Colombia\'s main coffee harvest in late 2011, the first of the 2011/12 (Oct/Sep) coffee season, may be hit by heavy rains early next year as growers fear plantations will not have enough sun for flowering after a lower-than-expected recovery so far. The country\'s state-run weather office (IDEAM) predicted that the La Nina will worsen towards the end of this year and that torrential rains will last until March-May 2011.
Rains in the top coffee producing area known as Eje Cafetero are estimated to be 30% to 50% above the average in November to January, which would mean that there will not be enough sunlight for flowering of the first 2011/12 harvest, which takes place at the time.
Private exporters also said that rains could spoil the second harvest of the 2010/11 season, which Colombia harvests from April to June in the provinces of Narino, Cauca, Huila and Tolima. Precipitation could also hamper fertilisation in late January and early February by washing away fertilisers, growers said.