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News, updates and resources related to Coffee Leaf Rust

  • 02 Dec 2020 11:27 PM | Alla Kostenko

    View the meeting recording here. The passcode for recording is zy$y@B8d.

    For complete copy of meeting notes, click here.



    Teleconferencing via ZOOM 



    o   Munanez - USDA in DC

    o   Ilihia - Rep of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's office, Hawai’i Island

    o   Becky Azama - HDOA Best Control Branch

    o   Jax Avalino - Senior Research at CRAD


    o   HDOA

          Meeting twice per week


          Becky Azama - good communication within department and partners

          Continuing to survey coffee lands, still identified in Kona and on Maui

          More sites showing spread to West Side of Maui

          Hilo, still looking for good sample to send to USDA

    o   Initial id in Hilo showed spores but were very light, possible that spores degraded


          Present an update on CLR to Hawaii Island Legislative

          Underserved communities communication: PSAs and radio coverage for those not tuned into electronic communication.

    o   Andrea is trying to drop off hard copies of information to roaster and grower facilities


          Interim Rule & Permit progress

    o   Request for 15 permits from roasters, getting facilities compliant

          Imported plant material (timeline & restrictions)

    o   Trying to reduce the quarantine period on a case by case period

          Propagating during quarantine 

    o   what are the barriers?

           A problem for HDOA

           It is not “expressly prohibitive” but sets a bad example 

           If you bring in fewer plants and propagate during quarantine, you reduce the risk

           Pesticide Branch-

          Emergency use permits for systemic fungicides

           Transportation of Shipment

          See section 5 of permit guidelines


    o   USDA...

    For complete copy of meeting notes, click here.

  • 01 Dec 2020 11:28 PM | Alla Kostenko

    Aloha all:

    Here is the Mitigation Strategies for Coffee Rust (Hemileia vastatrix) in Hawaii document, developed by the USDA PPQ Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory for the current situation in Hawaii.  It is somewhat general but it is nice to have the various strategies summarized all in one place.  Note that it did not include systemics insecticides because they are not yet available for use in Hawaii.  Feel free to use and/or distribute as needed.



    Kevin M. Hoffman
    Plant Industry Administrator/State Plant Regulatory Official
    Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture
    Phone:  808-973-9535

  • 18 Nov 2020 11:43 PM | Alla Kostenko

    View the meeting recording here. The passcode for recording is 6j!qkY?!.

  • 12 Nov 2020 11:31 PM | Alla Kostenko

    View the meeting recording here. The passcode for recording is 91.IjV$P.

    For complete copy of meeting notes, click here.


    THURSDAY NOVEMBER 12, 2020 9:30AM

    Teleconferencing via ZOOM 



    o   Mitch Heidenreich

    o   Juli Coughlin - IR4 Program UH


    o   HDOA (Kevin Hoffman)


          Continuing to survey across islands

          USDA notified samples from Kona are confirmed CLR

          USDA notified samples from Hilo not confirmed CLR

    o   NIS confirmed - negative

    o   AFIS identified very few spores

          Continuing to send USDA suspect samples

          All suspect samples from Oahu are negative 

          Surveys on Maui are mostly kept in feral fields, farmers continue to monitor their own farms to alleviate possible spread between farms

          Protocol from farmers is to send in a picture prior to HDOA visiting commercial site

          Efforts to reach underserved populations that do not have access to electronic PR 

    o   Article published in West Hawaii Today with little information on what to do if they see CLR

          Possibly a good ROI if we place an ongoing ad in the paper

           Quarantine (wifi connection went out so I was unable to get good notes on this section)

          Any testimony for the iterum rule is due today by 4:30, meeting on interim rule will be tomorrow 11/13

          Interisland shipping

    o   Disinfectant on bags - isopropyl alcohol, still in consideration

    o   Container to ship in - sealed drum, still in consideration

    o   Provisions are being written with some leeway 

    o   UV treatment is also in consideration and tested

          Imported plant material (timeline & restrictions)

          Propagating during quarantine

    o   Planning to make CLR resistant plants more easily available quickly and safely

          Shipping directly from Hawaii Island or Maui to mainland - this permit would not apply

           USDA Letter


           Pesticide Branch

          Any pesticide approved by EPA but not currently approved in Hawaii, needs to be licensed by pesticide branch 

    o   USDA...

    For complete copy of meeting notes, click here.

  • 11 Nov 2020 11:29 PM | Alla Kostenko

    Below is an alert concerning the confirmed identification of coffee leaf rust (CLR) on Hawaii Island.  In summary, a sample of a rust fungus collected by a grower on a farm in the Holualoa area, Hawai`i Island, has been confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture National Identification Services as coffee leaf rust (CLR). This is the first confirmed detection on that island.

    Please note that two samples sent at the same time from Hilo were determined to be negative for CLR, so the only current confirmed positive sample from Hawaii Island is from the Holualoa area.

    HDOA Coffee Leaf Rust Alert

  • 04 Nov 2020 11:46 PM | Alla Kostenko

    View the meeting recording here. The passcode for recording is xK*Kx$%9.

  • 04 Nov 2020 11:30 PM | Alla Kostenko

    PDF Version

    Spraying to Suppress Coffee Leaf Rust (Hemileia vastatrix(Published Nov. 4, 2020)

    Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR), Hemileia vastatrix, has been identified in Hawaii. This disease of coffee will cause defoliation, reduced berry size, branch, and tree death. Infections typically start on the lower portion of the tree before reaching the higher leaves. The first symptoms are small, pale yellow spots on the upper surface of leaves (Fig. 1A). On the undersides of leaves, infectious spores appear resembling a patch of yellow- to dark orange-colored powder (Fig. 1B, Fig. 2). These young lesions steadily increase in size with the center of the lesion turning necrotic and brown [1]. Stem and berry infection are rare, but CLR can also affect young seedlings.

    Why spray to suppress coffee leaf rust?

    Over a three to five-month period, one CLR lesion can produce upwards of 400,000 spores that become airborne and easily spread throughout a farm and between farms. If left untreated, berry production and foliage losses caused by CLR on non-resistant coffee varieties can be significant, ranging between 30% and 80% [4,5]. Yield is completely lost when the tree is killed.

    Plant susceptibility to CLR attack increases with berry yield and host density [4]. Field sanitation, proper pruning, fertility, CLR monitoring, and early detection are key for reducing this pathogen threat to tree health and production. When applied properly, and at <5% infection rate of total farm foliage, contact fungicides can be helpful in protecting coffee trees from initial and increased disease severity [10]. While contact fungicides are available for Hawaii coffee producers, currently, there are no approved systemic fungicides for use in Hawaii. Physical removal, containment, and destruction of leaves and branches displaying lesions can help to reduce CLR inoculum and infection [2]. 

    Figure 1: Coffee leaf rust on the upper leaf surface (A) and lower leaf surface (B) of coffee.

    Brackets e.g. [2], correspond to literature citations found in the Literature Cited section. This publication is expected to evolve as more is learned about coffee leaf rust in Hawaii. 

    This document provides suggestions for producers on the use of fungicides for the suppression of CLR on farms and the use of fungicides to reduce establishment severity of the pathogen. Special attention is needed for pesticide resistance management to fungicides with product rotation and proper use. Additional CLR information can be found at

    Table 1 provides a list of fungicides approved by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture for use on coffee in Hawaii and lists CLR on the label. Although there are other fungicides approved for use in Hawaii, unless coffee is listed on the label, you should not use these products on your coffee crop. Failure to adhere to pesticide regulations could result in legal action and fines by regulatory authorities.

    Suggestions for preventative and suppression spray applications



    Personal protective equipment (PPE):

    Follow the label for proper use of PPEs.

    Disposable PPEs may be a consideration for use.

    Type of sprayer:

    • According to experts at CIRAD, a French agricultural research center, motorized sprayers should not be used for initial CLR treatments to contain spores [3].

      Spores may become airborne and spread if using a high pressure sprayer.

      Reduce sprayer pressure or change the nozzle to create larger droplets as needed.

    • Water quantity per acre will depend on individual spray calibration for your trees and farm. Calibrate your sprayer by following examples and directions in publications for sprayer calibration [7,8,9].

    Figure 2: Close-up of powder- like coffee leaf rust spores on the underside of a coffee leaf.

    Where and what to spray:

    • Spray the entire coffee tree with emphasis on the undersides and topsides of the leaves.


      which are found on the undersides of leaves [5].

    • Spray all producing, non-producing, and seedling coffee plants.

    Good spray coverage is important.
    A slowed walking pace and deliberate spray application may be necessary to 
    achieve complete coverage of the tree foliage and leaf surfaces.

    Consult the label about intentional ground spraying.Field sanitation and early detection of CLR is important.
    CLR mycelium require a living host tissue or cell to remain alive; however, its 
    urediniospores can survive about six weeks and through dry periods [1].

    Reduce the development of pesticide resistance to the products listed in Table 1.It will be more difficult to control diseases with resistance to approved fungicides. Alternate and rotate the use of fungicides in different FRAC groups as listed in

    Table 1.
    § This typically applies to the use of all pesticides unless noted on the label.

    For example, if you use a blue product like Serenade ASO (FRAC Group 44) for your first application, then use a yellow product such as Kocide 3000 (FRAC Group M1) for your next application. Then, switch back to Serenade or rotate to a pink product (FRAC Group BM 02). Avoid using the same colored product in back-to- back applications.

    If your farm is certified organic, an example for rotation is to use a pink product like DoubleNickel LC, then use a yellow product like Badge X2 next. Then, switch back to DoubleNickel LC or rotate to a blue product. Again, avoid using the same colored product in back-to-back applications.

    When to spray:

    • Avoid spraying during rain, drought, and in high heat, if possible.

    • Follow the product label for frequency of application.

      Other additions to the fungicide:

      Consult with the product label before mixing and combining other products with the fungicide.

    Some pesticide products are not compatible with certain additives such as those noted below.

    If the mixture of products causes phytotoxicity on the coffee trees, stop applications immediately.


    Stickers help the product to adhere to the surface and remain on the plant following application. Spreaders and adjuvants help with dispersal and coverage by reducing water surface tension and allowing the droplets to spread and cover more surface area on leaves, branches, berries, etc.

    A spreader could improve spray coverage.

    If anticipating rain, a sticker and spreader could improve spray adhesion and coverage.

    • Foliar fertilizersConsult with the fungicide and foliar fertilizer labels.

    • Approved Beauveria bassiana products

    Review the product label and the BioWorks BotaniGard® compatibility chart.


    According to the above link, tests were not carried out to evaluate impact on the partner product integrity or for plant phytotoxicity.

    Spraying to control anthracnose (Colletotrichum sp.) and cercospora leaf spot and berry blotch (Cercospora coffeicola) [5] on coffee as well as CLR:

    • Spraying to control Colletotrichum sp., another fungal disease on coffee in Hawaii, may require higher rates than necessary for CLR. Consult the product label.

    • Conduct annual or biennial leaf tissue and soil sample tests to determine and prevent plant and soil toxicities when applying copper-based and other products.

      Other important considerations:

    Re-entry interval (REI) following a spray application.Follow the required REI, being especially mindful of pickers and when they will

    enter the field for harvest.
    Also, follow any restrictions regarding application before crop harvest. This is

    typically referred to on the label as the Pre-Harvest Interval or PHI.

    • pH of spray solution.

      Labels may have warnings for phytotoxicity with low (or high) pH of the spray solution.

    • Minimum and maximum rates per application.

    Follow the label rate. Underuse of a product can cause pesticide resistance by the

    pest or disease and additional losses if spray applications are ineffective.
    Overuse of a product can cause plant, soil, and environmental toxicities and

    hazards, is a violation of product use, and has increased costs to the producer. à Maximum applications per year or season.

    Follow the label instructions.
    Again, overuse of a product can cause plant, soil, and environmental toxicities and

    hazards, is a violation of product use, and has increased costs to the producer.


    If you have questions, contact your local Cooperative Extension or statewide coffee agent, Andrea Kawabata, at Texts and photos can be sent to (415) 604-1511.


    This publication was created by Andrea Kawabata (UH-CTAHR) and reviewed by Dr. Stuart T. Nakamoto (UH-CTAHR), Dr. Lisa Keith (USDA-ARS), and Suzanne Shriner (industry). Much appreciation to the farmers who provided the photos in this publication.

    Literature Cited:

    1. Arneson, P.A. 2011. “Coffee rust”. The Plant Health Instructor. DOI: 10.1094/PHI-I- 2000-0718-02.


    2. Avelino, J., and Savary, S. 2004. Effects of crop management patterns on coffee rust epidemics. Plant Pathology, 53, 541–547.

    3. Keith, L. Personal communications. 2 November 2020.

    4. Koehler, J. 2018. Coffee rust threatens Latin American crop; 150 years ago, it wiped out

      an empire. NPR.


    5. Kushalappa, A.C. and A.B. Eskes (eds). 1989. Coffee Rust: Epidemiology, Resistance and Management. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. 345 pp.

    6. Nelson, S.C. 2008. Cercospora leaf spot and berry blotch of coffee. Honolulu (HI): University of Hawaii. 6p. (Plant Disease Series; PD-41).

    7. Thap, C. 2010. Using and calibrating backpack sprayers. In: Montana State University’s Big Sky Small Acres Magazine. pp. 10-11. ckpack%20Sprayers.pdf.

    8. Uyeda, J., M. Kawate, J. Coughlin, J. Kam, J. Sugano, S. Fukuda, R. Shimabuku, and K.H. Wang. 2015. Sprayer calibration using the 1/128th method for motorized backpack mist sprayer systems. Honolulu (HI): University of Hawaii. 5p. (Pesticide Risk Reduction Education Series; PRRE-9).

    9. Uyeda, J., J. Sugano, S. Fukuda, M. Kawate, R. Shimabuku, and K.H. Wang. 2013. Sprayer calibration using the 1/128th method for handheld spray gun systems. Honolulu (HI): University of Hawaii. 4p. (Pesticide Risk Reduction Education Series; PRRE-7)., L. 2016. Current status and management of coffee leaf rust in Brazil.

    10. Trop. plant pathol. 41, 1–8

  • 31 Oct 2020 11:32 PM | Alla Kostenko

    Dear Growers and Friends,

    Coffee Leaf Rust has been officially confirmed by USDA to be on Maui and has tentatively been found on Hawaii Island. Please see the HDOA press release below for more information.

    Growers, please scout your farms for any symptoms of coffee leaf rust. Here is my website and a poster that provides information and images of the disease on coffee trees. 

    If you suspect coffee leaf rust on any island, you can call HDOA's Plant Pest Control Branch at (808) 973-9525.

    If you have questions about rust, the control of rust, or preventative treatments for this disease, you are welcome to contact me at You can also text me at (415) 604-1511.

    Coffee Leaf Rust Sanitation Protocol 
    (Adopted from Rapid Ohia Death Protocol and provided by USDA-ARS)

    As a precaution, please adopt the following decontamination protocols regardless of where you are
    surveying/gathering materials.

    Decontaminate before AND after you survey/collect samples. Never go from a suspected affected site to another site without cleaning your shoes, tools, and vehicle (when possible).

    Tools and shoes should be cleaned with 70% rubbing 
    alcohol solution after removal of any surface debris. Correctly label a spray bottle with a Sharpie pen as “70% isopropyl alcohol - Flammable”. Fill the spray bottle with isopropyl alcohol. Always take this bottle with you in any field vehicle for use after all field activities. Store in the vehicle in such a manner that it does not spill.

    A freshly prepared 10% solution of chlorine bleach and water can be used as long as tools are oiled afterward, as chlorine bleach will corrode metal tools.

    Clothing should be machine washed with detergent in hot water. Heat dry in a dryer as well, if possible.

    Vehicles used in infected areas should be thoroughly cleaned; power washing is recommended.

    Please be careful of the alcohol and bleach, and follow all label precautions to prevent damage to your
    eyes, skin, respiratory system, clothing, and equipment.

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