Lincoln-Based Coffee Company Fights ‘Rust Disease’ with New Trees

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LINCOLN--

A Lincoln-based coffee roaster is fighting "roya," or coffee rust disease, by donating new trees to growers.

San Francisco Bay Coffee, owned by the Rogers Family Company in Lincoln, has donated more than a million trees to coffee growers in Central America. The company plans to donate 2.5 million in 2016.

Roya is a fungus that is very common in areas where coffee is grown. It causes leaves to have a rust-like discoloration and will ultimately kill trees, greatly affecting a farmer's coffee yield.

Company President Jon Rogers says, while replacing coffee trees with "rust-resistant" trees is a slow and expensive process, the plan helps the coffee industry in the long run.

Guatemala declared a state of emergency in 2013 because of Roya devastation.