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Effect of coffee tree pruning on berry production and coffee berry borer infestation in the Toba Highlands (North Sumatra)

Dufour B.P., Kerana I.W., Ribeyre F.. 2019. Crop Protection, 122 : p. 151-158.

The productivity of Arabica coffee trees in the Toba Highlands (North Sumatra) suffers from inadequate agricultural practices and virtually non-existent protection against the coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). While awaiting the development of a CBB control programme, this study proposed to achieve a rapid gain in productivity through coffee tree pruning. A comparison between the average production of ripe berries on pruned and unpruned coffee trees showed that pruning resulted in significantly higher yields over a two-year period. Within this increased production, the quantity of infested berries remained similar in the two treatments, due to the inherent dispersion behaviour of CBB, which seemed to occur throughout the fruiting period. Proper coffee tree pruning did not lead to any harvest losses in the first year, but affected the dynamics of production with a significant increase in the second year. As that improvement did not cause any increase in the number of infested berries in the pruned coffee trees, infestation rates fell. However, towards the end of the second harvest in year two, infestation levels of those coffee trees tended to reach those of unpruned coffee trees. In the Toba Highlands, pruning is probably the first step needed to improve yields and help to reduce CBB infestations, by bolstering the generally recommended sanitation harvesting.

Mots-clés : rendement des cultures; Élagage naturel; résistance aux organismes nuisibles; coffea arabica; sumatra

Thématique : Façons culturales; Physiologie végétale : croissance et développement; Systèmes et modes de culture

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