Coffee rust, also called coffee leaf rust is caused by fungus Hemileia vastatrix. It is found in almost all coffee-growing areas around the world and affects Arabica coffee & Robusta Coffee.
The symptoms of coffee rust include small, pale yellow, oily spots on the upper surface of the leaf that turn bright orange to red and finally brown with a yellow border. Rusted leaves drop hence trees have lower yields and usually die within a few years.
The reddish spores germinate in the presence of rain or heavy dew & can be dispersed by wind, rain, flies, wasps, insects and human intervention. Management – Coffee rust must be managed as a continuous epidemic on a perennial crop.
- Strict quarantine measures & killing the infected coffee plants plus the symptom less plants in a 30-meters.
- Timely application of fungicides during wet seasons & good weed control.
- Proper pruning & training reduces its susceptibility to rust.
- Wider row spacing to improve air circulation and spray coverage.
Small-scale farmers tend to favor shade-grown coffee, which requires less pesticides and fertilizers. Some of the shade trees host nitrogen fixers that reduce the need for applied nitrogen fertilizers. Watch out for leaf rust. Control it in good time. Learn more about coffee nutrition regime, coffee insects & pests and diseases among other things during our farm tours to Kiambu. Registration is ongoing.
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Phone: (+254) (0)708- 790 – 480
Connect Coffee, Ground floor Riverfront building, Riverside drive road, Nairobi