How Too Much Heat Can Damage Vegetables and Other Crops

Though our crop plants need adequate sunlight, they can only take so much heat. The plant tissues die normally around 115°F. The plant temperature is just usually above air temperature. But in certain conditions, plant temperature can rise to the critical level.

Plants, in general, have three major ways to remove excess heat.
1. Through long wave radiation
2. Through heat convection into the air
3. Through transpiration

If either any of these major ways are interrupted, plant temperature can rise above the normal.

For instance, transpiration can be interrupted by inadequate water, injury, vascular plugging, and stomatal closure. When that happens, the major cooling mechanism of the plant is lost.

Take note that dry soil conditions can also lead to excess plant heating. When the soils are dry, roots produce ABA or Abscisic Acid. This acid is transported to leaves which signals stomatal closure.

How to protect your crops from heat damage:

  1. Overhead watering is the major method to reduce plant heat stress. Always make sure that you have sprinklers set up and you provide adequate water supply.
  2. Misting also helps in improving your plant’s temperature. It helps in lessening water vapor pressure deficit.
  3. You can also increase dissipation and reflection of radiative heat using reflective mulches.
  4. Low density and organic mulches like straw can also be used to conserve moisture and reduce surface radiation.
  5. If you are located in very hot areas, use shade cloth for partial shading. This will help in reducing heat and radiation.

Pesticides: How You Can Possibly Bring Food Borne Diseases to Your Home

Eating organic isn’t enough to stay healthy. No matter how much you try to stay away from chemicals, the fact is, they’re everywhere. It’s in your barbecue, your favorite chips, your hamburger, and even on your healthy salad.

Food handling and preparation play a very important role in making sure that what you’re eating is clean and safe. Before eating raw fruits and vegetables, it’s important to wash them properly to get rid of pesticides and any other chemicals.

According to research, petroleum based chemicals used in pesticides, consumer products, and job environments are linked to some health disorders. In fact, they are found to cause accelerated aging to the brain, blood brain barrier, and immune system. It’s also proven that these chemicals can also alter critical hormones that are necessary for teenage behavioral and neurological development.

Illnesses identified in the medical research include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child behavior disorders including learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity ADHD (attention deficit disorders) as well as altering hormones essential for maintaining healthy bodily processes. Petroleum based chemicals are believed to cause these problems by a variety of routes including – impairing proper DNA (Gene) expression, weakening DNA Repair, accelerating gene loss, degeneration of the body’s detoxification defenses (liver and kidneys) as well as gradual weakening of the brain’s primary defense (the Blood Brain Barrier).

Know more about the research here.

CR-10 and Eliminating the Devastating Effects of the Coffee Leaf Rust Epidemic

The devastating effects of the coffee leaf rust epidemic have reached different countries all over Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Aside from thousands of people losing their jobs, coffee plantations end up losing millions of dollars.

Eliminating the harmful effects of this disease is not impossible. However, it is challenging. Recently, we released CR-10, which is a coffee rust control fungicide. a coffee rust treament… or even better: a coffee rust solution!   The active ingredientl is designed to attack the fungi and get rid of the harmful effects of the rust to the coffee leaves.

  1. The CR-10 works faster compared to other fungicides

Eliminating coffee rust is our main goal. We want to help in saving the coffee plantations and somehow improving the commercial coffee economic status of the affected countries. Upon application, farmers can already see the effect of CR-10 on coffee rust after 48 hours.

  1. The CR-10 only requires 2 to 3 applications

This fungicide works faster and better. Therefore, it only takes 2 to 3 applications to work. According to our own research, farmers had to do 4 to 12 applications using other products. With the CR-10, you can save money on labor and get better results faster than other fungicides.

  1. The CR-10 is 100% Safe.

We always do our best to create products that are safe not only for us people but also to animals and to our environment. The CR-10 is 100% safe. It is biodegradable and non-toxic (when used at recommended dilution).

We made sure that our product is people friendly and environment-friendly as well. You have to make sure that you will use it at the level of dilution we recommend.

Post Harvest Handling and Preparation

Crop preparations do not end during harvest. In fact, it’s just getting started. And just like everything else, a good post-harvest preparation is important to make sure that the crops are safe and free from any crop diseases that can harm people’s health.

With that being said, there are a lot of things to consider. Here are some of them:

Water quality and safety – During the production, a clean supply of water is important to ensure that your crops are well and properly hydrated. A clean water supply is also a vital part of your post-harvest preparation.

Worker Sanitation – Farmers, workers, and anyone who will have direct access to crops should make sure their hands are cleaned and practice proper sanitation to avoid the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.

Facility Sanitation – When doing your post-harvest management, you have to ensure that your building, equipment, and storage are all sanitized.

Cleaning the Product – Washing and cleaning the crops with clean water will reduce product loss due to spoilage and reduce microbial risks.

Sorting and Packing – Crops are sorted out to see which ones are good for trade. Then, they are packed neatly to prolong their life and remain fresh.

For more information about post-harvest management, visit this website.

Distribution of Coffee Rust (Infographics)

world_countries_coffee rust

Coffee is the most important agricultural product in agricultural trade. There are different types of coffee plant diseases, but by far, coffee rust is the most economically important int the world. It was the main reason why countries like El Salvador lost 50% of their job opportunities in the coffee sector in 2011.

In Central America, 70% of its total coffee fields was affected by coffee rust. This led to devastating results like reduced yields, massive economic damage, loss of about 500,000 coffee-related jobs, and about $1 billion in revenue.

Coffee Rust Timeline:

1861 – The signs of coffee rust was seen in Ethiopia, the origin of coffea Arabica. By then, they didn’t know about the disease yet and didn’t have a name for it.

1867 – Coffee rust was seen in Sri Lanka.

1888 – The epidemic started in neighboring Asian countries like Brunei and Malaysia.

1892 – The disease reached Papua New Guinea.

1904 – 1906 – Coffee rust fungi also reached Madagascar and spread the outbreak on its coffee fields.

1910 – The outbreak reached Congo Republic, Angola, Zambia, and other neighboring countries.

1913 – It reached the African continent.

1945 – The disease went back to Asia and affected India, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

1951 – 66 – The devastating results of the coffee rust disease were suffered by the rest of the African continent.

1972 – The first appearance of the coffee rust disease was recorded in Brazil.

1976 – It affected other European countries like Honduras, Guatamela, Ecuador, and Colombia. These countries aren’t that big, but coffee is one of their main products.

1978 -83 – The disease reached Peru.

1979 -81 – The coffee rust disease affected the coffee plants in Mexico.

The spread of this fungal disease didn’t stop there. In 2011, the prices of coffea Arabica dropped massively because of the disease.


How to Avoid Food Borne Diseases

No matter how we choose the food we eat, it’s still possible to get foodborne diseases. It’s important to be keen in our food preparations, but what’s even more important is to be smarter and always keep ourselves informed.

What is a foodborne disease?

According to Wikipedia, a foodborne disease is any illness resulting from the food spoilage of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food,[2] as well as chemical or natural toxins such as poisonous mushrooms and various species of beans that have not been boiled for at least 10 minutes.

Symptoms vary depending on the cause or type of the disease but mostly, a person may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and dizziness.

How can we avoid these diseases?

In order to avoid foodborne diseases, you need to make sure that you handle your food properly.

For Consumers:

  1. Wash your produce
  • Soak your fruits and vegetables for 5 minutes before preparation.
  • Add a little vinegar when soaking green leafies.
  • Wash the skin of the fruit. If possible, don’t eat the skin.
  1. Cut off at least an inch at the end of hard vegetables like carrots.
  2. For meat, fish, and other shellfish, wash them well with water. Clean it up when you’re done with the preparations.

For Farms and Agricultural Companies:

  1. High-quality post-harvest management
  • Clean up after harvesting.
  • Only use disinfectants that are only approved by the NOA (depending on the category)
  1. Provide a safe and hygienic workplace and ensure proper food handling.



Coffee Rust and How It Affects the Coffee Industry Worldwide

The coffee rust epidemic has reached a lot of countries all over the world and has been a major problem and threat to coffee plantations all over the world. The rust organism mainly attacks the leaves (though in some rare instances the rust was found on fruits and young stems.). The coffee rust is usually manifested by chlorotic young lessions or pale yellow spots before the sporulation is evident. The sports vary in shapes and sizes.

This epidemic was first recorded in 1861. A British explorer discovered the development of coffee leaf rust in the Lake Victoria region in Kenya. In 1869, the cultivated coffee industry in Sri Lanka was attacked by this virus and their coffee industry suffered for 10 long years.

In 1920, the spread of the coffee leaf rust has reached most African and Asian countries during the sprout of their commercial grown coffee.

The epidemic in Brazil started in 1972. Soon, it affected the countries in Southern and Central America.

The Effects of Coffee Rust to Coffee Plantations

  • The amount of rust in the current year highly affects the reduced size of vegetative growth and berry growth.
  • Coffee rust is associated with defoliation. The strong sink of the berries’ carbohydrate can cause shoots and roots to starve and die. With that being said, the number of nodes on which coffee will be produced next year will be reduced.
  • The production of coffee for the following year is produced this season. Thus, the top and shoot dieback caused by the coffee rust will seriously reduce the following season’s crop.
  • A research conducted by Kushalappa and Eskes in 1989 estimates the total losses caused by leaf rust is between 30 to 80%.
  • The total average losses per year is believed to be about 15%.


Coffee Rust: What You Need To Know About It

Coffee Leaf Rust or CLR is a devastating disease that affects susceptible coffee plantations. It’s brought by a Pucciniales fungus called Hemileia vastatrix. In order to survive, the rust must come into physical contact with coffee, its obligate host.

It’s called coffee leaf rust because it looks yellow-orange and powdery. It also appears on the leaves’ underside. Young lesions usually appear pale yellow while older lesions are smaller in diameter.

Coffee Rust Life Cycle

The life of the Hemileia fungus starts with the germination of the uredospores. They mainly attack the leaves, but can also be found on fruits and young stems. Then, Appressoria are produced. They produce vesicles to enter the substomatal cavity of the leaves. After a day or two, infection is completed.

When an infection has been successful, the leaf blade colonization and sporulation will happen through the stomata. A lesion can produce 4 to 6 spore crops. After 3 to 5 months, they will release about 300,000 to 400,000 spores. Thus, spread the infection widely.

Coffee Leaf Rust Ecology and History

Coffee Rust destroyed the flourishing Sri Lanka and Java coffee plantations in the 1800s.

This epidemic disease was finally discovered in 1970. During then, it was widespread in Brazil and it was the first known infection in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1989, the coffee rust disease reached Costa Rica and in 1995, it hit Nicaragua.

The 2012 Coffee Rust Epidemic

Researchers were still looking for the solution for this problem when an epidemic hit ten Latin American and Caribbean countries in 2012. The disease became an epidemic and the resulting crop losses pushed coffee prices to an all-time high amid concerns for supply. The reasons for the epidemic remain unclear but an emergency rust summit meeting in Guatemala in April 2013 compiled a long list of shortcomings. These included a lack of resources to control the rust, the dismissal of early warning signs, ineffective fungicide application techniques, lack of training, poor infrastructure and conflicting advice.




50% Decrease of Coffee Production by 2050 – 2016 Study

With more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee being consumed on a daily basis, there’s no doubt that the coffee industry is at its finest. In fact, the industry is worth 19 Billion dollars worldwide.

However, a recent study called A Brewing Storm showed that the coffee production could drop by 50 percent in a few decades if we don’t take the necessary actions. The study shows that climate change would result to supply shortage and thus, price increase.

“We’re fearful that by 2050, we might see as much as a 50 per cent decline in productivity and production of coffee around the world, which is not so good,” said Molly Harriss Olson, the chief executive of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, which commissioned the report.

Read more about it here.

The coffee industry has to be prepared for the possibilities of losing half of its potential in the coming years. Though we can’t really control the climate change, they need to figure out a way to continue meeting the demand.

Guatemalan Coffee Growers Still Suffer from La Roya

Guatemala is one of the countries in Central America affected by the coffee rust disease. In fact, the country declared coffee rust a national emergency in 2013. The coffee production was massively decreased from 2,500,000 lbs of coffee in 2012 to 1,000,000 lbs by the end of 2013.

The coffee rust epidemic has been a major issue not only in Guatemala but in all affected countries. Millions of farmers already lost their jobs and spent a lot of money in pesticides hoping to minimize the effects of the disease.

Guatemalan based organizations like the Coffee Trust are working with small-scale farmers to improve their livelihood. They also need help in establishing food sovereignty in the region that has been solely dependent upon coffee, their cash crop.

Recently, $onov CEO Jean Ekobo visited Guatemala to have a meeting with the chemical distributors in the country and to let them know about CR-10 and what it can do to help eliminating coffee rust.

He shared his experience in Guatemala in our Twitter account. See his images below: