Techniques and benefits of changing coffee seasons

(Report of Science and Technology With Farmer rotating at Mr. Nguyen An Khe’s garden – One of the coffee gardens using the drip irrigation equipment of Netafim – Israel)
The coffee season usually lasts from February of this year to January next year. However, during the coffee cultivation process, due to many reasons, people pick early when the fruit is green, then water early, so the coffee crop is gradually changed, only for a year, from January to the end. December. In some areas, the harvest has been completed in November only. This is the reason why the quality of coffee is decreasing. To overcome this situation as well as improve the quality of coffee, many solutions have been proposed such as harvesting ripe coffee, bringing late ripe varieties into production, applying advanced science and technology in production to seasonal shift. Science and Technology column with Farmers would like to introduce the column “Shifting crops to improve the quality of coffee”
Figure 1: Coffee garden uses a drip irrigation process

Coffee plants were planted in Vietnam by the French in 1857, first in the provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Ha Nam, then widely grown in the Northern Midlands. In the early 20th century, coffee began to be planted in the Central Highlands provinces. When reaching the Central Highlands, coffee trees have actually found a land to grow sticky rice and grow.
According to researchers on Agriculture, primitive, the coffee crop in the Central Highlands usually last from February this year to January next year. Also at the beginning of the dry season, when the amplitude of the day is highest. For tomato plants, high temperature and temperature range are important. Altitude will slow the growth of the berries, making the beans harder and heavier. The high amplitude of thermal fluctuation helps the coffee to form a ring benzene to adapt. This is the reason why the coffee flavor is so strong. Most of the coffee tasting experts in the world, when approaching, appreciate the natural coffee taste of Vietnam.

Figure 2: Coffee garden in the harvest season of Mr. Khe’s family
However, during the coffee cultivation process, due to many reasons, farmers often pick early when the fruit is green, then water early, so the coffee crop is gradually changed, only for a year. From January to December, some regions even finished harvesting by the end of October.
Early harvest means that the coffee beans do not accumulate enough nutrients and aroma. In addition, at the time of September, October, the Central Highlands still rains at the end of the season, so harvested coffee does not have a drying yard, leading to mildew. This is one of the factors that make coffee quality decrease.
In order to bring coffee to the right season to improve coffee quality, there are many solutions given such as harvesting ripe coffee, bringing late ripe varieties into production, applying advanced science to change the crop.
In recent years, Mr. Nguyen An Khe’s family residing in Chu Mgar commune, Daklak has thoroughly applied Science, Technology and Mechanization to cultivation, thereby improving the yield and quality of coffee. However, according to Mr. Khe, the most important thing is that he successfully transformed the coffee crop as before.
Figure 3: Mr. Khe is sharing a method to change the coffee season

Mr. Khe said that starting September is ripe and harvested in November, for the drip irrigation system, the garden is currently testing a second year for the garden to stop raining around September. water and normal fertilization for another 2 months. Watering this fertilizer will help the plants not be too early and late to ripen. This has benefits such as reducing the pressure on the harvesters by avoiding the peak season. Harvesting time is the time when there is no rain and the sun helps the harvest, drying and processing smoothly to help the coffee have better quality. At this stage, the plants accumulate more dry matter and flavor.
In order to prolong the time of watering and fertilizing to help the coffee fruit not ripen early and to last until December, Mr. Khe’s family installed a drip irrigation system for the entire area. With the drip irrigation system, to operate watering and fertilizing 10ha of coffee, it only needs 2 workers.
Usually until September is the end of rain, farmers do not give up half. With the method in place, the coffee tree cycle will last for another 2 months, with adequate water and nutrient supply and such an extension, the seed size will increase due to the period from September onwards. is the stage of artificial coffee and the fruit size is even from the tip to the end.

Figure 4: Flowering water for coffee

When the crop is changed, the coffee harvest time will fall in January. After the squeezing and harvesting period, the differentiation will be more intense due to the provision of sufficient nutrients. In addition, in the flowering stage, in the Central Highlands, there will be no erratic rains, flowers will bloom evenly, not affected by the weather. When the flowers bloom simultaneously, along with the adequate supply of nutrients and irrigation water, the coffee beans are ripe at the same time, creating favorable conditions for the harvest process.
Thus, along with the creation of late-ripened coffee varieties by scientists, the application of advanced technical methods in seasonal adjustment is also an effective solution. However, in reality, farmers dare not apply it boldly due to fear of not having enough water for plants. With his experience of continuously dripping coffee for 12 years, Mr. Khe affirms that drip irrigation is sufficient for the flowering stage.

Figure 5: The coffee garden of Mr. Khe’s family is blooming
In order for the plants to bloom, the coffee needs to be supplied 150-180l / plant for the first day, so for the traditional method, it is necessary to water twice because of the water efficiency of the coffee method Traditional irrigation is below 50%. For drip irrigation, water efficiency is higher, 80%, so it only needs to water about 200 – 250l / tree, the tree can get enough water for flowering.
Watering and fertilizing coffee trees continuously, through a drip irrigation system, the roots will gather around the irrigation pipe area. When the flowers have grown all at once, watering them is very simple. Another technique to keep in mind is irrigation timing. Choose the time of watering when it is sunny, it is light, when plants with high water evaporation will strongly absorb water.
Besides concerns about the efficiency of investment in science and technology in production, the initial investment cost issue is also concerned by farmers. In the time when coffee prices are unstable and climate change always happens, how to recover the investment capital is always worried by farmers.
According to Mr. Khe, the investment cost for 1 hectare of coffee is about over 50 million, a year can save 15 million labor costs, fertilizer and energy for irrigation. If used effectively, coffee yield will increase from 10 – 15%. A 4 ton garden, when using an irrigation system, the yield can reach 4.5 tons. After 1.5 years of investing in a drip irrigation system, after 1.5 years, the capital can be recovered, while the irrigation system can be used from 18 – 20 years. The operation of gardening is also simple because the irrigation system for fertilizing 10 hectares of coffee only needs 2 workers. Water and fertilizer supplied actively through the irrigation system regardless of weather conditions will help plants grow and develop and give better yields.
Thus, in the complicated climate situation and unstable coffee prices at present, the application of drip irrigation in crop shifting to improve productivity and quality is essential. Importantly, farmers need to boldly change their way of thinking, to improve efficiency in production as well as the sustainable development of the coffee industry.
(Rewritten from the report “Techniques and benefits of changing coffee seasons” of Science and Technology column With Farmer rotating at Mr. Nguyen An Khe’s garden – One of the coffee gardens using irrigation equipment drip of Netafim – Israel)