The Food Provider ~ March | April | May 2014

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In This Issue


Aloha Kākou

Aloha Kākou, welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The mission of HānaiʻAi is to provide a venue for dissemination of science-based information to serve all of Hawaii's farming community in our quest for agricultural sustainability.

It takes a community to make agriculture thrive. From crowd sourcing to seeking community involvement in submitting digital pictures to safeguard the Kamehameha butterfly...Yes, you can make an impact in safeguarding and expanding Hawaii's valuable agriculture industry. In this issue we highlight the ways community can support local agriculture.

Our featured farm, Ali'i Kula Lavender, has been a leader and innovator in agritourism, actively engaging visitors and kama'aina alike. In this issue we also feature great research on plant and soil health by CTAHR research and extension personnel. Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter as well, which features Publications & Programs, upcoming Workshops, Conferences and Meetings, and the Organic Update.  Stay up to date with our weekly SOAP activities via our twitter feed at: https://twitter.com/SOAPHawaii

Campaign for roof project

We need your help! Limited resources are pushing CTAHR to be more creative in how it goes about funding it's much needed educational and research programs that benefits everyone from kama'aina to commercial agriculturalists and conservationalists. That’s why we have put up a campaign on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise money so they can raise the roof! And now they need supporters in CTAHR to raise some buzz about the campaign. Know anyone who wants to donate (even a few dollars) to a worthy cause? Point them in the direction of Waimanalo! There’s a little more than a month left on the campaign, plenty of time to get some shelter on the pavilion.

Featured Farmer: Koa Chang
Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm, Kula, Maui

Ali'i Kula Lavender

Area under production: 13.5 acres, at 4,000 ft. elevation

Years farming in Hawaiʻi: 11 years

Crops grown, products/services: Lavender (Approximately 55,000 plant and 45 varieties) as the main crop, and recently, started to increase diversity on the farm to include: citrus trees, apple, plus about 10 more native plants, such as ōʻhia lehua, hibiscus, cane, taro.

Fertility Management: The farm depends on mixed management fertility, it depends on each batch/location of the farm needs and growth stage. In the recent years, the farm has been relying more on organic fertilizers and recycling (composting using Bokashi) and producing our own vermicompost.

Pest management: Mainly neem-based pesticides to control pests and it's been working very well for the plants.

Read the full article here.

Hot Tip from Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm

Koa Chang, Ali'i Kula Lavender

Utilize value-addition, agritourism and species diversity to improve revenue stability for your operation.

Mahalo nui loa to Koa Chang for this interview and photos.

Sustainable & Organic Research and Outreach News

Ti Leaf Diseases in Hawaii’s Commercial Orchards

Ti leaf with fungus

M. Kawate, J. Uchida, J. Coughlin, M. Melzer, C. Kadooka, J. Kam, J. Sugano, and S. Fukuda, UH CTAHR PEPS

Ti leaf (Cordyline sp.) also known locally as Kī is an important agricultural crop to Hawaii. Laboratory and field trials which evaluated promising crop protection chemicals for possible minor crop fungicide registrations have been completed with the assistance of CTAHR’s IR-4 Minor Crop Pesticide Registration Program. Read here.

FMI: Michael K Kawate, email: mike@hpirs.stjohn.hawaii.edu

Soil Solarization as a non-chemical preemergent weed control tool on Oahu

Soil solarization

Josiah Marquez, UH-CTAHR TPSS, and Koon-Hui Wang UH-CTAHR PEPS

Soil solarization is a non-chemical soil treatment that utilizes solar radiation and a thin film of transparent mulch to heat the soil for soil pasteurization. Soil solarization has been studied as an alternative to chemical soil fumigant and as a pre-emergent control for weed seeds in the ground. This article discusses certain challenges of using solarization in the humid tropics and methods to overcome these obstacles. Read here.

FMI: Josiah Marquez, email: josiahma@hawaii.edu and Koon-Hui Wang, email: koonhui@hawaii.edu

Rhizosphere Inoculum and Amendment

Soil inoculant

Koon-Hui Wang, CTAHR PEPS

The frequent use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides has lead to disruption of soil health, which often goes unnoticed. New generations of farmers are seeking profitable organic food crop production. Prohibitively high costs of organic fertilizers in Hawaii are providing incentive for farmers to utilize beneficial microorganisms to improve plant health. Many organic farmers are well aware of the benefits of beneficial soil microorganisms for farming. This handout introduces several approaches to invigorate soil microbial activities in agroecosystems to manage root health for profitable fertility and some soil-born stress or disease management. View handout here.

FMI: Dr. Koon-Hui Wang, email: koonhui@hawaii.edu

New Improvements on Coffee Berry Borer Management

CBB Infested coffee chaery

Andrea Kawabata and Stuart T. Nakamoto

Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) has the ability to decimate a coffee crop if left unmanaged. Proper control involves using an integrated pest management (IPM) approach where field sanitation, monitoring, spraying and timely harvests are of utmost importance. Learn about some important and updated CBB recommendations and tips from the 2014 CBB IPM Summit. Read here.

FMI: Andrea Kawabata, email: andreak@hawaii.edu

Producing High Nitrogen Liquid Fertilizer for Fertigation Purposes


Amjad A. Ahmad, Theodore J.K. Radovich, Nguyen V. Hue, and Alton Arakaki

Replacing imported fertilizers with local resources is the highest research and education priority identified by stakeholders throughout the Pacific. The production of locally derived nutrient solutions for fertigation will keep local farmers competitive, reduce water-use and loss, and protect the environment by reducing chemical use. The main objective of this study was to produce high nitrogen soluble fertilizer  for fertigation purposes using local organic materials. The lab results showed that locally produced tankage is potentially good, extractable sources of nitrogen. Incubation time, temperature, covering, and addition of vermicompost enhanced nitrogen release. Read here.

FMI: Amjad Ahmad, email: alobady@hawaii.edu

Performance of cool season cover crop in Lalamilo, Waimea, HI, Winter 2013-2014

Vetch flower: Vicia villosa

Archana Pant, Theodore J.K. Radovich, Koon Hui Wang, N.V. Hue, Marla Fergestrom, Randall Hamasaki, Matthew Wung, Cynthia Stiles and Chris Robb

Cover crops are the backbone of sustainable cropping systems as they can prevent soil erosion, reduce nutrient leaching, add organic matter, improve soil health, fix nitrogen, suppress weeds and reduce insect pests and diseases. This project focused on evaluating performance of different species of cool season cover crops at high elevation growing condition in Hawaii. Read here.

FMI: Archana Pant, email: apant@hawaii.edu

Honeybee diet: individual forager decisions and colony health correlates

UH Honeybee Project logo

Ethel Villalobos and Zhening Zhang

The effect of malnutrition on the health of social bees has been the focus of many recent studies. The UH Honeybee Project has begun to look at what plants bees are utilizing in Hawaii by sampling the pollen being brought to the hive by the bees themselves. Read here.

FMI: Ethel Villalobos, email: emv@hawaii.edu

Citizen Science Opportunities

Pic a Papaya app logo

Citizen Scientists can help CTAHR Researchers Scot Nelson and Richard Manshardt "Pic-a-Papaya" by helping us survey papaya plant populations in the Honolulu area for papaya ringspot disease (PRSV) and for plants with genetically engineered resistance to PRSV.

Download and use the free Pic-a-Papaya app for smartphones to snap pics of papaya plants and send them to Drs. Nelson and Manshardt for diagnosis of PRSV. Each plant will be assessed a value of healthy or diseased and its GPS coordinates mapped to a location in Hawaii. Users of the app can view the map to see the distribution of infected plants

Cucurbits are members of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) which includes popular crops such as cucumber, pumpkin, squash, melon and watermelon. Our lab needs to collect diseased samples from across the state of Hawaii to advance our research on this disease. This article explains downy mildew symptoms (plus photos) and gives instructions on how to participate in this research should you suspect downy mildew on your curcubits. Read more here.

The Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea) is endemic to Hawaiʻi, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. Although the butterfly is historically known from all the main Hawaiian Islands, it is no longer found in some areas where it used to be common (e.g. Tantalus on Oʻahu), and it appears to be declining. The Pulelehua Project is an effort to map current populations of the Kamehameha butterfly using observations submitted by the public, combined with surveys of remote areas by scientists.

We need your help! We are calling upon anyone who sees a Kamehameha butterfly, caterpillar, egg, or chrysalis to submit their photos and observations. Your data will be used to map the current distribution of the Kamehameha butterfly, and help determine how and why it has declined. You can also use this site to learn more about how to find and identify the different life stages and host plants of the Kamehameha butterfly.

Publications & Programs

Alahee flower


Natural Farming:

Expanding Tree Diversity in Hawai'i’s Landscapes:

Growing Grapes in Hawai'i

Sugarcane Crosses as Potential Forages for Ruminants: Phase I – Selection Criteria

Biotech in Focus (from the Biotechnology Outreach Program, CTAHR)

On-Farm Renewable Energy and Sustainable Local Food Production: A Case Study (from the Center on the Family, CTAHR)

From the Agribusiness Incubator

AIP logo

Business Structure and Registration:
Determine the form of ownership that best suits your business venture

Many factors must be considered when choosing the best form of business ownership or structure. The choice you make can have an impact on multiple aspects of your business, including taxes, liability, ownership succession, and others. This document is an overview of the various forms of business ownership including sole proprietorship, partnering, corporations, and limited liability companies.  It includes excerpts from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Program Office guide on business structure. Read here.

FMI: Steve Chiang, email: schiang@hawaii.edu

Organic Update

At the behest of leading members of Hawai‘i’s organic industry, The Kohala Center applied for USDA Specialty Crops Block Development Grant funding, through the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, to conduct a Hawai‘i Organic Industry Analysis and generate a final report. The objective of the proposed project was to (1) conduct a needs assessment and study by soliciting stakeholder input and synthesizing of archival data, and (2) recommend ways to implement an economically self-sustaining organic program. The final report may be found here.

For New Farmers

Molokai Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmer Program  logo

Workshops | Conferences | Meetings

With a grant from Maui County Office of Economic Development, the Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU)-Maui Chapter launches it's On-Farm Mentoring Project with a Pau Hana at UH-Maui College. Featuring: HFUU-Maui Chapter President, Bill Greenleaf and Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) President, Vincent Mina, Alika Atay, and Richard Apana (3 Certified Instructors in Korean Natural Farming)

Online registration is now available for a weeklong series of educational events for school garden educators, teachers, and others passionate about improving student wellness, cognitive development, and engaging deeper learning. Taking place June 7–12 in Waimea on Hawai‘i Island, the four professional development events focus on the effectiveness of school gardens as an instructional strategy for both nutritional education and hands-on learning in core subject areas. Read here.


by Alan Titchenal & Joannie Dobbs
(Honolulu Star Advertiser article 4/08/2014)

The fall, winter and spring issues of Hawaii Bee are available with articles on:

FMI or to receive the quarterly newsletter, contact Dr. Danielle Downey, email: ddowney@hawaii.edu

Videos & Webinars

Calibrating a motorized back-pack mist sprayer properly is an important step in applying crop-protection chemicals to a targeted crop within the recommended label rate. This video covers a modified 1/128th method of calibrating a motorized back-pack mist sprayer, a fast, easy way to compute the gallon-per-acre rate (GPA).

Presentations (video and .pdf) now available.

Funding Opportunities


The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications will be accepted from the Pacific Islands Area including: Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Complete details regarding this announcement for CIG funding opportunity can be found on the following web sites:

The 2015 Calls for Proposals have been posted!
View them all at: http://www.westernsare.org/Grants/Types-of-Grants

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program WSARE

Utah State University and the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE) are proud to announce the selection of as the program’s new regional director. Dr. Roper will assume his duties on July 1, 2014. The current director, Dr. V. Philip Rasmussen, will retire after 20 years with Western SARE on June 30, 2014. Read more here.

Since 1988, the WSARE program has been supporting agricultural profitability, environmental integrity and community strength through grants that enable cutting-edge research and education to open windows on sustainability across the West, including Hawai'i. The goals of WSARE are:

For more information, please see: http://www.westernsare.org/ or contact Hawai'i WSARE co-coordinators Dr. Ted Radovich (theodore@hawaii.edu) and Jari Sugano (suganoj@ctahr.hawaii.edu). 

This e-publication has been prepared by CTAHR research scientists and extension staff to deliver science-based information about sustainable and organic production systems to serve Hawaii's farming community.

Mahalo nui loa,

Jari Sugano and Dr. Ted Radovich
Jody Smith, e-Extension Manager
Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program
Cooperative Extension Service
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources