Coffee leaf rust is now detected on all major islands in the state
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Department of Agriculture said the devastating fungus, coffee leaf rust, has been found on all major islands in the state.
In the last month, the state collected samples from Kauai and Molokai and confirmed the presence of coffee leaf rust.
The invasive pathogen was first detected in the state in October 2020 on Hawaii Island and Maui and was later detected on Oahu and Lanai in January 2021.
Coffee leaf rust was confirmed in Kilauea, Kauai on July 9 at a commercial coffee grower. Officials said the fungus had been on the island for at least six months.
Officials said coffee leaf rust was found on Molokai after a low-level infestation was detected on two plants in a field of 50 wild coffee plants in Kaunakakai. It was confirmed on June 23. Later surveys found more infestations on the east side of the island, with the fungus present for at least three months.
As the fungus takes root across the islands, the Agriculture Board said it will continue restricting the movement of coffee plants and plant parts to try to stop the spread of the disease.
HDOA said coffee leaf rust can cause severe defoliation of coffee plants, resulting in greatly reduced photosynthetic capacity. It can also reduce both vegetative and berry growth.
Above of all, the fungus can be extremely detrimentental to a year’s worth of crop with estimated losses ranging from 30% to 80%.
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