14 Jun Training: Robusta Coffee to Cacao Oro de Nicaragua Team
The talk was given by Felix Caceres, an agronomist and coffee specialist.
The engineer began the talk by explaining that different genetic material has been imported to Nicaragua. Mr. Felix mentions that about 53 robusta coffee varieties were brought to New Guinea from Brazil and the best varieties acclimatized/adapted to the conditions of the Southern Caribbean were selected.
CISA has been selecting in the RAACS for two generations.
Generally the genetic material brought from Brazil is a compact plant in the field. It is important that we determine the varieties we have in the field and classify them by zones, lots, age, pedigree for better management.
We must determine if the material is planted with seed. Robusta is not self-compatible.
Due to the fact that germination and emergence are very delicate stages for the plant, it is advisable to handle vegetative material.
The predominant line/variety of Robusta coffee in the country is Conilón.
Other important/interesting points
- Frequency of coffee pruning is determined as specific management to the needs of the crop and the cost-benefit relation.
- Soluble coffee contains up to 40% of Robusta coffee in its composition.
The bean harvest starts in SEPT and ends in FEB in the case of the farms that Felix supervises in the South Caribbean of Nicaragua.
- Felix mentioned that they look for late ripening to optimize harvesting during the summer, facilitate cutting/harvesting efficiency and minimize the pressure of possible pathogens. It is also a plus for post-harvest handling.
- The average yields he observes are 200 bags of 60 kg each per hectare, which is equivalent to 12,000 kg/ha.
Soil fertility: Robusta has high N and K demand. It is also important to maintain Zn and S levels in acceptable ranges.
- In the first two coffee harvests it is not disbranched. It is not until the third harvest that the lower branches of the trunk are unbanded due to low productivity. It is recommended that when the number of productive nodes in the bandola is 6 or less, it should be cut.
- The optimum number of productive nodes per bandola is 13-15 and 35 fruits per node is desirable.