How to increase coffee yield

The highest coffee yields are obtained on freely drained soils where water is not limiting.

Thorough soil preparation prior to planting, and maintenance of pH between 5.2- 6.3, good rooting and that nutrients are readily available. It is therefore important to balance the cations in the soil at this stage. 

Fertilizer nutrition is essential if high coffee yield potential crops are to be secured.

Crop Nutrition and Coffee Yield

Nitrogen is essential for strong vegetative growth and to maintain good strong cherry fill for high yields. The importance of nitrogen to coffee yield has been confirmed across a wide range of trials in the major coffee producing areas. 

Potassium promotes vigor, boosts cell strength and increases the coffee tree`s tolerance to diseases, and water or frost stress. It is a key driver for coffee yield, important for respiration, photosynthesis and water regulation. It is also important to balance potassium use to nitrogen-use, as high levels of both nutrients are needed for optimum growth. 

Phosphorus is important for early growth and rooting, particularly in the nursery and at transplanting, as well as bean fill. Especially during peak periods of demand, phosphorus foliar applications can increase coffee yields.

Calcium is needed to ensure good root and leaf growth, strengthening the coffee tree structure and increasing tree productivity. It is required right through berry-fill. 

Magnesium and sulfur have a positive effect on coffee yield and supplies should not be limiting throughout the season. 

Zinc and Boron are particularly important at the flowering stage to improve berry set and overall coffee yield potential. 

Poor availability of any micronutrient will restrict coffee plant growth – particularly productive leaf area – and reduce coffee yield.

Other Crop Management Practices Influencing Coffee Yield

  • The return of composed pulp or trash will serve as a mulch to conserve moisture as well as providing a source of nutrients. 
  • Maintenance of strong roots and strong growth through good pest and disease control, the use of shelters, and careful husbandry, ensures maximum coffee productivity and fruit fill. 
  • Regular pruning is essential to thicken the tree structure and produce new branch growth with a greater number of berries. At the same time, an open canopy between trees is essential to ensure even ripening.