Coffee Rust Threatens Latin American Crop; 150 Years Ago, It Wiped Out An Empire

Leaves infected with coffee rust on Finca El Valle, outside Antigua, Guatemala.

The fungus, which has no cure, is destroying harvests in Latin America. In the 1800s, it devastated Sri Lanka’s powerhouse coffee industry. And scientists say it’s only a question of time.

(Image credit: Jeff Koehler for NPR)