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The Rise of Coffee - Fernando E. Vega

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  • The Rise of Coffee - Fernando E. Vega

    I was forwarded the attached article (which was originally published in American Scientist 2008) by the author Fernando E. Vega

    Its only a couple of pages long but is full of well researched gems and is a great read.



  • #2
    Re: The Rise of Coffee - Fernando E. Vega

    Dr Vega works for the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and is currently working on the world wide problems with the coffee berry borer (hypothenemus hampei).

    If you dont know Hypothenemus hampei, check your organic coffee for "worm holes"... they are pretty easy to find.

    The below link is to 60 odd published articles. One that caught my attention was about the predatory thrips (Karnyothrips flavipes) that enter the coffee cherry via the borers hole and eat the larvae of the coffee cherry borer but not the fruit. That could be an exciting biological solution to a big industry problem.

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/docs.htm?docid=19432

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    • #3
      Re: The Rise of Coffee - Fernando E. Vega

      Originally posted by 0A252F324B0 link=1316762360/1#1 date=1316762406
      That could be an exciting biological solution to a big industry problem.
      Or a Cane Toad

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      • #4
        Re: The Rise of Coffee - Fernando E. Vega

        Originally posted by 7F505A473E0 link=1316762360/1#1 date=1316762406
        That could be an exciting biological solution to a big industry problem.
        Havent read the article yet so my apologies if this is covered.... first thoughts that sprang to mind were crown of thorns starfish and cane toads. I hope the industry has learnt a big lesson from those two introduced species.

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        • #5
          Re: The Rise of Coffee - Fernando E. Vega

          Originally posted by 67464D4D4A50230 link=1316762360/3#3 date=1316763306
          crown of thorns starfish and cane toads
          double snap.

          Yes, crossed my mind too but after reading the articles you can see they are talking about monitoring crops where the thrips already exist... not posting them to anyone with a coffee tree.

          Have a read, most are single pages, referenced and very well written.

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          • #6
            Re: The Rise of Coffee - Fernando E. Vega

            The piece from American Scientist is a good little read, Andy. Its inspired me to reread "Black Gold: A Dark History Of Coffee"
            by Antony Wild, this book fills out the full story ( according to....... )
            of coffee and how it spread around the world.
            The botanical drawings of coffea arabica are awesome!
            Predatory thrips sound like a good thing. Ive spent twenty years growing grapes and have seen the quantum shift away from chemicals to a more biological approach to pest control. I dont use pesticides but harness natural agents that are readily available on the market.
            It is now possible to release populations of predatory mites, wasps,
            lady birds and micro organisms that are all part of the normal vineyard enviroment. Populations of specific predators have suffered and been depleted over many years of pesticides use killing their prey, leading to even more reliance on chemicals. The predators which do not adapt to other prey are the ones of interest as they find a balance in the vineyard ecosystem and dont march en masse over the road to the neighbours bush block.
            And if I cant have predatory thrips in my coffee then give me borer holes anytime!!

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