A disease known has coffee leaf rust or CLR has been discovered on the Big Island, Hawaii and the state’s largest coffee production island. The disease is known to bring coffee production to a halt.
This has been confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture National Identification Services. It is a fungal disease, known officially as Hemileia Vastarix. Samples were collected by a coffee grower near Holualoa, South of Kailua-Kona.
This discovery comes just two weeks after coffee leaf rust was discovered for the very first time in Hawaii. The first discovery was made on a coffee farm on Muai. State agricultural officials have not yet discovered CLR on any of the other Hawaiian islands.
While panic is undue the discovery of leaf rust on multiple Hawaiian Islands, especially in the Kona growing region which produces the states largest amount of coffee does present a clear threat to Hawaiian coffee production as the disease is known to spread quickly and to wreak havoc on coffee crops.