In the ongoing fight against leaf rust, a young Tennessee company says it fast-tracked development of a nontoxic, organic fungicide, with preliminary testing on the ground in Guatemala yielding positive results.
GroGenesis, a publicly traded company based in Springville, says farms at multiple large, private plantations treated with the as-yet-unnamed product saw new spores on affected plants greatly reduced or eliminated. The primary field test was conducted at a plantation located in the department of Santa Rosa, just southeast of Guatemala City, and the company says visible degradation of the fungus was noticed within 24 hours.
Guatemala has been one of the countries hardest hit by the Central American leaf rust, with more than half the country’s collective crop affected estimated to be affected last year.
GroGenesis is new to the coffee game. The company’s signature product is a plant enhancer called Agraburst, which is produced from plant extracts and is free of hormones, heavy metals, pesticides or carcinogens. GroGenesis says says the leaf rust fungicide is nontoxic, safe for humans, suitable for organic farming and free of metals like copper, which are found in other traditional leaf-rust-fighting fungicides and can over time contaminate the soil.
The company is working with Guatemalan coffee agency ANACAFE to help further develop the product for coffee crop applications.
In a company announcement today, GroGenesis CEO Joseph Fewer said, “Preliminary talks have begun with ANACAFE and the Ministry of Agriculture towards the possibility of a regulated and formal large area demonstration in future.”