Annual Crop Cycle of Australian Coffee Cultivation

Annual Crop Cycle of Australian Coffee Cultivation

Posted by Jemal Murat on

RECENTLY, WE WERE JOINED ON THE FARM BY DAVID PEASLEY AND JOS WEBBER, PIONEERS AND IDENTITIES IN AUSTRALIAN COFFEE. THE DUO HAS BEEN COMMISSIONED BY AGRI FUTURES TO UPDATE THE CURRENT AUSTRALIAN SUBTROPICAL COFFEE GROWERS MANUAL.THEIR WORK WILL REFRESH THIS IMPORTANT DOCUMENT FOR TODAY AND BROADEN ITS APPLICABILITY NATIONWIDE. ALWAYS FOND OF A GRAPH, I CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OVER SMOKO OF A HAND-DRAWN CROP CYCLE - A GRAPH WORTHY OF SHARING THAT CHARTS SOME OF KEY FACTORS THAT PLAY OUT OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR IN COFFEE FARMING.

 

HOPEFULLY IT CONTINUES TO BUILD FOUNDATIONAL KNOWLEDGE OF COFFEE AGRICULTURE HERE IN AUSTRALIA. CREDIT GOES TO BOTH DAVID AND JOS FOR PROVIDING THE MATERIAL AND TO JACK, OUR AGRONOMIST, FOR THE ACCOMPANYING WORDS AND EXPLANATIONS ON HOW THIS PLAYS OUT AT JACK MURAT.

 FLOWERING (OCTOBER)

THE JOURNEY OF OUR COFFEE BEANS BEGINS IN OCTOBER WITH THE FLOWERING STAGE. THIS IS A CRITICAL PERIOD AS THE COFFEE TREES DISPLAY THEIR BEAUTIFUL WHITE BLOSSOMS. FLOWERING IS INDUCED BY STRATEGICALLY STRESSING THE TREES BY DRYING THEM OUT FOR TWO TO FOUR WEEKS. THIS DRY STRESS IS ESSENTIAL AS IT TRIGGERS THE TREES TO BLOOM ALMOST SIMULTANEOUSLY, WHICH IS VITAL FOR UNIFORM FRUIT DEVELOPMENT. HOWEVER, WEATHER CONDITIONS CAN SOMETIMES LEAD TO MULTIPLE FLOWERINGS, WHICH COMPLICATES MECHANICAL HARVESTING AND CAN AFFECT FRUIT QUALITY. THEREFORE, MANAGING THIS STAGE CAREFULLY IS CRUCIAL TO SET THE FOUNDATION FOR THE ENTIRE CROP CYCLE.

 FLORAL BUD INITIATION (APRIL)

PREPARATION FOR OPTIMAL FLOWERING IN OCTOBER STARTS AS EARLY AS APRIL. EVEN BEFORE THE CURRENT SEASON'S CROP IS HARVESTED, THE TREES BEGIN INITIATING BUDS FOR THE NEXT SEASON. THIS REQUIRES PRECISE ADJUSTMENTS IN THE TREES' NUTRITIONAL INTAKE AND CAREFUL BIOLOGICAL MANIPULATION TO PREPARE THEM FOR ANOTHER CYCLE. THIS STAGE IS ABOUT FORESIGHT AND PLANNING, ENSURING THAT EACH TREE IS READY TO SUPPORT A NEW ROUND OF BLOSSOMS AND FRUITS.

 FRUIT SET AND DEVELOPMENT

AFTER THE FLOWERS ARE POLLINATED, THEY GRADUALLY GIVE WAY TO THE GREEN COFFEE CHERRIES. THIS STAGE IS CHARACTERIZED BY SIGNIFICANT GROWTH AS THE FRUITS DEVELOP. HOWEVER, NOT ALL FLOWERS WILL TURN INTO FRUIT—A NATURAL THINNING PROCESS OCCURS, OFTEN INFLUENCED BY ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS SUCH AS EXCESS HEAT OR RAINFALL, AND THE TREE’S OWN CAPACITY TO NOURISH THE DEVELOPING CHERRIES. THIS NATURAL THINNING IS CRUCIAL AS IT ENSURES THAT THE REMAINING FRUITS RECEIVE ADEQUATE NUTRITION TO DEVELOP PROPERLY.

 PHOTOSYNTHESIS: LEAF AND ROOT FLUSHING

THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, OUR COFFEE TREES GO THROUGH MULTIPLE PHASES OF LEAF AND ROOT FLUSHING. THESE STAGES ARE VITAL FOR PHOTOSYNTHESIS, THE PROCESS BY WHICH THE PLANTS CONVERT SUNLIGHT, WATER, AND CO2 INTO GLUCOSE NEEDED FOR GROWTH AND FRUIT DEVELOPMENT. THE HEALTH OF THE LEAVES AND ROOTS DIRECTLY IMPACTS THE QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF THE COFFEE CHERRIES, HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE OF ONGOING CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF THE TREES TO MAINTAIN THEIR VITALITY.

HARVESTING

THE CULMINATION OF A YEAR'S HARD WORK IS THE HARVEST SEASON. IN NORTH QUEENSLAND, THE TIMING OF THE HARVEST CAN VARY SLIGHTLY EACH YEAR, DEPENDING ON THE ONSET OF THE FLOWERING AND SUBSEQUENT FRUIT DEVELOPMENT STAGES. OUR HARVESTING IS DONE MECHANICALLY, WITH ADVANCED SORTING PERFORMED ON THE HARVESTED CHERRIES TO ENSURE THAT ONLY THE RIPE AND FINEST QUALITY FRUIT MAKES IT THROUGH TO OUR PREMIUM ROASTED COFFEE.

THANKS TO DAVID AND JOS FOR THEIR RECENT VISIT. WE WILL CERTAINLY BRING YOU MORE FROM THEM BOTH AS THEIR REPORT NEARS COMPLETION. THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY IS RECEIVING ITS RIGHTFUL INVIGORATION, AND AT JACK MURAT, YOU HAVE OUR ASSURANCES TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF ITS PROGRESS.

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