PALMSIM : Simulating growth and yield of oil palm.

Submitted by marcel.lubbers on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 12:26
Program type
Model to simulate oil palm growth
Available since

The PALMSIM model simulates potential oil palm growth (differentiated to roots, trunk, fronds, and bunch) for 30 years on a monthly time step as determined by solar radiation. PALMSIM was evaluated against measured yields under optimum water and nutrient management across Indonesia and Malaysia to test its usefulness as a land-use planning tool.

Keywords: PALMSIM, oil palm intensification, yield benchmarking. 


Monzon, J.P., Slingerland, M.A., Rahutomo, S. et al. Fostering a climate-smart intensification for oil palm. Nat Sustain (2021).

Scale of application
Spatial resolution
Key outputs

Simulates the growth and yield of an individual oil palm stand on a per hectare basis.

Time horizon
30 years being complete commercial life cycle
Time step of modeling
Required to run


Required to develop


Database I/O
text files

Juan P. Monzon, Maja A. Slingerland, Suroso Rahutomo, Fahmuddin Agus, Thomas Oberthür, José F. Andrade, Antoine Couëdel, Juan I. Rattalino Edreira, Willem Hekman, Rob van den Beuken, Fandi Hidayat, Iput Pradiko, Dwi K. G. Purwantomo, Christopher R. Donough, Hendra Sugianto, Ya Li Lim, Thomas Farrell and Patricio Grassini, 2021. Fostering a climate-smart intensification for oil Palm, Nature Sustainability

Willem Hekman, Maja Slingerland, Rob van den Beuken, Gerrie van de Ven, Patricio Grassini, Jose Andrade, Juan I. Rattalino Edreira, Suroso Rahutomo, Edy Sigit Sutarta, Fahmuddin Agus, 2018. Estimating yield gaps in oilpalm in Indonesia using PALMSIM to inform policy on the scope of intensification,IOPC,17-19 July 2018, Medan, Indonesia>

Patricio Grassini, Juan I. Rattalino Edreira, Jose Andrade, Gerrie van de Ven, Willem Hekman, Rob van den Beuken, Martin K. van Ittersum, Suroso Rahutomo, Edy Sigit Sutarta, Fahmuddin Agus, Thomas Oberthur, Maja Slingerland, 2018. Developing an atlas of yield potential and yield gaps for current oil palm plantation area in Indonesia, Paper and presentation at IOPC,17-19 July 2018, Medan, Indonesia

Website with results of PALMSIM:

Hoffmann, M.P., Castaneda Vera, A., van Wijk, M., Giller, K.E., Oberthür, T., Donough, C., Whitbread, A.M., 2014. Simulating potential growth and yield of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) with PALMSIM: Model description, evaluation and application. Agric. Syst. 131, 1–10. doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2014.07.006

Hoffmann, M.P., Donough, C., Oberthür, T., Castaneda Vera, A., van Wijk, M., Lim, C.H., Asmono, D., Samosir, Y., Lubis, A.P., Moses, D.S., Whitbread, A.M., 2015. Benchmarking yield for sustainable intensification of oil palm production in Indonesia using PALMSIM. Plant. 91, 81–96.


Two papers with applications of the model, which might be useful for your projects:

Hoffmann, M.P., Donough, C., Cook, S.E., Fisher, M.J., Lim, C.H., Lim, Y.L., Cock, J., Kam, S.P., Mohanaraj, S.N., Indrasuara, K., Tittinutchanon, P., Oberthür, T., 2017. Yield gap analysis in oil palm: Framework development and application in commercial operations in Southeast Asia. Agric. Syst. 151, 12–19. doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2016.11.005

Euler, M., Hoffmann, M.P., Fathoni, Z., Schwarze, S., 2016. Exploring yield gaps in smallholder oil palm production systems in eastern Sumatra, Indonesia. Agric. Syst. 146, 111–119. doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2016.04.007

Zijlstra, M., Beuken, R. van den, Hekman W.
WUR, Plant Production Systems, P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen, The Netherlands