides within the soil as a saprophyte. This means it sustains itself by decomposing organic matter. Remarkably, ganoderma exhibits an impressive capacity to endure over prolonged periods in this state, biding its time until it encounters a compatible host to parasitize.

Once it identifies a suitable match, it transitions from its dormant existence and begins to develop and grow, utilizing the host’s resources for its own advancement. This intricate relationship underscores ganoderma’s unique adaptation strategies and its ability to thrive under specific conditions, showcasing the intricate balance and interdependence within ecosystems.

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Looking back to the old days, the question remains, why is it discussed since 2000s while the theory said that ganoderma is in the soil (for a very long time)?

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It can be explained like this: before 1995 the land clearing took place by burning and made the ganoderma and inoculum got decrease.

Since the new planting is forbidden by burning (zero burning), the ganoderma develops and there is no inoculum, such as, wood stump and the hunk is moist.

The wood stump as the inoculum and the moisture, according the researches make the ganoderma attack fast rather than in the mineral soil.

There are many reports to compare the attacks in kinds of wood stump and the results showed that the meranti is the idol for ganoderma before it attacks to palm oil trees.

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The observation results done by the writer and the field team and helped by those who understand about kinds of woods, also confirmed the theory that ganoderma prefers the meranti.

The surveillance was confirmed by the facts showing that some first generations in Bangka/Belitung and Kalimantan were reported to be attacked by ganoderma.

We need to anticipate from the explanation above, such as,

  1. when making census of ganoderma, it needs to survey the wood. If it is found wood attacked by the ganoderma, collect every stalk (fruit) and wood, cut it into pieces, and take it to the factory to be burnt out.
  2. when doing land clearing, if the meranti is found, it needs to be cut off too.

The two would spend much money but some preventions are better if the trees are 11 years old, the numbers of tree would be only 70 to 80 only.

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There is no material to treat the trees which are attacked by ganoderma until now. In general, one thing to do is by preventing and reducing the spread.

That is why it is important to keep the trees good because ganoderma would attack if the trees are weak. Anticipate as soon as possible. Change the paradigm that the first and second generation – plantation would not be an issue for this is the time that ganoderma attacks.

The other thing that we found during the field observation was the trees were less or famously know as thinning out (TO) by poisoning the trees. They are susceptible to be infected. It is really suggested not to poisoning both for TO or replanting.

By: Marlon Sitanggang/Head Agronomy Division of PT USTP

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