Senwes Scenario June/July 2018 - Page 41

AGRICULTURAL FARMING REQUIREMENTS Possible yield per hectare: One hectare of coffee yields 3.5 tons per hectare. Climate requirements: Ideally, the suitable temperature range for coffee in South Africa is 4 °C to 32 °C with average temperature ranges of 12 °C to 26 °C, but the crop can withstand temperatures well outside this range. Soil requirements: Sandy loam is the ideal soil. Coffee can do well in any kind of soil pro- vided the climate conditions are favourable. Soil preparation needed: Soil should be cultivated and a thorough soil analysis is vital before planting. A well levelled seedbed is required. How much irrigation is needed: Keep the soil moist, but not too wet. Over-irrigation will enhance the risk of fungal diseases. Drip- irrigation or drag-hose sprinkler system. Fertilisation: High nutrient demands. Fertilisation should be done four to eight weeks after planting. Nitrogen and potassium are the most important Planting requirements: Planting happens during springtime or just before the rainy sea- son. Transplantation of the seedlings is done about six months after they were grown in nursery beds or plastic bags or when they are about 20 cm tall, and they are planted in the fields. Before planting the coffee seedlings, holes must be dug in order to stir the soil and loosen it. SENWES SCENARIO | WINTER 2018 39