By Dayanne Sousa
The biggest arabica coffee producing area in top exporter Brazil is seeing an increase in diseases caused by fungus and bacterias due to above average rainfall over the past 3 months, University of Lavras researcher Edson Pozza says in interview.
Initial estimates show the incidence of leaf diseases in the southern part of Minas Gerais is 10% to 20% higher y/y
Cases reported include the bacterial halo blight and fungal disease Phoma leaf spot
Such diseases were typically restricted to coffee cultivated in high altitude, but have spread to other areas due to climate change: Pozza
Rains have delayed the application of pesticides, increasing risks for the health of coffee trees
Farmers can still avoid major damage by applying pesticides whenever weather gets drier
“If the weather allows it, producers are prepared to react and avoid significant production losses”
NOTE: Showers are still expected for the region over the coming week, but in more moderate intensity compared to previous periods
Region also threatened by the spread of coffee rust, but presence of that fungus can only be seen when the weather gets drier by April
Fungus and bacterias that affect coffee tree leaves are a risk to productivity since they can limit photosynthesis, resulting in smaller beans.
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