comscore Hawaii coffee farmers facing ‘greatest threat’ yet, but efforts underway to tackle devastating fungus | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii coffee farmers facing ‘greatest threat’ yet, but efforts underway to tackle devastating fungus

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Researchers at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kunia are trying to grow coffee trees that are resistant to coffee leaf rust. Above, Sayaka Aoki is pictured with some of the trees being grown at the facility.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Researchers at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kunia are trying to grow coffee trees that are resistant to coffee leaf rust. Above, Sayaka Aoki is pictured with some of the trees being grown at the facility.

  • COURTESY GREENWELL FARMS
                                A coffee tree at Greenwell Farms that is starting to defoliate due to coffee leaf rust.

    COURTESY GREENWELL FARMS

    A coffee tree at Greenwell Farms that is starting to defoliate due to coffee leaf rust.

  • COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                Above, when coffee plants are infected, yellow and orange spots and powder appear on the leaves and then increase in size, making their way up the tree.

    COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

    Above, when coffee plants are infected, yellow and orange spots and powder appear on the leaves and then increase in size, making their way up the tree.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Rresearcher Sayaka Aoki at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kunia where staff have been working for years to crossbreed local coffee tree varieties with those that are rust-resistant.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Rresearcher Sayaka Aoki at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kunia where staff have been working for years to crossbreed local coffee tree varieties with those that are rust-resistant.

When Tom Greenwell first discovered coffee leaf rust on his family’s 85-acre farm in Kealakekua this spring, he said he was devastated. Since then the fourth-generation coffee farmer said the fungus, which has ravaged many other coffee communities worldwide, has spread, popping up in different fields on Greenwell Farms. Read more

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