Weather and Climate Indicators for Coffee Rust Disease
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Coffee rust is a disease that has significant impacts on the livelihoods of those who are dependent on the Central American coffee sector. Our investigation has focussed on the weather and climate indicators that favoured the high incidence of coffee rust disease in Central America in 2012 by assessing daily temperature and precipitation data available from 81 weather stations in the INSIVUMEH and ANACAFE networks located in Guatemala. The temperature data were interpolated to determine the corresponding daily data at 1250 farms located across Guatemala, between 400 and 1800 m elevation. Additionally, CHIRPS five day (pentad) data has been used to assess the anomalies between the 2012 and the climatological average precipitation data at farm locations.
The weather conditions in 2012 displayed considerable variations from the climatological data. In general the minimum daily temperatures were higher than the corresponding climatology while the maximum temperatures were lower. As a result, the daily diurnal temperature range was generally lower than the corresponding climatological range, leading to an increased number of days where the temperatures fell within the optimal range for either influencing the susceptibility of the coffee plants to coffee rust development during the dry season, or for the development of lesions on the coffee leaves during the wet season. The coffee rust latency period was probably shortened as a result, and farms at high altitudes were impacted due to these increases in minimum temperature. Factors taken into consideration in developing indicators for coffee rust development include: the diurnal temperature range, altitude, the environmental lapse rate and the phenology.
We will present the results of our study and discuss the potential for each of the derived weather and climatological indicators to be used within risk assessments and to eventually be considered for use within an early warning system for coffee rust disease.