In the absence of soil analysis (PCARRD, 1989) recommended rates of fertilizer application for various ages of trees as shown below.
- About 200 kg N, 25 kg P, 300 kg K and 140 kg Ca are needed per hectare to grow the trees prior to pod production.
- For each 1000 kg of dry beans harvested, about 20 kg N, 4 kg P and 10 kg K is removed.
- If the pod husks are also removed from the field, the amount of K removed increases to about 50 kg.
Soil and leaf analyses can be used to determine the nutritional needs of cocoa. Leaf analyses may be problematic because it is difficult to sample leaves of the same age and shading influences the nutrient composition of leaves.
Visual symptoms of mineral deficiencies are well documented and can be used as a qualitative guide to fertilizer requirements.