Hawaii Department of Agriculture Requests EPA Exemption to Help Hawaii Coffee Farmers Manage Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR)

Hawaii Department of Agriculture


Announcement: March 16, 2021



The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA), on March 16, 2021, filed a request for a specific exemption from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow Hawai`i coffee growers to use a fungicide to help manage coffee leaf rust (CLR), a fungus which is a serious threat to Hawai`i’s $56 million coffee industry. On March 3rd, Gov. David Ige delegated the authority to submit the EPA emergency application to Hawai`i Board of Agriculture (Board) chairperson, Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser.


Later this month, the Board is also expected to consider expanding the CLR-infested areas designated in Interim Rule 20-1, regarding coffee quarantine measures that restricted the movement of coffee plants and plant parts and other CLR hosts from Maui and Hawai`i Island, to include Lana`i, and O`ahu. These actions are being taken due to CLR detections on Maui and Hawai`i Island in October 2020, and more recently on Lana`i and O`ahu.


The fungicide, Priaxor Xemium, is not labeled by the EPA for specific use on coffee plants, but it is allowed for use to control fungi on leafy vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, soybeans, wheat and many other crops. The manufacturer of the fungicide notified HDOA last week that they support the review by EPA on the use of the product on coffee plants. Any use of Priaxor Xemium would not be allowable until EPA reviews and approves the application which could take up to 45 days. If the exemption is approved, the fungicide may be used for up to one year or until use on coffee plants is added to the product label by EPA and the product’s producer.



Suspected CLR infestations should be reported to HDOA’s Plant Pest Control Branch at (808) 973-9525.



Click Here for the Full Announcement: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/nr21-07-requesttoepa-clr/



For More Resources on Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR)

The image above was extracted from the University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resource's Cooperative Extension publication "Spraying to Suppress Coffee Leaf Rust (Hemileia vastatrix) in Hawaii".


-Coffee Education Website: https://www.hawaiicoffeeed.com


-Hawaii Department of Agriculture Coffee Rust Advisory (PDF): https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2021/01/NPA-20-03-Coffee-leaf-rust1-21.pdf


For more information about Priaxor Xemium use under the EPA exemption, please contact your local Pesticides Branch office at:


Kauai: 808-241-7140

Oahu: 808-973-9402

Maui County: 808-873-3078

Hawaii: 808-974-4143

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