We have heat, water and fertilization in day
At the slightest sign of the disease, it is necessary to remove the injured part and apply a copper-based fungicide. Serrati says that the cost of implementing each hectare of mahogany, taking advantage of the entire structure of the grape, was around six thousand reais. The farmer expects to start sawing his trees when they are twelve years old. It is worth remembering that when it comes to African mahogany everything is experimental.
There is still no defined production system. In the municipality of Piumhi, also in Minas Gerais, where it rains more throughout the year, coffee grower Marcos Soares Rezende is achieving good results with a 25-hectare rainfed plantation, taking care of the mahogany as if it were coffee. very demanding in terms of cultural treatment throughout the year, so we are doing the same thing ”, explains Marcos.
Control of the bush
four annual fertilizations, four sprays of micronutrients, limestone, many precautions are taken. Every year, the coffee grower hires a team from the Federal University of Lavras to measure his trees, which are four years old. The growth of mahogany here is already equivalent to that of irrigated plantations and well above that of older crops existing in other countries.
- “When they show that our work is above what the scientific literature has published, there is no need to mention that it has really worked,” says the farmer. Another
- technique to improve planting performance is the application of a super dosage of plaster. When the trees were about four months old, they put three kilos of plaster
- per plant. “As we saw that in coffee it worked very well, in our region the use is consolidated, and we were starting a plantation of dry mahogany without irrigation.
I decided that I would have to use the same technique that I use in coffee,” says Marcos. “The objective is to accelerate the deepening of this root system. The plant when at first, it has a shallow root system, so we have to make it search for water in depth to explore a larger volume of soil. It also improves the physical structure of the soil ”, explains Joyce Cristina Costa, a coffee agronomist.
Now Marcos makes plans to become a great producer of noble wood, he even prepared the land. “I have plans to plant around 400 hectares of mahogany on this farm,” he says. In Pirapora, partners Ricardo Tavares and Edmundo Coutinho have already achieved this goal dreamed by Marcos. “In principle, I said: ‘the guy is going to deal with a business that will have a return in a few years, I don’t know’.
Then talk goes, talk comes, let’s move to 250.
But we were talking, traveling, researching, looking, We decided that we were going to plant 50 hectares. After we went to Pará, we walked at Embrapa, then on the return trip we decided to double from 250 to 500 hectares. Yesterday he was already sorry he didn’t move to 800 hectares ”, says Coutinho.
The farm already has one of the largest areas planted with African mahogany in the country. Some trees are two and a half years old and the first cut is scheduled for 2019. To meet this deadline, treatment is careful. After much research, the staff opted for a six-by-six spacing. For now, no pests or diseases. Each plant receives forty liters of water every four days, by drip.
- The farm’s agronomist João Emílio Duarte explains that, along with irrigation water, fertilizer also comes. “Irrigated areas produce more, and here we have a
- differential, which is the size of the day and hot periods of the year, so , this plant here has more potential, because it is irrigated, to produce more wood ”,
- explains the agronomist.
The cultivation techniques are improving, but to increase the area, the farm ran into a fundamental limitation. Like everyone who wants to produce African mahogany today, the farm people also have a hard time getting seeds of the species. They solved the problem by creating a clonal garden, which makes it possible to produce seedlings from the best trees on the property.
The cloned seedling solves the problem
of lack of seed and also ensures uniform plantings, with better yield. The deal is so interesting that Ricardo and Edmundo are already working to increase the nursery’s production. “Today, maybe we will produce 5,000 seedlings per month, and we will increase this volume well, maybe 20,000 seedlings per month, which will be able to meet our needs and after that start generating surplus to be sold,” says Coutinho.
- “We intend to cut 320 cubic meters of wood per hectare. In the 11th year we will cut half the crop, in the 16th year we will cut the other 50% of the crop. We
- calculate that we will receive approximately R $ 700 thousand net per hectare ”, says Tavares. This yield,
- equivalent to 45 thousand reais per hectare / year, is an estimate based on the current price of the cubic meter of sawn hardwood.
But there is no way to know if this market will be like this in 12, 15 years. Therefore, stakeholders need to be very careful: investment is high and long-term. The bet of the pioneering African mahogany producers is that, in the future, almost all the wood consumed by man must come from cultivated areas, and that native forests will be increasingly protected.
“Since more producers, more regions, more people are planting, in the near future there will be a significant supply of wood, so this is good for the market and good for native forests that will stop being so exploited and so judicious. as they are being today ”, says Coutinho. It is estimated that today there are one million African mahogany trees planted in Brazil and at least 400 producers investing in the crop.