July 29, 2014
A tiny beetle is threatening coffee growers in Hawaii's Kona region.
More than 600 farmers on the west side of Hawaii's Big Island are preparing to coat their fields with a suffocating fungus and are taking other measures.
They're confident they can limit the damage, while acknowledging they face a long fight against a beetle that will almost certainly reduce harvests and force costly chemical treatments.
The beetle is native to Africa but has spread to most coffee-growing areas in the world. It bores into the coffee bean and lays eggs, ruining the bean.
Grower Tommy Greenwell says about 25 percent of farms in the Kona region are infected. Farmers have lost roughly 2 percent of the crop this year.
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