Coffee berry borer levels “alarmingly high” in Colombia

Colombia’s National Coffee Research Center (Cenicafé) issued a statement on 5 April warning that the dry season caused by El Nino is leading to the quick spread of coffee berry borer.  A dry season has afflicted Colombia since the second half of 2015, as perhaps one of the most harmful effects that the El Niño phenomenon has had on Colombian coffee growing, Cenicafe said in a statement. It noted that the dry conditions in the departments of Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda, Antioquia and Valle del Cauca have created fertile terrain for the spread of coffee berry borer. The insect, which is known for its speedy reproduction, is considered to be the most harmful plague for coffee. Hernando Duque, Technical Manager of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), explains that rain is chasing out the insects that have survived within dry fruits. They are now spreading and attacking new fruits in formation. “Coffee berry borer levels are alarmingly high. A recent study conducted by the FNC's Extension Service identified significant damage in harvested fruits in post-harvesting facilities,” he said in the statement. “This reveals that a significant amount of coffee berry borer populations are surviving both in fruits that have fallen to the ground, and in uncollected dry fruits.” Global warming can also be blamed for increasing farm’s susceptibility to coffee berry borer. Cenicafé noted that areas with average temperatures above 21° C are more prone to the speedy reproduction of coffee berry borer. Correspondingly, the presence of the plague is weak in areas that are located at 1600 meters above sea level (MASL) with average temperatures below 20° C. While in areas located at 1.218 MASL with temperatures of 22.5° C coffee berry borer can attack up to 959 coffee beans from a single infested fruit on the ground. It only attacks up to 29 coffee beans in areas located at 1.700 MASL and temperatures of 19.8° C.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend