Understanding Coffee Berry Disease

Coffee berry disease is a fungal disease caused by colletotrichum kahawae and attacks the coffee Arabica. The fungus reproduce asexually and the disease is considered to be one of the major factor hampering coffee Arabica production in the Africa continent.

Causative Agent and Mechanisms

Coffee Berry Disease is caused by a fungus plant pathogen known as colletorichum kahawae.

The characteristic symptom of which is a progressive anthracnose of young, expanding coffee berries. This commences as small water-soaked lesions which rapidly become dark and sunken.

These expand causing a rot of the whole berry; under humid conditions, pink spore masses become visible on the lesion surface. Berries are often shed from the branch at an early stage of the disease and this is also a characteristic feature of Coffee Berry Disease.

Lesions may also occur on young berry stalks, causing them to be shed before lesions are evident on the berry itself. High humidity, relatively warm temperatures, and high altitude are ideal for disease formation.

Host and Symptoms of Coffee Berry Disease

Infection has been proved to occur in all stages of the plant starting from unopened flowers to ripe berries, and in some cases the leaves. It mostly attacks within 4-14 weeks after flowering has occurred.

There are two symptoms of berry infection known as scab and active. The common signs for active infection: dark brown slightly sunken spots that initially are small but enlarge and engulf the entire berry leaving it black.

Environment

Coffee Berry Disease has a high incidence of occurring in highlands with altitude of 1000 metres above sea level. The disease is highly dependent on climatic change and factors such as rainfall, humidity, and temperature. Rainfall is necessary for spore germination and dispersal.

Temperatures between 20-22 degrees are optimal for germination and mycelia growth.

Environment

Coffee Berry Disease has a high incidence of occurring in highlands with altitude of 1000 metres above sea level. The disease is highly dependent on climatic change and factors such as rainfall, humidity, and temperature. Rainfall is necessary for spore germination and dispersal.

Temperatures between 20-22 degrees are optimal for germination and mycelia growth.

Coffee Berry Disease management

The major current methods of disease control are resistance and fungicide application. By resistance basically we mean planting of coffee varieties that are naturally resistant to Coffee Berry Disease, such as ruiru and batian varieties or doing grafted bushes. This goes a long way in preventing and avoiding the hassles of Coffee Berry Disease.

The other alternative is fungicide application for Coffee Berry Disease management. Here, great care and good timing is required.

Fungicides used for Coffee Berry Disease management may inhibit either protective mechanism or curative mechanism to the disease.

When using fungicides to control Coffee Berry Disease correct timing and spray interval must be observed otherwise the farmer may end up losing the crop to Coffee Berry Disease.

Spray interval will be highly dependent on weather and climate. Farmers are advised to always incorporate a pre-rain spray. This goes a long way in giving the plant immunity. As we all know once the rain sets Coffee Berry Disease spore germination and destruction starts taking place, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, do a pre-rain spray.

After the rain has set the farmer should always alternate copper-based fungicides with chlorothalonil and azoxystrobin so as to get an overall clean coffee harvest at the end of the season.

Here at Greenlife Crop Protection Africa Ltd, we offer the farmer a wide range of products to control Coffee Berry Disease with.

GREEN COP 500WP

This is a copper-based fungicide with contact and preventive action. It disrupts the enzyme systems of the pathogenic organisms. It gives the farmer best results as it is 97% pure copper oxychloride. Which we apply at a rate of 150 g/ 20 L.

KATERINA 720SC

This is a multisite chloronitrile fungicide which act by depleting thiols especially glutathione from germinating fungal cells leading to disruption of glycolysis and energy production. It has a superior action against Coffee Berry Disease at a rate of 70 ml/ 20 L.

Tank mix both Green Cop 110 g and Katerina 45 ml to control both Coffee Berry Disease and Coffee Leaf Rust

COMPLIANT 560SC

This has two active ingredients chlorothalonil and azoxystrobin to deliver best results to the farmer at the rate of 40 ml/20 L

Note:

Always remember to use Integra at a rate of 3 ml/ 20L every time you spray. This is for the reason that integra is a spreader, penetrant, sticker and wetter hence aid in acquiring 100% efficacy from pesticides applied.

Last updated on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 4:57 am

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