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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Research » Research Project #435105

Research Project: Economic Impact of Manipulating Coffee Flowering

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 2040-21000-017-16-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 30, 2018
End Date: Sep 29, 2019

In Hawaii, flowering and harvest of coffee is spread over several months resulting in an extended harvest season with its related costs. Further, the extended presence of coffee berries provides expanded reservoirs for coffee berry borer (CBB) which reduces yield and quality. Manipulation of flowering with plant growth regulators combined with pruning and sanitation has been shown to produce more uniform harvests, higher recovery of berries, and possibly reduced incidence of CBB. Synchronizing the development of coffee berries in the field so the majority of CBB are at this susceptible stage increases the effectiveness of sprays. Previous research has shown that sprays of plant growth regulators, GA3 and s-ABA are able to combine multiple smaller flowering events to synchronize coffee berry development and reduce the amount of coffee berries left on the tree between seasons. Before the methods can be recommended to the farmers, it is essential to determine if the increased revenue is greater than the increased management costs. The objective of this study is to quantify the changes in costs and revenues with and without the recommended use of pruning and plant growth regulator applications.

Currently available full farm budgets for coffee production are outdated. This research will update and combine the cost of coffee production with the partial budgets of the proposed management recomendations to provide a clear comparison to farmers on the effects on profitability of the new technology. A partial budget will be developed to quantify the changes in costs and revenues for the following: • Plant growth regulators and their application • Increased pruning • Increased sanitation • Harvest labor • Processing labor • Disposal of CBB infected berries • Yield of quality berries Time and motion studies will be conducted in Kona, both on farm and in the processing plant to quantify inputs and outputs with and without the new technology.