Two years ago, we discovered we had the coffee borer beetle on our property. It was disappointing to say the least. We have three different areas where we grow our coffee, and one area was way more affected than the other two areas, although all the areas certainly had it. We debated on the best course of action. There is an organic fungus you can use to spread over the plants that helps reduce the numbers. When kept in check, it can really help the amount of viable beans a farm can produce. One has to also be very vigilant about taking care of and disposing of exposed beans. By the time we realized our problem, a lot of beans were affected. We decided after much consideration, to chop all the trees down and start from scratch. We have about 50 trees, and while a lot for us, it is small when compared to most farms. The life cycle of a female beetle can be up to 190, so figuring if we got rid of all the trees, and waited a year, we should be good for restarting. All of the trees with the exception of two, grew back large and green and healthy. We have lots of beans on them, and will manage the beetle from the very start, which should greatly help our actual coffee bean yield. We have also started a new area in the pasture. Those trees won’t be ready for a few more years, but we would like to have more trees, which will end up being quite the hobby in our retirement. (Retirement is still quite a few years away just in case you’re wondering.). So this year, we hope to have a nice yield of coffee. I’m excited. Our coffee is really tasty, and while I may be slightly biased, we’ve heard from others it is quite good as well.
The coffee borer beetle is in Hamakua. It’s not going anywhere, so we are going to be more vigilant about managing it than ever before. It’s a bit of a bummer, to say the least, but we really enjoy the coffee we grow, and it is a fact of life at this point.