ESTATE CROPS INFO – Rubber agribusiness is still reliable by many plantation companies in Indonesia. As a part of land preparation, tillage is very important and becoming a standard procedure on rubber cultivation. Tillage by machinery through ripping, plowing and harrowing has been established since many years ago in commercial rubber plantation in Sumatra. The rubber price that fluctuates in the last five years has led to many companies skip the tillage when do replanting. Tillage in rubber cultivation has enormous benefits. The Bulk density of soil after tillage will decrease and soil becoming loose, therefore the penetration of rubber’s root will be easier. In addition to effective in time, tillage by machinery is also effective enough for terminating the white root disease inoculum. However tillage by machinery takes the negative impact as well. Tillage will accelerate the organic matter decomposition and in the long term it will decline soil organic matter. Decomposition will release CO2gas which is harmful to the environment. The prohibition of burning on land preparation process and the highly cost of land preparation has caused the planters, especially in Industrial Plantation Forest (HTI) introduce zero tillage (TOT). Because it was not disturbed, the soil structure in the TOT system will be better. Otherwise the high potential of pest and disease disorders, i.e. termites and white root disease becoming the serious problem. The efforts to increase the success of TOT implementation have to be carried out comprehensively both in pre-planting and post-planting.
Related link : Soil Tillage in Land Clearing for Rubber Plantation