Coffee Growing Basics: Fertilizer, Disease, Insects. HC Skip Bittenbender Extension Specialist CTAHR/UH

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1 Coffee Growing Basics: Fertilizer, Disease, Insects HC Skip Bittenbender Extension Specialist CTAHR/UH

2 Problems? Who to call first? Our UH/CTAHR Extension Agents! Virginia Easton Smith, W. Hawaii Mel Nishina, E. Hawaii Richard Ebesu, Kauai Jan McEwen, Maui Alton Arakaki, Molokai HC Skip Bittenbender, specialist Kent Fleming, economist Scot Nelson, pathologist

3 Nutrition A tree that does not drop its old leaves before harvest is your goal. If both the old leaves and new leaves are gone at harvest or worst -before harvest, then you ve lost quality- beans maybe smaller (lower grade), less dense - poorer cup, ripened too early or died.

4 Nutritional status of coffee and coffee growing soils in Hawaii State-wide survey of nutrient conditions in coffee growing areas by NV Hue. Low calcium (Ca) and zinc (Zn), and sometimes high manganese (Mn) and /or aluminum (Al) are common factors limiting coffee growth and production. Experiments confirmed that Ca and Zn added as soil amendment and/or foliar spray increase coffee seedling growth.

5 Nutritional survey results

6 Not too much, not too little Too much nitrogen (N) or potassium (K) in the plant will reduce cup quality. Too much calcium (Ca) or phosphorus (P) imparts a bitter and hard taste. Yield may not be reduced immediately. Too much manganese reduces yield. Too little of anything reduces yield.

7 How to know what s enough or not enough? Ask you neighbor? Ask a fertilizer dealer? Ask Virginia, or any CTAHR coffee scientist? Get soil and tissue tests- doesn t matter if you use inorganic or organic fertilizer.

8 Soil & tissue test are done by CTAHR s ADSC or private company. Get annual tissue (leaf) tests. Leaf analysis at CTAHR is $20, (2 tests- N, the rest). Get soil test before planting and every 5 years. $10 (2 tests -ph, major nutrients) Tissue costs more AND it gives you more information. Contact your CTAHR extension agent to drop off samples.

9 Leaf nutrient targets Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Calcium Iron Boron Zinc Manganese Aluminum N P K Ca Fe B Zn Mn Al 2.6 to 3.0 % 0.14 to 0.17 % 1.9 to 2.5 % 1.2 to 1.5 % 43 to 60 ppm 31 to 50 ppm > 15 ppm < 200 ppm < 120 ppm

10 Collecting leaves for analysis Sample 20 most recently expanded leaves from 20 different trees, take from the middle laterals after flowering and before cherry is growing rapidly, not during drought. Annual tissue analysis AND follow recommendation. Keep records of analysis results, fertilization and yields for each field.

11 Soil nutrient targets ph Calcium Phosphorus Zinc 6.0 to 6.5 > 1200 ppm > 20 ppm > 5 ppm ppm is same as mg/ kg of dry soil

12 Collecting soil for analysis Collect before planting Collect every five years Take sample 0-8 deep at the drip line of the trees. Walk a zigzag path through 1-5 acres. At each stop take 1/4 lb of soil, make 10 to 20 stops. Mix well send in 1-2 lbs for analysis.

13 Nutrient deficiency symptoms By the time you see symptoms, the tree will already have a lower yield, so don t wait to see symptoms, do a tissue analysis. Upper lateral OK Lower is deficient Nitrogen (N) deficiency

14 Narrow, strap-like leaves, most commonly seen after stumping Brown leaf margins are also signs of wind damage Potassium (K) deficiency Zinc (Zn) deficiency

15 Overbearing dieback Most frequent cause lack of nitrogen but anything that causes leaf loss- drought, wind, twig borer- can start the process. Both old and new leaves dropped. Lateral begins dying from tip to vertical. Coffee ripens too early or dies.

16 Causes of overbearing dieback Insufficient sugars produced by leaves to grow the cherry, so the cherry eats the leaves! Drought or wind removing leaves between flowering and full size fruit reduces leaf production. Nutrient deficiency especially N reduces the sugar production of the leaves even as late as cherry ripening. Root damage from low ph, j root, or nematode reduces nutrients and/or water in leaves. Scale and black twig borer damage leaves.

17 Fertilization Apply fertilizer 6 inches from trunk to tip of laterals Bearing trees with conventional 10 N: 5 P: 20 K fertilizer start at 2000 lb/yr/acre split between Feb, April, June, November plus 100 lb urea in August. Fertigation use soluble fertilizer start 25 lb N, 10 lb P, 40 lb K /month/acre Feb to Oct, December

18 Pests Weeds Insects Green Scale and the ants that nurse them Black Twig Borer Banana Moth Nematodes and Disease Kona Coffee Root knot Nematode Leaf spot and Coffee berry blotch

19 Weeds Pests Weed control is essential the first year Control by cutting, plastic mulches herbicides -RoundUp, Goal, Fusilade, Gramoxone (restricted to licensed applicator) even geese In mature fields tall grass, trees, vines, and volunteer coffee seedlings can be serious

20 Pests Insects: Green Scale and the ants that nurse them Most serious insect especially first 2 years, sucks sap from leaves, black mold grows on honey-dew. Arrived in late 1890s. White halo fungus introduced 1910, kills scale in rainy season in Kona. Control soaps & oils. Ant bait stations.

21 .and the Ants that nurse scale Generally sufficient parasites and predators of scale that if ants are controlled the scale will be controlled. Amdro used in bait stations will control Big headed ant. Max 1.5 lb /A follow label. May be necessary to bait inside orchard first, then bait the borders should be sufficient.

22 .and the Ants that nurse scale Ant trapping can work, too! Trunk wrapped tightly with gauze, then plastic film, then Tree Tanglefoot, a sticky paste is spread on plastic. DO NOT PUT PASTE ON BARK. Ants become caught on paste. All other ant routes to coffee leaves must be blocked, no trees touching, no ground covers touching coffee leaves.

23 .and the predators and disease that kill scale Scale killed by White Halo fungus Mealybug destroyer looks like a mealy but moves and eats scale

24 Insects: Black Twig Borer Less serious, arrive 1960 s, beetle kills branch Prune flagging laterals below the hole, burn, shred, or compost the laterals. Fruit beyond the hole die or ripen prematurely.

25 Insects: Banana Moth Primarily a problem on new verticals when using BF pruning. Symptoms wilting new growth, frass on trunk. Control: Remove or shred prunings and thinnings. If necessary spray new verticals and stump with Bt (Dipel).

26 Nematodes Pests Kona Coffee Root knot Nematode

27 Deficiencies & excesses Water and nutrient uptake affected The nematodes are robbing nutrients from the roots to feed themselves, plus root damage prevents normal nutrient uptake. Adequate nutrient level in soil

28 Kona Coffee Nematodes Prevention and Control Prevention - if you buy plants from Kona demand no pula pula or soil. Buy seedlings from picked coffee and grown in sterilized soil or soilless mix. Control - If this nematode is present, fallow land for one year, keep planting rows weed free or cover crop with non-nematode host like Sun Hemp, plant grafted seedlings Kona typica on Fukunaga.

29 Pests Disease: Berry blotch and Cercospora leaf spot Occasional problem as affected cherries don t pulp easily. Trees with poor nutrition are most susceptible.

30 Need more info Growing Coffee in Hawaii, order from CTAHR webpage click on Publications or Read it on the web at < Search for Farmer s Bookshelf Select Fruit then Coffee Coffee by Jean N. Wintgens On Amazon, $292 and up Sections on organic and sustainable production

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