Maturation periods for Coffea arabica cultivars and their implications for yield and quality in Brazil
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BACKGROUND: Climatic conditions directly affect the maturation period of coffee plantations, affecting yield and beverage quality. The quality of coffee beverages is highly correlated with the length of fruit maturation, which is strongly influenced by meteorological elements. The objective was to estimate the probable times of graining and maturation of the main coffee varieties in Brazil and to quantify the influences of climate on coffee maturation. We used degree days to estimate flowering/graining periods (green fruit) and flowering/maturation periods (cherry fruit) for all cultivars. We evaluated the influence of climate on the time of maturity using Pearson correlation and nonlinear regression analysis and successfully mapped the influences of these elements. RESULTS: Arabica coffee matured up to 2–3 months earlier in São Paulo, where air temperatures (TAIR) were higher, than in Minas Gerais, which would allow earlier harvesting and the training of seedlings at the beginning of the rainy season. Catuaí-Amarelo-IAC-62 cultivar needed 205–226 days between the end of flowering and maturation at locations with high TAIR and 375–396 days at locations with low TAIR. CONCLUSION: Water surplus and deficit were generally the most important variables for coffee maturation. Coffee matured faster in regions with high TAIR and evapotranspiration, moderate altitudes and deficits. Acaiá-Cerrado-MG-1474 and Icatu-Precoce-Amarelo-3282 were cultivars with an early cycle. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.