Travis Idol and Adel Youkhana (both NREM) recently published a helpful paper detailing an easy and accurate protocol for estimating coffee yield in Hawai‘i. It allows farmers to predict the amount of their crop, a crucial task and an ongoing challenge, with less cost, time and labor.
In “A Rapid Visual Estimation of Fruits per Lateral to Predict Coffee Yield in Hawaii,” published in Agroforestry Systems Journal, the co-authors show that estimating coffee yield by measuring components of yield rather than complete harvests can improve the ability to account for heterogeneous conditions common in shade-grown systems like those used in local farms.
Their technique provides accurate and precise estimates of fruits per vertical and yield per plant with less effort compared with other yield-estimation protocols that require counts of fruitful nodes per lateral and fruits per node. And although the technique does require some initial training to accurately and precisely estimate yield per lateral visually, it also reduces the number of estimates or counts required by 75–85%.
Travis and Adel have published a number of research papers and book chapters related to the productivity and carbon sequestration effects of shade coffee agroecosystems in Hawai‘i. Adel (pictured) was also invited to present the results of their recent publication to a group of coffee farmers at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival. Besides describing the technique they used, he detailed the shade coffee agroecosystem that the two researchers developed that integrates a sterile hybrid of Leucaena (koa haole) with coffee.