Integration of physiological and phenological attributes of coffee species with land and climate to maximize coffee production in Karnataka

Author(s): K.S.Anil Kumar, P.Krishnan, A.Natarajan, K.M.Nair

A study was conducted to characterize coffee-growing soils of Karnataka and to evaluate their climatic, soil site and chemical attributes for coffeegrowing. Land and soil attributes for successful coffee-growing have been arrived at bymatching the physiological and phenological requirements of both coffee species. Major climatic limitations experienced in the study area were long dry season, lowtotal rainfall, and lowrelative humidity as in Belur andArasinguppe.Major terrain limitations were high elevation and steep slope as in Madikeri and Kalasa. Major soil limitations identified were light texture as in Mudigere and coarse fragments in most locations. Acidic soil reaction and low base saturation were the limitations experienced in perhumid zone soils. Land suitability classification of the soils of coffee growing areas indicated thatmajor soils of Sakleshpur and Chethalli were highly suitable and Kalasa, Koppa, Belur, Arasinguppe, and Balehonnur were moderately suitable for Arabica coffee, whereas major soils of Chethalliwere highly suitable and Koppa, Balehonnur, Sakleshpur, Belur and were moderately suitable for Robusta coffee in the increasing order of limitations in respect of climate, terrain, soil and fertility. Severe limitations for coffee growing for Arabica coffee included coarse soil texture and gravelliness as in Mudigere and low base saturation in Madikeri soils, where as that of Robusta coffee were steep topography and elevation in Kalasa, Arasinguppe and Madikeri and soil limitations of sandy loam texture in Mudigere.Most of the soils studied were moderately suitable for Arabica and Robusta coffee. Total rainfall as well as that of different growth phases such as blossoming, fruit set, fruit swell period were congenial in most locations and a specified period of dry months, to cater the dormancy requirements of flower buds and fruits and for their maturity determine the productivity of coffee crop.

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