|ARISTIZABAL, LUIS - Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council|
|SHRINER, SUZANNE - Synergistic Hawaii Agriculture Council|
Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2023
Publication Date: 3/6/2023
Citation: Aristizabal, L.F., Johnson, M.A., Shriner, S., Wall, M.M. 2023. Frequent and efficient harvesting as an economically viable strategy to regulate coffee berry borer on commercial farms in Hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology. 116(2):513-519. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toad041.
Interpretive Summary: Coffee is one of the most economically important agricultural crops in Hawaii, second only to seed crops in value. Since its introduction in 2010, coffee berry borer (CBB) has hampered Hawaii's coffee industry by reducing the yield and quality of coffee produced. In the present study we examined CBB infestation, harvesting efficiency, and coffee yield and quality at 10 commercial farms on Hawaii Island to determine the economic viability of cultural control-focused CBB management. Results showed a significant positive impact of frequent and efficient harvesting on the regulation of CBB populations. Over two consecutive coffee seasons, farms that used a combination of frequent harvesting and few pesticide applications exhibited significantly lower CBB infestation, better harvesting efficiency, higher harvested yields, and higher quality of processed dried coffee compared to that of conventionally managed farms. Our findings demonstrate that frequent and efficient harvesting practices for CBB management are economically viable under Hawaiian agroecological conditions.
Technical Abstract: Coffee is the second most economically important agricultural crop in Hawaii, valued at around $175M for green and roasted coffee in the 2021-2022 season. With the introduction of the coffee berry borer (CBB) to Hawaii in 2010, growers have faced a significant challenge in producing the specialty coffee that the region is known for. This tiny beetle infests the coffee seed and reduces both the yield and quality of coffee products. While field sanitation, frequent harvesting and strip-picking have been shown to be essential for controlling CBB, the associated costs and benefits of these cultural control practices have not been estimated for Hawaii. In the present study, we examined two CBB management strategies across 10 commercial coffee farms on Hawaii Island: 1) conventional management including frequent sprays of B. bassiana and few rounds of sanitation and harvesting, and 2) cultural control-focused management consisting of few sprays of B. bassiana and frequent sanitation and harvesting. Cultural management resulted in significantly lower mean CBB infestation (4.6% vs. 9.0%), total defects (5.5% vs. 9.1%), and CBB damage to processed coffee (1.6% vs. 5.7%) compared to conventional management. Additionally, yields were higher (mean increase of 3,024 lbs of cherry per acre) and harvested more efficiently (4.8 vs. 7.9 berries/raisins left per tree) on culturally managed vs. conventional farms. Lastly, the total cost to control CBB using cultural management was on average 4% lower than that of conventional management. Our findings demonstrate that frequent and efficient harvesting is an effective and economically viable alternative to frequent pesticide applications.