The choice of coffee spacing when planting has a direct influence on the management practices required throughout the harvest, and on the coffee yield. From the development of the roots, frequency of pruning, to the decision of using or not agricultural machinery, those are all factors that depend directly on spacing, therefore, this is a fundamental step for the good establishment of a coffee plantation.
Coffee is also in i-Plant Nutrition database and can be selected for the creation of fertilizer plans when using the software.
For this crop, there are two main types of spacing, the conventional type with between-rows of 3m to 4.5m and between pits 1.5m to 2m and the dense type that has narrower between-rows of 2m and between pits 0.5m. In order to choose the ideal spacing, the farmer or the agronomist in charge of the area should consider aspects such as slope, variety, technological level of the farmer, labor availability, desired productivity among other things, as climatic characteristics of the area, for example, being recommended the use of a less dense spacing in areas with lower temperatures or with low exposure to the sun. In the dense spacing, a higher productivity is obtained simply due to the greater number of plants per area, but requires more manpower in the management, especially in relation to pruning, which in this case become more frequent.
Regarding cultivars, it is recommended that when choosing this type of densification, they are of smaller sizes, to facilitate management. As dense cultivation interferes with the use of machinery, it is usually related to wavy reliefs, since the use of machinery is less advantageous in this scenario. The conventional spacing, generally adopted in more flat reliefs, allows greater ease to use machinery, and for this reason, the cultivars chosen may be larger in size. The productivity in this modality is lower, because even resulting in larger coffee plants, it is still not enough to compensate for the productivity of fewer plants per hectare.
Either choosing the conventional or the dense spacing, the i-Plant Nutrition can help you achieve the highest yields for your coffee fields through correct fertilization. We can guide you to do the right thing at the right time by creating a tailored fertilization plan for your coffee crop, considering your yield goal, fertilizer availability, climate, and soil conditions. Make sure that fertilization is not what is holding your yields back by checking out our software here! (link to software).