How do you avoid coffee rust, avoid chemicals and maintain or increase production? Easy answer: planting Castillo coffee. Twitter conversation going on right now with Tim Wendelboe and Colombian coffee exporters Virmax.

@timwendelboe’s opening tweet:

“Farmers in Nariño plant castillo because they have to. The Caturra trees die from leaf rust. So they are left with no choice.”

Virmax’s Giancarlo Ghiretti @gghiretti tweets back:

Farmers do have choices. They can properly fertilize and spray fungicides at the right time. Just look at Kenyan farmers.

Tim Wendelboe responds:

Yes, but at a lot of farms I have been it is not the case. Depends on climate and biodiversity. I don’t believe that spraying chemicals on trees is a sustainable solution. We need to learn from our history.

Virmax’s Alejandro Cadena @cadenacafe then posts a series of tweets:

Not true. I can show you many farms in Colombia with Caturra that are producing great cofffee & making good money. What happens is that most Colombian growers don’t properly manage their farms. Prevention & control is the key. Just look at Kenya, where they have leaf rust AND CBD & produce great coffee with susceptible varieties like SL28. Castillo is highly productive but also a highly demanding tree in terms of chemical inputs. Is that sustainable?

It’s all very interesting, happening right now, ultimately hard to follow in on Twitter, but follow what you can here!