Weed management alternatives for organic coffee agroforestry systems of Puerto Rico

Project Overview

LS10-231
Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2010: $150,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Southern
State: Puerto Rico
Principal Investigator:
Mariangie Ramos
University of Puerto Rico at Utuado

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Additional Plants: coffee

Practices

  • Crop Production: agroforestry, cover crops
  • Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, indicators, soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides, cultural control, field monitoring/scouting, mulches - living, physical control, row covers (for pests), weather monitoring, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil microbiology, soil chemistry, soil physics, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, social psychological indicators, sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    A comparison of different organic weed management practices in organic coffee agroforestry systems (CAFS) provided insight into the effectiveness of organic weed management practices at both suppressing weeds and conserving the natural resources of coffee farms. Although it required more labor time, the use of cover crops was more effective in suppressing weeds than mechanical and natural herbicide treatments. The provision of ecosystem services (i.e. soil conservation, natural pest control and nematode diversity conservation) did not differ between organic weed management treatments. Most farmers surveyed in results workshops had positive opinions of the cover crops evaluated.

    Project objectives:

    1) Evaluate the effectiveness of different organic weed management practices in established organic coffee agroforestry systems (CAFS) and coffee farms transitioning to organic CAFS.

    2) Determine the effect of different organic weed management practices on labor time and coffee production.

    3) Determine the effect of different organic weed management practices on the ecosystem service of soil conservation.

    4) Determine the effect of different organic weed management practices on the ecosystem service of natural pest control.

    5) Determine the effect of different organic weed management practices on the ecosystem service of soil nematode diversity conservation.

    6) Evaluate farmers’ perceptions of different organic weed management practices.

    7) Develop guidelines for weed management in organic coffee farms.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.