A Closer Look at the News on Coffee Plantations
In recent news, there are reports of a new pilot coffee plantation in the southern United States. Using an abandoned rice field, the plantation will test whether the coffee trees can survive and be worth the cost. While planting coffee has many advantages, some critics question its efficacy. The article discusses the costs and the effectiveness of this growing process. Let’s take a closer look at the news on coffee plantations.
Pilot plantation in the southern United States to see if coffee trees will survive
Developing coffee for consumption in the U.S. may be a matter of climatic conditions. Currently, most coffee is grown in countries with suitable climate, such as Colombia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. But as the climate shifts, the area best for increasing coffee may become too cold to grow coffee. California may be a viable option for growing coffee in such a situation.
To assess the weather conditions in the region, UF researchers are planting coffee trees next to citrus trees. This practice is called intercropping and has been tried in other countries. More giant trees shade coffee trees and help hold the winds. However, this UF project is not only about coffee cultivation. An artificial intelligence researcher at the university is attempting to improve the study of plant root systems. Enhancing the analysis of root systems could help select coffee varieties best suited for the region.
Planted on former rice field
Coffee plantation grown on a former rice field is a new concept that is becoming increasingly popular in the Philippines. In the Central Highlands, coffee is grown on former rice fields because they are a good source of nutrients. In addition, shade farms don’t require additional phosphorus applications like regular coffee plantations do. These factors make coffee plantations ideal for regenerative agriculture. But how can they be implemented on such a small farm?
The experimental coffee plantation consists of 5,000 m2 of land. It also contains a wooden farmer’s house, animal cages, fertilizer storage, and drying areas. This area is adjacent to a wet rice field with approximately one hectare of damp land. The coffee plantation grows in a shaded polyculture system with shade trees between the rows. The shady coffee farm is a sustainable type of coffee plantation.
Several sources have provided estimates of the costs of running a coffee plantation. The average price of one hectare is approximately US$10,650. While this amount may seem high, it covers the costs of planting and maintaining one coffee plantation for about ten years in good conditions. To determine the cost of a coffee plantation in your country, consider the size of your farm and its location. The larger your coffee plantation, the more expensive it will be, but the smaller the overall cost per hectare.
While coffee has always been a highly profitable crop, the yield has declined. Recent diseases like white-stem borer have lowered the result. Today, a single acre of arabica will yield 200 to 250 kg of coffee, while a robusta plantation will produce 400 to 500 kg per acre. Many families stay on a coffe plantation for generations. These high costs can push entire families into debt.