Coffee's plague starts with yellow spots and what look like burn marks. They form on the leaves of the coffee plant, causing the foliage to wither until the tree resembles a skeleton. It stops bean-producing cherries from growing. This is coffee rust or roya, caused by the hemileia vastatrix fungus. For two years it has been ravaging Central America and the Caribbean. Arabica plants - used for espresso and filter coffee - are particularly vulnerable. Arabica accounts for almost all production in the worst affected countries of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Panama.

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