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Café13 octobre 2023

What is Rock'n'roll Nica?

Did you know that there's a practice called "Rock N' Roll" in the world of coffee growing? Isn't it crazy?

How did I discover Rock'n'roll Nica?

As you know, every country has its own coffee culture and, within each country, there are different agricultural practices around harvesting and post-harvesting, where each producer proves to be a unique architect.

This year, during a visit to our friend Olman Valladares, I had the chance to visit the El Líbano farm, located in the department of Nueva Segovia, in the municipality of Dipilto. It was absolutely magical, as we were in the middle of the flowering season!

While touring the farm with Mario (the engineer in charge of managing all the coffee farms that supply Cafetalera Buenos Aires) and Héctor (the director and manager of the El Líbano farm), I noticed that the same pruning technique wasn't always called the same. That's right, I'm talking about the famous Rock N' Roll compared to the practice of pruning.

What's the difference with pruning?

Example of pruning

Pruning or "descoping" is a practice carried out on coffee trees to arrest vertical growth and stimulate lateral growth, i.e. the development of secondary and tertiary branches (a greater number of branches and leaves capable of producing). This technique is generally carried out when the plant is between 2 and 3 years old and between 1.60 and 1.80 metres tall.

Example of Rock'n'roll Nica

Rock 'N' Roll is also a technique for arresting vertical growth and stimulating lateral or vegetative growth, just like pruning, but with the difference that it is carried out on older shrubs in poorer condition. Unlike pinching, this type of pruning can be carried out at heights ranging from 0.8 to 1.6 meters, depending on the degree of deterioration and productivity of the shrub. These are shrubs that are between 8 and 14 years old on the farm.

Rodrigo Guevara, Field Engineer, El Salvador