Special Report: Coffee Leaf Rust Fungus Part 2

Special Report: Coffee Leaf Rust Fungus Part 2

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Special Report: Coffee Leaf Rust Fungus Part 2

The recommended fungicides:-

Tilt 240 - a systemic fungicide, that actually kills the fungus: but it is not available locally, as the price is WAY beyond the pockets of the local growers!

Topsin, another systemic fungicide; it does not kill the fungus, but prevents it growing, spreading, and producing spores.

Copper based fungicides: usually based on Copper Sulphate (and leaves the blue residue on the coffee leaves, after spraying) does little to help already infected leaves, but it does stop any new fungal spores from germinating (if that is the right word for fungal spores).


Spray with systemic fungicide, immediately the infection is discovered: OR, the moment you get any reports of infections, anywhere close by. IF, there are ripe berries on the bushes (the fungus only infects the leaves, not the berries) pick them before spraying: and then wait a minimum of 2 weeks, before the next picking.

Repeat the spraying, 6 to 8 weeks later, with special attention to spraying all the new leaf growth.

Spray the whole plantation, again, in the period August to October, with a copper based fungicide (to try and prevent any infections), and at the first sign of an infection, another spraying with Topsin.

The fungal spores have great difficulty penetrating the leaves, from the top side, and get into the leaf via the pores on the underside of the leaf: so it is far more effective to spray the underside of the leaves, rather than the top surface.


The de-leafed coffee bush is under great stress, and without leaves, it needs all possible help to regrow: feeding with a high Nitrogen "diet" (and minimum of Potassium, Sulphur, or

Phosphorus) will speed the vegetative growth of the plant, whilst helping to inhibit flower and fruit production, which just sucks away the energy needed for leaf regrowth.

If we were unlucky enough, to get this fungal infection, and a severe drought, at the same time: we could be looking at a 50%+ total loss of the existing coffee bushes.

The local way of fertilizing coffee is to give it one massive dose of fertilizer, twice a year: this will do little to get the coffee back into production, quickly: feed them small amounts of fertilizer, frequently (every 4 to 6 weeks) and if possible, just before a few days of gentle rains. Manure and/or compost, fortified with Urea fertilizer, is the best mixture we have come up with.

At this point we are unable to even guess at the loss of the crop for the coming season: but it must be in the 30% range (the number of badly infected bushes) but: in the longer term we are more than confident, that with proper management of the problem, our plantation will fully recover, ready for the following season.


Over the next few months, you will be hearing an awful lot about the Coffee Rust: how it is destroying vast areas of coffee, how production will be down by as much as 50%, and it will take many years to recover, replant the plantations (with a 5 year delay in production) the extra costs of fungicides, etc. etc........

Read the truth between the lines: one years reduced production, which will affect prices, for the ONE year: but not after that: it is only if the "profiteers" keep up the myth, that prices will go up, and STAY up!!!

Robin Plough, a friend of www.coffee4dummies.com

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See also:
A New Year on the Plantation
A Visit to Paradise
A year in the life..What makes JBM, the 'legend' of coffee?
Assessing your coffee (part 1)
Assessing your coffee (part 2)
Assessing your coffee (part 3)
Economics of JBM. Part 1
Economics of JBM. Part 2
Everything you wanted to know about the Coffee Board
Growing a coffee plant at home
Growing Coffee. Part 1
Growing Coffee. Part 2
Growing Coffee. Part 3
Growing Coffee. Part 4
Growing Coffee. Part 5
Growing: Part 1
Growing: Part 2
Jamaican food (part 1)
Jamaican food (part 2)
Jamaican food (part 3)
Jamaican newsletter
Living in Paradise: Part I
Living in Paradise: Part II
Living in Paradise: Part III
Processing our coffee (part 1)
Processing our coffee (part 2)
Random thoughts on the end of the world
Random thoughts on the end of the world (II)
Special Report: Coffee Leaf Rust Fungus Part 1
SPECIAL: Coffee borer beetle in Hawaii
Trivia and other ramblings: part 1
Trivia and other ramblings: part 2
Tropical Storm Nichole
see also

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