BANGKOK (Aug. 31, 2011)—Researchers at Thailand's Prince of Songkla University have created a new rubber tree tapping system.
Known as the “Double Cut Alternative,” this technique increases latex yields by 22 percent, the researchers claimed. The results of the work are published in the latest issue of ResearchSEA, part of the Nature group.
A press release from the publication said the new technique was developed to deal with the low productivity resulting from years of overexploitation.
The research was carried out by Professor Sayan Sdoodee of the faculty of natural resources at Songkla University, Thailand. He said the average size of rubber plantations in Thailand has fallen to about 4.9 acres. In order to boost yields in times of high tapping frequency, the researchers have two active tapping panels on a tree; these are tapped alternately to increase time for latex regeneration.
Trials since 2007 show that yields can be 22-percent higher than tapping a single panel at the same frequency.