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Coffee berry borer quarantine expanded to Maui

Updated: 
March 16, 2017 - 7:59am

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture on Tuesday expanded the coffee berry borer quarantine to Maui, effective May 1, 2017.

The quarantine, which has been in effect on Hawaii Island and Oahu, restricts the interisland movement of coffee and other CBB hosts and requires treatment and other quarantine protocols. Although recent detections of CBB were located in Hana and Kipahulu, the board decided that an islandwide quarantine was necessary to prevent the further spread of CBB in the state.

CBB was first detected in the state in September 2010 in Kona and in Ka’u in May 2011. In December 2014, it was discovered on Oahu and in December 2016 was found on Maui. So far, CBB has not been detected on Kauai, Molokai and Lanai, according to the department.

The small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Since its detection in Kona, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop.

CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America. It is still unknown how CBB made its way to Hawaii Island and how it arrived on Oahu and Maui.

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