HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) recently confirmed the detection of coffee leaf rust (CLR) on Kauai and Molokai. CLR is a coffee pathogen that can cause severe defoliation of coffee plants. The pathogen has now been found on all major Hawaiian islands.

HDOA staff conducted a survey of coffee plants on Molokai on Monday, June 14, and CLR was confirmed on Wednesday, June 23. On Monday, June 28, a commercial coffee grower in Kilauea, Kauai reported a possible CLR infection. After HDOA collected samples, CLR was confirmed on Friday, July 9.

CLR was first detected in the state in Oct. 2020 on Hawaii island and Maui, then on Oahu and Lanai in Jan. 2021. Since then, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture approved an interim administrative rule to restrict moving coffee plants, plant parts and other CLR hosts from infected islands.

Now that CLR has been detected statewide, HDOA is reassessing these restrictions, which will remain in place until further action is taken in Nov. 2021.

Click here for more information on coffee leaf rust.