Coffee Fungus Outbreak Affecting Central American Producers

[Originally published 1/24/13]

Coffee_berries_ImageReuters News is reporting that just this week, the Costa Rican government enacted an emergency bill to allocate $4 million to address the leaf rust (also known as roya) outbreak.  Experts estimate that more than 10 percent of the country’s planted coffee fields will be lost in the 2013/14 harvest as a result of this outbreak.  Roya kills coffee leaves by draining them of nutrients and substantially lowering the bean yield.  Unfortunately, roya has already affected other countries in Central America and Mexico, which in total are responsible for more than 20 percent of the world’s Arabica coffee production.