Coffee Leaf Rust: Some Facts About Coffee’s Worst Enemy

Coffee leaf rust or Roya in Spanish, has been devastating susceptible coffee farms all
over the world. It is an airborne fungal disease caused by Hemileia vastatrix. It survives
particularly on the leaves of the coffee plant. They are transported in water, rain or air,
in the form of tiny spores. They can survive long distances explaining why they can
spread to an entire field.

When leaves are attacked, the plant won’t be able to photosynthesize which is vital for
its growth. These affected coffee plants therefore won’t be able to yield enough coffee
beans.

It is easy to spot coffee leaf rust when it strikes as pale, yellow spots can be found on
the upper surfaces of the leaves. When these spots increase in diameter, there can be
orange uredospores that appear underneath.

Unlike other rusts which break through the epidermis, these fungi targets the stomata.

There will be powdery lesions in yellowish orange color concentrated on any part of the
leaves. These infected leaves will then drop prematurely.

We have gathered here some facts on coffee leaf rust that you may want to know.

 In 1830, there was a coffee leaf rust epidemic that destroyed the coffee industry
in Ceylon.

 In 2012, a coffee leaf rust epidemic struck Central American crops causing a
billion dollar damage in just 2 years! According to IHCAFE, over 30,000 coffee
plots were affected by leaf rust infections.

 Coffee leaf rust has devastated an area in South America equivalent to the entire
size of Europe which is a whopping 10 million square kilometers. In 2013,
Guatemala grew 40 percent less coffee because of coffee leaf rust.

 The Colombian government spent over 1 billion dollars to combat this disease
as it devastated its primary coffee crop which is the Arabica Coffee.

 It has become too severe that farmers need to decide whether to feed their
families or invest in the ways to mitigate La roya.

 Despite national efforts, as of April 2017, according to IHCAFE, the incidence
level of rust in Honduras was only 6 percent below the level of economic
damage.

The Dangers in Using Synthetic Fungicides

Fungicides, along with herbicides and insecticides, are all pesticides used in plant
protection. These fungicides are used to kill fungal pathogens on plants. According to
the American Phytopathological Society, fungi is the leading cause of crop loss
worldwide.

Fungicides can serve many purposes.

 Control plant diseases during the establishment and development of a crop

 Increase productivity of a crop while reducing blemishes.

 Improve shelf life and quality of harvested plants and produce.

However, take note that some fungicides can also pose dangerous risks. Follow this list
and learn what to risk when choosing synthetic fungicides.

1. When these fungicides are used to plants for a long time, fungi species tend to
develop resistance to its chemical composition. This means that using fungicide
can no longer be effective no matter how much we apply on plants targeting
these fungi.

2. Some fungicides cause a toxic effect called phytotoxicity among plants. There
are specific synthetic fungicide for every produce. If not handled carefully, they
could potentially kill plants.

3. Fungicides can also pose dangerous risks to human health. Some fungicides can
irritate skin and eyes while others cause respiratory problems.

4. Synthetic fungicide has a huge impact to the environment. These products are
toxic for aquatic animals when the chemicals run-off the fields. They also pollute
the ground and water.

So what are the alternatives?

The safer alternatives to these synthetic fungicides are organic fungicides. It is best
to find a highly effective fungicide that is also organic.

We at Bionovelus are all proud of our very own amazing product, the CR-10. It is a
non-toxic, organic and healthier solution to combat fungi, bacteria and all plant
diseases. Moreover, CR-10 is developed from a protein found in plants making it
impossible for fungi to develop resistance to it.

We constantly work with farmers to understand their needs. We continually work for
solutions in order to combat the world’s high crop production losses.

Here are Some Insights on Post-Harvest Losses

Did you know that a third of all produced food for human consumption is lost or wasted?

It is for that reason why it is important even for the smallholder farmers to be
knowledgeable of the necessary steps and latest post harvest products and technologies
to prevent losing large portions of their produce.

We at BioNovelus are proud of our product, the CR-10. It is organic non-toxic, and
biodegradable. It targets microbial cell without harming produce or people because it is
developed from a protein found in the immune system of the plants. CR-10 works with
nature to protect plants from harmful microorganism.

Unlike with other products, bacteria and fungi cannot develop resistance to CR-10. By
using this, packers and exporters don’t need to use more products to protect their
produce all the time. They can reduce waste, extend shelf life and expand to new
markets with this powerful solution.

Keep reading and learn more about some facts you may not know about post harvest
losses.

 According to FAO, a whopping 1.3 billion tons of food produced for human
consumption is lost or wasted worldwide every year.

Fruits and vegetables make most of this wastage. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a third
of their total produce are lost after harvest. These crops can be easily damaged
or spoiled while being harvested, packed, stored and transported.

 Proper training and access to post harvest products and technologies have
a huge impact on the safety of food for consumption.

It is common for farmers to get the damaged produce for their consumption
because the high quality ones can be sold at a higher price. If they have access
to trainings and technologies that improve post harvest handling, they can get
more aware of the risks of consuming damaged produce.

 Improving the post harvest handling practices will allow farmers to gain
more profit.

Farmers are able to export more food for consumption while gaining more profit.

This is a win-win solution for both the farmers and the consumers. This has a
positive impact to the economy as well.

Get to Know More about the Coffee Plant

Enjoying your cup of coffee? It’s all thanks to the healthy coffee plants cultivated by all
the hardworking coffee farmers worldwide. They know very well to take care of our
precious coffee plants. They use excellent products like CR-10 to protect and produce
more coffee beans so you’ll get to drink it right now.

You know very well that the aromatic brown beverage you are sipping right now comes
from beans but do you even know what kind of beans are they or where do they come
from? Keep on reading to learn more.

Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant. The coffee plant is a woody perennial
evergreen dicotyledon belonging to the Rubiaceae family. They can grow very high, so
it can be more accurate to call them coffee trees.

The plant produces white flowers and red berries that contain seeds or what we call
the “coffee beans” from which the beverage is made. Each berry usually has two
seeds. These seeds are extracted from the harvested berries and then roasted to
produce the coffee beverage.

Although there are some 25 species within the Coffea genus, there are actually two
main species coffee that are popular today. One is the Coffea Arabica or the Arabica
coffee which accounts for almost 80 percent of the entire production of coffee around
the world.

The other one is the coffea canephora or the Robusta coffee. It covers almost the
remaining 20 percent of the world’s production of coffee.

If you are to compare one from the other, Robusta coffee beans are more robust than
Arabica coffee. Robusta coffee beans however produce inferior tasting coffee with
higher content of caffeine. In case you didn’t know, these beans are the ones used in
the traditional Italian espresso blends.

On the other hand, Arabica beans are generally considered to produce higher quality
and better tasting coffee. Gourmet coffees are mostly made from Arabica beans.

You now have a little more knowledge about the coffee beans and the coffee plant.
Enjoy your coffee!