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. 

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

a) 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

b) 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:

a) 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

b) 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

Beuken, R. van den, Hekman W., Castenada, A.V., Hoffmann, M.P., Giller K.
Tropical Plant Production and Agricultural Systems Modelling (TROPAGS) Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Grisebachstraße 6 37077 Göttingen Germany.