MORE CROP PER DROP: DRIP FERTIGATION FOR IMPROVING COFFEE PRODUCTIVITY IN WESTERN GHATS OF KARNATAKA, INDIAC. Babou, Rudragouda, Nagaraj Gokavi, Kishor Mote and Ramya
Coffee irrigation management is a promising technique that may provide both yield increase and expansion of coffee plantations in areas considered unsuitable due to the occurrence of water shortage. Hence, a field experiment was initiated in the already established 42 years old Coffea canephora (syn. Coffea robusta) planted with spacing of 10 x 10 feet to study the influence of different levels of drip fertigation of N, P and K fertilizers on yield and yield parameters of coffee. The experiment was laid out with six treatments comprised of drip fertigation with 75, 100, 125 and 150% of recommended dose of fertilizers (RDF) replicated four times in a randomized complete block design at Central Coffee Research Institute during the year 2013-14. Preliminary results revealed that phenomenal increase in yield parameters such as bearing branches, bearing nodes/branch, fruit set percentage and clean coffee yield was observed with increasing levels of water soluble fertilizers NPK through drip fertigation over a period of three consecutive years of this study. Among the various treatments, drip fertigation with 125% RDF recorded significantly higher fruit set percentage (83.26) and pin heads/branch (623.29) which was on par with treatment having drip fertigation of 75 % of RDF (77.85 and 600.13 respectively) over the control. Significantly higher clean coffee yield (1278 kg/ha) recorded in the treatment with 125 % RDF and it was followed by the treatment received fertilizer through fertigation 100% RDF (860 kg/ha) and 75% RDF fertigation (671 kg/ha) and lower yield (310 kg/ ha) was recorded in control. Higher beans grades were recorded in the treatment with 75% and 100% RDF fertigation.
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