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Quality of clays and soil magnetism: production environments for tropical coffee growing

Grant number: 19/16421-1
Support type:Research Grants - Research Program in eScience and Data Science - PIPE
Duration: August 01, 2020 - April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal researcher:Diego Silva Siqueira
Grantee:Diego Silva Siqueira
Assoc. researchers: Vidal Barrón López de Torre
Associated scholarship(s):20/11402-6 - Quality of clays and soil magnetism: production environments for tropical coffee growing, BP.eScience.PIPE
20/11406-1 - Modeling the cause-effect relationship between soil magnetism and nuances of specialty coffees, BP.TT


Brazil is responsible for one third of the world production of commodity coffee, but has not yet exploited its full potential in the premium specialty coffee market. Soil directly impacts the economy, biodiversity and can be one of the causes for understanding terroir in specialty coffees. For every R$ 1 invested in soil mapping can be returned up to $ 185, according to Brazil's National Soils Program. However, detailed information about this natural resource is needed to establish an accurate and representative relationship of field conditions between soil and coffee sensory characteristics (terroir). Different procedures and techniques have been proposed to meet this detailed demand for soil, which besides being the 15th Sustainable Development Goal of UN for the millennium, impacts a market of $ 8 trillion dollar of global AgroFoodTechs. The aim of this project is to identify and map environments with different potentials for specialty coffees based on the quality of clays evaluated by soil magnetism. Magnetic classes will be identified with different mineralogical proportions that may influence the different shades of coffee, richness of flavor and more intense aroma, generating a terroir map. Two pilot areas will be chosen, representative of the macroregions producing specialty coffee (Cerrado Mineiro and Sul de Minas). In the pilot areas will be chosen fields with the same altitude, soil, variety, age, spacing and management. Based on soil magnetism these plots will be subdivided into production environments based on the soil magnetism map. Stratified sampling of the plant will be performed by magnetic class for sensory evaluation of drink quality. The quality of clays identified by magnetism may add value to certifications and seals such as: origin and quality seal of Cerrado Mineiro Region, Rainforest Alliance Certificate, UTZ Certified, 4C Association, Fairtrade Certification, Organic Seal and Brazil's Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP). In this way the magnetic environment can guide both strategic planning at the cooperative level, helping to define strategies for buying and selling specialty coffees based on regional potential, as well as at tactical and operational level, helping coffee farmers in the stratified harvest allowing the construction of micro lots with higher added value in the final product. More than commercial value, this technology can have social value, because, due to its versatility, it can be implemented in producers with different technological levels and areas of different sizes. (AU)

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