Coffee planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Coffee is Coffea canephora Pierre ex Frechna. Coffea arabica L.; it belongs to the family Rubiaceae

Arabica varieties: Sln 795, Sln 7, Sln 9, Sln 10, Cauvery and its selections and HRC. (Hawaian Red Cuturra)
Robusta varieties: Sln 274.

Soil and climate: Soil should be deep, friable, open textured rich in plant nutrients with plenty of humus and of neutral reaction. It grows up well from 500 m to 1650 m MSL with a well distributed
rainfall of 150 to 200 cm annually. Definite wet and dry season are essential to have a well marked cycle of flowering. A blossom shower during March - April and a back up shower during May - June is essential for successful crop.

Seeds and sowing: Coffee is propagated by seeds.

Season: June - December.

Preparation of seeds: Healthy and well developed fully ripe berries are harvested from specially identified plants for use as seed bearers. After discarding the floats, the sound fruits are depulped, sieved and mixed with sieved wood ash and dried in shade. The seed is then graded to remove
all cut, triangular and elephant beans. Prior to planting, the seeds are treated with Agrosan or any Organomercurial compound to prevent fungal infection.
Nursery practices: Select light loamy soil of good drainage and high organic matter content with water and shade facilities. Form raised beds of 15 cm height, 1m width and at convenient length. Incorporate 30 - 40 kg of well rotten compost, 2 kg of finely sieved agricultural lime and 400 g of rock phosphate to a bed of 1 x 6 m size. In heavy soils, it is necessary to add coarse sand for drainage and aeration.

Sowing: Pre-sowing seed treatment with Azospirillum and Phosphobacterium can be done.
Seeds are sown in December - January in the bed 1.5 - 2.5 cm apart with the flat side downwards in regular rows. Then they are covered with a thin layer of fine soil and a layer of paddy straw. Water the beds daily and protect from direct sunlight by an over head pandal. Seeds germinate in about 45 days after which they are transplanted to a secondary nursery beds for raising ball or Bag nursery.

Bag nursery: Polythene bags with adequate number of holes in the bottom half are taken and are filled with a prepared mixture containing jungle soil, FYM and in the proportion of 6:2:1. An
area of 12 x 8 m can accommodate 5000 seedlings. Seedlings are planted in polythene bags.
Seeds can be treated with Phosphobacterium.

Preparation of field: Selective felling may be done while retaining a number of desirable shade trees. Terracing should be done in deep slopy areas. After the summer showers, pits of 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm are dug at 1.25 - 2.5 m apart. The pits are left open for weathering and then
filled and heaped for planting. At the time of filling, apply 500 g of rock phosphate per pit along with top soil. Planting is done along the contour in slopy areas.

Planting shade trees: Dadap is commonly used as a lower canopy shade. Two metre long stakes are planted for every two plants of coffee. Silver Oak and Dadaps are planted during June when rains of South-West monsoon commences. During summer the stem of young Dadaps are painted with diluted lime or wrapped in agave leaves or polythene sheets in order to prevent them from sun scorch. Regulate shade by cutting criss-cross branches during monsoon season. Silver oak trees are planted for permanent shade.

Spacing Arabica Coffee: 1.5 to 2.0 m either way.
Dwarf varieties: Sanraman : 1 x 1 m.
Robusta coffee: 2.5 m either way.

Irrigation: It is generally grown as a rainfed crop. But irrigation with sprinkler during March - April increases blossoming and results in higher yields.

Aftercultivation: Weeding and mulching should be done as and when necessary. Digging is done to a depth of 30 cm towards the end of monsoon (October - November). The weeds and vegetative debris are completely turned under and buried in the soil while the stumps are removed.
This is known as the cover digging. In slopy areas dig trenches on the contour 45 cm wide and 30 cm deep of any convenient length. Prune water shoots and disease affected shoots.

Plant protection against Pests
White stem borer: Attacks arabica coffee grown under inadequate shade. Swab with 2 kg lindane 20 EC in 180 lit of water. Padding with monocrotophos 36 WSC 5 ml by making a window in the stem at 5 cm x 5 cm and filling it with absorbant cotton dipped in insecticide solution and close it.
Berry borer: Carry out timely and thorough harvest. Avoid gleanings as far as possible. Pick up and destroy the gleanings. Meticulously remove the leftover berries. Remove offseason berries to save main crop. Avoid excessive shade.
Prune plants properly to facilitate better ventilation and illumination.
Spray endosulfan 35 EC @ 340 ml/200 lit or lamda cyhalothrin 5 EC 120 – 160 ml / 200 lit.
Note: The approximate time is 120 – 150 days after flowering. However decision on pesticide application to be done by closely watching the pest incidence.
Set up traps with ethyl : methyl alcohol (1 : 1) to attract adults.
While processing at the estate level dry coffee berries to the prescribed moisture level :
Arabica / robusta parchment 10 %, Arabica cherry 10.5 % and robusta cherry 11.0 %.
Shot hole borer beetle: Attacks branches and suckers of robusta coffee. This pest thrives under heavy shade and can be controlled by pruning the branches and spraying with endosulfan 35 EC 2 ml/lit.
Cockchafer beetles/White grub: Systemic insecticide like phorate 10 G can be applied.
Green scales and mealy bugs: Spray quinalphos 25 EC 2 ml/lit or fenthion 100 EC 1 ml/lit or fenitrothion 50 EC1 ml/lit. Release coccinellid predator Cryptolaemus montrouzieri @ 300 beetles/acre. Spray Verticillium lecanii @ 6 x 106 spores/ml.

Protection against Diseases
Rust: Spray 0.5% Bordeaux mixture in February - March (Pre-bloom) followed by 0.03% Oxycarboxin in May - June (Pre-monsoon). Repeat in July - August (mid-monsoon) September - October (Post-monsoon) with any one of the above fungicides or Spray 0.5% Bordeaux mixture
during the month of June followed by 0.02% Triadionefon during September and 0.5 % Bordeaux mixture during the month of December.
Black rot or Koleroga: Centering and handling of the bushes should be done prior to the onset of South-West monsoon. Remove affected twigs. Spray 1% of Bordeaux mixture during break
in monsoon.
Collar rot: Treat seeds with Carbendazim 1 g/kg or Carboxin 0.7 g/kg. Maintain filtered shade in nursery. Drench nursery beds with Mancozeb or Captan 0.5 g/lit before sowing.
Brown eye spot: Spray Captan or Mancozeb or Ferbam 2 g/lit or Carbendazim 0.5 g/lit in September.
Black root rot: Dig out and burn infected bushes. Dig a trench 30 cm deep around affected spot along with a ring of healthy bushes. Prune the healthy bushes within and outside the trench to allow sunlight. Keep the trench free from fallen leaves. Do not replant for 18 months.

Harvest: Harvest starts during November and harvesting extends upto February. Coffee fruits should be harvested as and when they become ripe. Coffee is just ripe when on gently squeezing the fruits the beans inside come out easily. Unripe fruits should be scrupulously sorted out before using the fruits for pulping. They may be dried separately as cherry.

Yield: Dry parchment 750 - 1000 kg/ha.

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