Saturday, 15 July 2006

Effect of Soil Properties on the Quality and Productivity of Coffee in Mountainous Regions of Sierra Madre del Sur (Southern México).

Louis-Pierre Comeau, Lab. Edafología, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM., Av. Universidad, 3000, Mexico city, 04510, Mexico and Pavel Krasilnikov, (1) Institute of Biology, KarRC, RAS (2) Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM, (1) Pushkinskaya str., 11 (2) Av. Universidad, 3000, (1) Petrozavodsk, Russia (2) México, Mexico.

Coffee is one of much consummate drinks throughout of the world. However little is known about the soil conditions that have an effect on the productivity and the quality of coffee fruits and seeds. The objective of this investigation is to study the effect of some soil properties on the productivity and the quality of cherries of coffee in sustainable coffee grower (Coffea Arabica var. tipica L.). Among other factors soil conditions affect the productivity and the quality of the grains of coffee. It is belived that the best soils for coffee plants are deep sandy loam soils with granular structure of the surface horizon having good aeration, moderate infiltration and pH from 5,0 to 6.0. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the most important elements for the coffee plant but physical conditions are the most important limiting factors. This study was developed at the coffee-growing farm El Sinaí, situated in the eastern part of the Sierra Madre del Sur in Oaxaca state, Mexico (16°07¨41.5”N and 97°06¨12.9”W), at an altitude of 800-1300 m.a.s.l. The climate of the region is warm humid isothermal with annual precipitation of 1800-2000 mm and a mean annual temperature of 21-21.9°C. The coffee is grown under the shade of natural vegetation classified as Tropical Semideciduous Forest. The soils presented in the farm are Luvisols, Umbrisols, Cambisols, Phaeozems, Regosols and Leptosols. Fifteen sites were selected for this study at each we measured the productivity and the flavor, aroma, body and acidity of 225 shrubs of coffee (15 coffee plants by site with altitude, relief and well-known localization). The structure of each one of the 225 coffee plants (height, circumference of the base of the trunk, number of productive and unproductive branches), the density of the coffee plants, the comparative speed of maturation of the fruits, the size of fruits and seeds and the opening canopy. Fifteen soils profiles (one by site) were made and their basic physical and chemical properties were evaluated. The soil of the site 1 was classified as Arenic Luvisol, at the site 2 as Arenic Alisol, 3 as Humic Cambisol, 4 as Umbrisol, 5 as Cambisol, 6 as Alisol, 7 as Cambisol, 8 as Molic Cambisol, 9 as Umbrisol, 10 as Umbrisol, 11 as Umbrisol, 12 as Umbrisol, 13 as Acrisol, 14 as Luvisol, and at the site 15 as Cambisol. The results of the evaluation of soil properties and coffee productivity are shown at the figure. For the Cambisols the productivity of cherries it is increased with the decrement of the pH, the higher productivity was at pH 5.0. For the Umbrisol and soils with Argic horizon the productivity decrease with the decrement of the pH, the higher productivity was at pH 6.5 for the Umbrisols and at pH 5.5 for the soils with Argic horizon. We also found an indirect evidence of high demand of calcium and magnesium by Coffea arabica.

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