Weed Management in Coffee Gardens


Principles of weed control

Generally, weeding is done manually. New clearings are hand weeded 34 times and established coffee fields 23 times a year. During monsoon season, weeds are slashed back with the help of matchet. Clean weeding is done during post-monsoon period. In young clearings, inter-planting of green manure crops, cover crops, and annual crops such as grain legumes, cassava, beans, pigeon pea, yam, sweet potato, vegetables, pineapples etc. help in suppression of weed growth to a large extent.

Chemical control Chemical weed control methods are employed where labour is scarce or expensive. Glyphosate 41% EC @ 0.27% a.i. (eg. Glycel @ 1200ml/barrel) is recommended.
Cost reduction strategy The cost of chemical weeding can be brought down by nearly 50% by adding urea @ 1% in spray solution. The dose of  Round up or Glycel could be brought down to 600800ml/barrel if urea (2kg/ barrel) is added to the spray solution. Knap-sack or bak-pak sprayers (low pressure, high volume) fitted with plastic container are preferred for weedicide application in coffee.

Weedicides should be applied on a bright sunny day when there is sufficient moisture in soil and active growing stage of weeds before their flowering/seed setting. First round of blanket application should be taken up during April-end or early-May and second round towards end of monsoon, i.e. September/October which have to be followed by 1 or 2 spot applications.

References http://opaals.iitk.ac.in/deal/embed.jsp?url=crops-type.jsp&url2=227&url3=&url4=Plantation%20crop&url5=Coffee&url6=EN