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Compendium of Diseases of Crops: Coffee

Manilyn is a part time writer and a part time farmer. She is very much interested in topics like Farming and Food Marketing.

Coffee Plant Diseases

1. Coffee rust (Hemilia vastatrix)

Symptoms

Symptom starts as translucent yellow spots that enlarge and become covered with a mass of yellow-orange uredospores at the underside of affected tissue. Matured lesions have brown centers.

Management of disease

  • Use resistant Arabica coffee such as Kenya S-36, Bourbon, Granica and Mundo Nuvo.
  • Spray susceptible strains with copper-based fungicides at 2-3 weeks interval at the onset of the rainy season until the berries mature.
Yellow-orange rust on coffee leaves

Yellow-orange rust on coffee leaves

2. Leaf blight (Colletotrichum coffeanum)

Symptoms

Large irregular spots that are colored light or reddish brown often start from the leaf margins. Older brown spots have a large, gray center.

  • Management of Disease
  • Spray plants with benomyl, chlorothalonil and mancozeb.

3. Brown-eye leaf spot (Cercospora coffeicola)

Symptoms

The spots are circular, brown with grayish dots at the center. Large spots are formed by merging of several spots.

Management of Disease

  • Spray plants with benomyl, chlorothalonil, mancozeb and maneb
Brown-eye spot on leaves

Brown-eye spot on leaves

4. Leaf spot / blight (Pestalotia sp.)

Symptoms

Large irregular spots arise from the blades. The lesions may either be brown or black depending on the weather. Lesions are sunken.

Management of Disease

  • Elimination of the pathogen can be in the form of host eradication that are heavily diseased, crop rotation, sanitation, use of plastic mulch and manipulating the environment to favor the growth of the host but not the pathogen.
Blight on coffee leaves

Blight on coffee leaves

5. Sooty mold (Capnodium sp.)

Symptoms

Black mold covers the upper and lower surface of the leaves. The fungus does not directly harm the plant but fungal growth obstructs light penetration.

Management of Disease

  • Control aphids and scale insects with recommended insecticides.
Black molds on coffee

Black molds on coffee

6. Dieback (Colletotrichum coffeanum)

Symptoms

Stems and twig tips turn brown and dry-up. This progresses downwards. The leaves of the affected stems and twigs drop off.

Management of Disease

  • Prune and burn infected stems or twigs
  • Spray fungicides to control the disease on leaves
Dieback on coffee

Dieback on coffee

7. Stem blight (Pestalotia sp.)

Symptoms

Infection starts in any part of the stem or twigs progressing either towards the tip or downwards. Affected stems or twigs may retain wilted green leaves that take a longer period to drop off. The lesions are sunken.. Berries could also be affected.

Management of Disease

  • Rune infected stems or twigs and burn.
Stem blight

Stem blight

8. Berry rot (Colletotrichum coffeanum)

Symptoms

Watery sunken lesions are seen on the skin of coffee berries.

Management of Disease

  • Discard affected berries and plant parts
  • Spray recommended fungicides to prevent spread of the disease
Lesions on coffee

Lesions on coffee

9. Berry blotch (Cercospora coffeicola)

Symptoms

Irregular blotches that appear burnt are seen on matured berries.

Management of Disease

  • Remove infected berries and discard them properly.
  • Spray coffee plants with recommended fungicides to prevent spread of the disease.
Blotch on berries

Blotch on berries

10. Berry rot (Aspergillus flavus)

Symptoms

Black molds surround the infected berries and causes shrinking and rotting. Severe infection results in a blackening of the affected berries and the stalk.

Management of Disease

  • Remove infected berries and dispose them properly
  • Spray coffee plants with recommended fungicides to prevent spread of disease.
Rotted berries of coffee

Rotted berries of coffee

From of spots or blight

From of spots or blight

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.