Crop Renewal

During the 75 years of Café Granja La Esperanza, we’ve had crop renewals, and we thoroughly understand how this process works. At the beginning, we had many questions that through this article we are going to share and answer them. Which type of crop renewal should we do? When do we have to renew the coffee crop? And why is it important to renovate a crop? We hope this information is useful for you. 

The main reasons why a renewal is done, is for the quality of the cherry and the productivity of the crop. In our experience we have done two methods to guarantee the best product for our clients. Also, when the crop stops being productive, it begins to grow malaise around it preventing the proper management of this production. For us this is an important practice, that’s the reason why during the last year we worked on the renewal of 22 lots, which corresponds more or less 34.45ha.

The first method is the crop-eradication, there are specific reasons for choosing using this as the best option. The adulthood of a coffee tree starts more or less at the second year of life, or when the tree starts its production life. If during the adulthood stage of the tree lifecycle, there is a percentage of about 20 – 25 % of mortality we should apply the crop-eradication. Also, if there has been evidence that is necessary to modify the spacing between the trees (more or less space), or just when the old crop has problems, such as if the variety doesn’t adapt. In these cases, we choose to crop-eradicate the crop and plant it again, correcting the previously mentioned problems.

The other method is stumping. This option is selected when there is a good density in the crop, the distance between the trees is working, there’s not a high percentage of mortality, more that the 90% of the trees are alive, and the variety is already well defined. The last reason means that the productivity of the tree is adequate and the score of the cherry is the desired one. In this case, what we do is to cut the tree to an altitude no more than 25 centimeters, so that the plant starts to grow again. It’s important to provide adequate quantity of nutrients to be sure that the trees will grow up the main reason why we use this method is to assure that the new cherries will conserve the characteristic of the previous crop.

Thru the 75 years that we have been venturing into the world of coffee, we have done renewal in all of our farms, for those that are in an altitude over 1.650masl the process is made every 6 years, but if the altitude is lower the renewal it’s done every 5 years, except for Cerro Azul. In Cerro Azul, there are 7 lots. 

Every year, one of those lots undergoes a renewal process, at this moment it’s necessary to adjust the crop density, the reason being is the method that is being used is the crop-eradication. But having into account that the new lots have the variety that is well defined, the new renewals will be done through stumping.

Deciding to do a crop renewal should be based on arguments and coffee producers should not be afraid to carry it out because in the end this has an important argument and will improve the productivity of the crops. We hope this information was useful for you.