Unknown fungus threatening coffee plantations in Wayanad

Attack first reported at Kurukkanmoola in June

The spread of an unknown fungus is threatening coffee plantations in Wayanad district, a major Robusta coffee growing region in the State.

The fungus attack has been reported in Kurukkanmoola and Cherukattur areas of the Mananthavady taluk. It was first reported in a coffee plantation at Kurukkanmoola in June.

The symptoms of the attack such as black spots on the margin of young leaves, yellowing and wilting were seen on a few plants in June. Later, it spread to other plants, said sources. In the final stage, the plants were partially destroyed after defoliation and berry drops, they added.

Officials of the Coffee Board and scientists of the Regional Coffee Research Station at Chundale in the district visited the sites and collected the specimen of affected trees. As the continuous rain and over-shade in coffee plantations were major reasons for the spread of the fungus, planters were advised to spray Folicure, a fungicide (1 ml per litre of water), said Coffee Board sources. The exact reason could be ascertained only after scientific tests, they added.

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