The Core Trials are a set of long-term fertilizer experiments established in the major cocoa-growing regions around the world. The Core Trials focus on testing different rates of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in different combinations to elucidate the yield responses to different nutrients and different nutrient combinations. There are in total eight Core Trials sites established in Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador and Indonesia.

Ibadan Core Trial – Sept. 2021

Cocoa trees are in good condition. In at least 30 or 40 of the plots, the large trees are flowering and growing pods. The plantain in the trial plots has been removed or reduced to a single stem to prevent damages to the flushing leaves by abrasion with plantain leaves. The plots that are not part of the fertilizer trial are used to look into the effects of continued plantain growth and shade and the effects of chupon removal versus retention. These plots do not receive fertilizer.

CNRA, Côte d’Ivoire – July 2021

Site managers have replaced dead and underperforming trees. Preparations are underway for the application of the second split of fertilizer in September.

Indonesia Core Trial  – September 2021

The cocoa trees were planted in August 2020 and are in good condition.  Regular crop maintenance for September 2021 includes a second straw application and pest-disease monitoring. The banana shade trees on the plots will be removed at the beginning of the rainy season, prior to fertilizer trials.