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A mixture that made the Brazilian product a reference in the world – Jornal da USP

A mixture that made the Brazilian product a reference in the world – Jornal da USP

During the management of the Austrian chemist Franz Davert, between 1887 and 1898, studies on coffee gained great importance based on the chemical, physical, geological and nutritional analysis of the soil. According to Stahl, during this period the Agricultural Institute developed a series of research that indicated that the agricultural coffee production area began to be thought about and organized in a scientific manner.

In Davert’s vision, chemistry taught “how to increase yields in exhausted soil,” Stahl says. After some analysis of coffee producing areas, the director concluded that up to that point (1890s), the most suitable soil for growing coffee should have had a clay composition (50 to 70%); Silica (20 to 30%); Limestone (5 to 10%); And humus (5 to 10%) in addition to nitrogen, potassium and phosphoric acid. If the soil suffers from depleted conditions, the indicator taken into account by the Agricultural Institute is the use of lime, or compound lime phosphate.

Stahl says that at that time it was possible to find advertisements in newspapers selling fertilizers containing lime. On February 20, 1900, in one of these newspaper advertisements Agriculture and trade Reproducing the image of two new coffee plants. Small in size, with a short stem and few leaves; While the other, after being exposed to the effects of lime, was three times larger, had many leaves and elongated branches, which confirms the positive effects of lime on coffee cultivation.

Davert also carried out analyzes of the coffee economy based on the interpretation of income theory, by the English economist David Ricardo, and on the principles of the theory of species evolution, by Charles Darwin, to understand the distribution of minerals in coffee. plants. Davert believed that the mechanism responsible for natural selection would be through chemical processes.

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