Coffee-Inter cultivation

Grass and other weeds should be eradicated in the first year itself by digging or using appropriate weedicide depending on the nature of the weeds.

The soil around the seedlings should be mulched properly and shade has to be provided to individual seedlings to protect against direct sun.

Usually coffee, both arabica and robusta, is trained on single stem. When the plants reach a desired height of 75 cm for Arabica and 105-120 cm for Robusta, they are topped i.e., growing apex of the stem is severed.

Low topping (60-70 cm) is advocated in areas of severe wind and exposure. Under certain circumstances, multiple stem system is also adopted as in the case of replanted fields or when under-planting is taken up keeping the old plants under multiple stem system.

Prune water shoots and disease affected shoots before the onset of South West monsoon.

Apply chemical fertilizers as per recommendation in split doses.

In sloppy areas, dig trenches on the contour 45 cm wide and 30 cm deep of any convenient length.  Soil conservation measures like terracing has to be done.

For inducing tolerance to drought, spray the recommended nutrient solution. 1st spray: 45 days after the last rainfall (usually the 2nd fortnight of January). 2nd spray: 30-45 days after the first spray.

Nutrient solution is prepared by mixing urea (1 kg), Super phosphate (1 kg), Murate of Potash (750 gram), Zinc sulphate (1 kg). One litre of nutrient solution should be sprayed per robusta coffee plant.

Foliar application of anti-transpirants like Ralli Dhan 110 @ 200 ml in 200 litres of water (0.1per cent) is also useful for drought management in coffee.

Spraying of growth regulators like Planofix, Hormonol , Agrona  etc. could increase the yield and reduce fruit drop. They are given as foliar application 10-15 days after blossom (first spray) and during last week of May before the onset of southwest monsoon (second spray).

Wherever water is available, overhead irrigation by sprinkler system is adopted to a greater advantage during November-January to keep the soil moisture level and in February-April for ensuring blossom as well as backing, if necessary.

During the dry seasons, stems of young dadap are either painted with dilute lime solution or wrapped in agave leaves to protect them from sun scorch.