Sips: Coffee rust crisis

by JulieCraves on February 9, 2013

320px-Hemileia_vastatrix_-_coffee_leaf_rust

Wikipedia

A round-up of the many stories and news items about the devastating impact of the fungus Hemileia vastatrix (coffee rust, roya). Central and South America are experiencing the worst outbreak in decades.

This crisis has some serious consequences beyond the obvious impacts of increasing consumer prices and endangering the survival of some producers.

One is a decrease in the number of producers that will stay with organic certification. Most of the fungicides that are used to combat rust are allowed under organic certification. However, coffee plants attacked by rust need substantial boosts in nutrients (because they lose their leaves) in order to keep them alive. These levels are often just too hard to achieve at reasonable prices with available organic fertilizers. Recall that in the last few years, many farmers have already given up on organic certification because the price premium is just not enough to justify the extra cost and labor.

 

 

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Revised on May 2, 2016

Posted in Coffee news and miscellany

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