Crop Nutrition Advice
Crop Nutrition Advice
Everything you need to know about coffee fertilization, best practice, suitable products, field trials and more.
Advice for growing Coffee (Coffea arabica)
Coffee performs better in soils with pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
In soils with low pH (below 5) aluminum contents are likely the most important limiting yield factor. Additionally, phosphorus, bases and micronutrients contents might be low and deficiency symptoms could appear.
Main arabica coffee regions are found in medium to high altitudes from 800 to 2000 masl. Higher altitudes are associated with better cup quality. Robusta coffee mostly grown in Brazil and Vietnam grows well at lower altitudes and is associated with lower cup quality than arabica varieties.
Optimum vegetative growth occurs when air temperature is between 18 – 25ºC.
Coffee crops require hydric stress to initiate blooming. Longer, dry periods produce higher bloom peaks and harvest accumulations.
Estimated nutrient uptake (kg/t):
|Green coffee beans||31||5.2||44.3||3.8||3.0||6.0|
Source: Manual Cafetero, 2013
Dynamic of nutrient uptake over a crop season in coffee
Accumulated amount of fruit NPK after blooming peak in four Colombian locations
Role of nutrients
|Root and leaf development||+/-||++||++|
|Dry matter content||+||+||+||+||+||+|
Adapted from: FAO – Arabica coffee manual for Lao-PDR
Recommendations on coffee fertilization
Coffee fertilization must be done based on crop stage and following the 4R stewardship: Right dose, Right source, Right moment, Right place.
Stage 1: Seeding
For this stage, lasting 4 to 6 months, it is important to have a well-conditioned substrate in the bags. The use up to 50% of composted manure, organic materials or fine sand mixed with soil plus the addition of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and micronutrients allows to obtain vigorous plants for establishment.
Stage 2: Establishment
After being planted in fields, coffee plants take from 12 to 18 months of growth to get established, before first bloom. For this stage, coffee fertilization must be done applying individual doses per plant based on soil chemical analyses and plant requirements. Fertilization programs vary widely between country and even within the same country due to soil, climate, variety, plant density and management practice differences.
Stage 3: Productive
After coffee crops reach the blooming peak, part of fertilization will be focused on beans filling and applications can be done from 2 to 4 times a year depending on rainy periods.
Coffee plantations showing the effect of applying balanced nutrition
Only NPK NPK+Ca+Mg+S+B+Zn