Coffee growers warn of an increase in pests due to excess rain

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

The heavy rains of the last week create conditions for the spread of fungi, such as roya.

The incidence of rosy and anthracnosis, two lethal diseases for coffee cultivation, would increase after the intense rains reported in the last week, warned the Cafetal Association of El Salvador (Acafesal).

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) reported yesterday that the accumulation of 72-hour rains exceeded 400 cubic millimeters, including some regions where the duration of the rains exceeded 16 hours.

As coffee growers we already know everything that comes to us with so much rain that has fallen and will continue to fall,” said Sergio Ticas, president of Acafesal, who warned of an increase in the presence of mushrooms.

Ticas indicated that they monitor the coffee mountain ranges, but they have no damage reports because it is too risky to visit them due to collapses, fallen trees, overflows of rivers and streets in poor condition.

Usually, the rud mushroom spreads when there are sudden changes in temperatures. Experience points out that if it is not treated in time, it can destroy coffee plants as happened in 2013 when production collapsed and so far the sector does not recover.

A plant with rot shows pale yellow spots on the other other of the leaves until a powder that is watered down the farm, while anthracnosis leads to a defoliation in the plants, causing a progressive death of the plants.

For the time being, producers have taken most of the 2023-2024 harvest and are dedicated to the 2024-2025 cycle with field work. During this period, the plant is prepared with the grains that begin to be cut in October.

Ticas added that the Acafesal works with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and the Salvadoran Institute of the Café (ISC) to alleviate the wreaks that this storm will leave us.

Meanwhile, the deputy administrator of the MAG, Mr. Escar Domínguez, detailed that they have made technical visits in the six coffee regions, with 464 farms under monitoring during the emergency.

The latest ISC report, with information updated last April, notes that production in the 2023-2024 cycle accumulates 888,426 quintals of grape gold, a figure that exceeds by 9,866 quintals the total obtained in the short 2022-2023.

The shortest months go from October to February of the following year. During this season, the sector generates more than 44,000 jobs and is responsible for the second most exported agricultural product, only surpassed by sugar.

The coffee park consists of 165,205 blocks, with 19,213 producers.

This article has been translated after first appearing in Diario El Mundo