The Food Provider ~ March | April | May 2015
In This Issue
- Featured Farmer: Fung Yang, Small Kine Farm
- HOT TIP from Small Kine Farm
- Sustainable & Organic Research & Outreach News
- Publications and Programs
- CRATE: Center for Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship
- From the Agribusiness Incubator
- Organic Update
- For New Farmers
- Workshops | Conferences | Meetings
- Videos & Webinars
- FMI / FYI
- Funding Opportunities
- Westerm SARE
Welcome to the Spring 2015 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
In this issue we continue to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soils with original CTAHR research on the nutrient retention capacity of biochar (charcoal based soil amendment), increased availability of local fertilizer resources, verification of rapid, in field nutrient sap meters and the preservation of wild pollinators.
Our featured farmer this issue comes from the windward side of Oahu. Mr. Fung Yang has been commercially producing certified organic edible mushrooms for 5 years. He shares with our readers how he maximizes under-utilized green waste to cultivate certified organic Portabella and Crimini mushrooms.
Jump over to our funding sources section and you will find RFP’s for WSARE’s 2016 sustainable agriculture grant programs and its list of 2015 awardees. 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. We highly encourage you to apply.
We hope you find this issue of HānaiʻAi useful, and welcome your input.
- Area under production: 9000 square feet, a small footprint, high efficiency, zero-waste and technology driven farm.
- Years farming in Hawaiʻi: 5 years
- Crops Grown: USDA Certified Organic Mushrooms
- Number of Employees: 3 full time employees
- Production System: We compost under-utilized green waste to grow certified organic Portabella and Crimini mushrooms. The only by-product of our food production process is pathogen-free, weed free, chemical-free, nutritious organic plant fertilizer.
- Run it like business not a hobby, unless it is a hobby.
Small Kine Farm: http://www.smallkinefarm.com/
Mahalo nui loa to Fung Yang for this interview and photos.
Additional photos by Ted Radovich.
Pollinator Habitat Guide Available Online
Jolene Lau, NRCS Public Affairs Specialist
In October 2014, the American Samoa Community College was awarded a NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant to install demonstration sites and development a vegetation guide for pollinator conservation practices in American Samoa. In partnership with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the American Samoa Community College worked with the NRCS Plant Materials Center in Hoʻolehua and other agencies to proudly provide, “Habitat Planting for Pollinators.” This technical note provides guidance on protecting, designing, and installing habitat for pollinators on or near farms. Read here.
FMI: Jolene Lau, email: Jolene.Lau@hi.usda.gov
Nutrient retention capacity of biochar
Arnoldus Klau Berek and Nguyen V. Hue
Highly weathered soils, mainly Oxisols and Ultisols, in the tropics, including those in Hawaii, are poor in nutrients due to leaching and therefore hardly support good crop growth. Biochar reportedly has a great capacity to retain nutrients due to its numerous small pores and large surface area/charge. Our research showed that nutrients from compost when mixed with biochar added to a Hawaiian Ultisol (Leilehua series) and an Oxisol (Wahiawa series) were retained longer and became more efficient, enhancing Chinese cabbage (pak choi) growth, especially in the Ultisol. Read here.
Unravelling the Mysteries of Francisellosis and Developing Strategies for Prevention and Mitigation in Cultured Tilapia
RuthEllen Klinger-Bowen, Clyde Tamaru, and Kathleen McGovern-Hopkins, UH-CTAHR
Esteban Soto, Dept of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ross University, St. Kitts, West Indies
With the increased interest in backyard and commercial aquaponics, stakeholders have become increasingly aware of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis (syn. F. asiatica) or Fno and the necessary biosecurity measures to become Fno-free. This CTSA funded research on Fno became one of the ten most cited articles in the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health in 2013-2014 (Soto, et.al, 2013). The distribution of the Fno pathogen that plagues cultured tilapia on Oahu can possibly be brought under control. Read here.
Comparison of potassium (K+) status in pak choi (Brassica rapa Chinensis group) using rapid cardy meter sap test and ICP spectrometry
Chandrappa Gangaiah, Amjad A. Ahmad, Hue V. Nguyen, and Theodore J.K. Radovich, UH-CTAHR TPSS
Nutritional status of vegetable crops is often monitored by analysis of dried plant tissues, which is costly and often takes time. To avoid this time delay and cost, two greenhouse trials were conducted, at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Magoon facilities, to examine the use of a portable cardy meter (CM) in determining K concentrations in fresh petiole sap of pakchoi (Brassica rapa, Chinensis group) then compared with dry tissue analyzed using a standard laboratory method. The results suggest that the cardy ion meter could be used for rapid monitoring of relative K status of plants. Read here.
BACK IN PRINT
Beneficial Insect Flashcard Sets
AVAILABLE April 2015: Beneficial Insect Flashcard sets can be purchased for $10 from your local Master Gardener Office.
- Click HERE to find the Master Gardener's Office nearest to you.
- Free download available at: http://go.hawaii.edu/6g
NEW from CTAHR
- Recommendations for Coffee Berry Borer Integrated Pest Management in Hawai‘i 2015
- Taro: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines
- Hawai‘i Landscape Plant Pest Guide: Plant Diseases
- Ginger: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines
- Sugarcane Pieces: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines
- Ung Choi: Postharvest Quality-Maintenance Guidelines
- Growing Blueberries for Home Production in Hawaii
- Microbial Population in Fermented Cooked Taro Skins
In this column, the CRATE team will publish recent project activities that will help local farmers to explore competitive and economically viable organic crop production methods.
Hot Water Treatment as Potential Control of Mites and Scales on Tea Plants
Megan Manley and Koon-Hui Wang, UH-CTAHR
Two field trials were conducted to determine if hot water treatment by foliar spray could be an effective non-chemical approach to mitigate spider mites (Tetranychus urticae), red mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) and scale insect (Coccoidea) infestation on tea plants (Camellia sinensis). A portable water heater was used to deliver hot water, averaging 47°C, on 3-year old ‘Yutaka Midori’, ‘Yabukita’, and ‘Bohea‘ tea plants naturally infested with mites and scales. Plants were sprayed weekly over a 9-weeks period. Hot water spray reduced mites and scales several times during the first 5 weeks in Trial I (P < 0.10), but not thereafter. In Trial II, hot water treatment only reduced scales on week 4 and 5 (P < 0.01) but not mites. Despite nonpersistent effect, hot water treatment could be integrated into a non-chemical IPM program to mitigate foliar arthropod pests for tea production in tropical climates. View poster here.
Borrowing Money for Your Business
As a businessperson who wants to be successful, you are probably looking for opportunities to improve and/or expand your business. Often times, however, you do not have enough of your own money to pay for new equipment, buy (more) land, or hire the new marketing manager that you desire. At times like these, you might want to find organizations that will lend you the money that you need. Read here.
FMI: Steve Chiang, email: email@example.com
- Tuesday, May 19, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
- Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teaching-organic-farming-and-gardening-webinar-tickets-16667455809
- Teaching Organic Farming & Gardening: Resources for Instructors
- Teaching Direct Marketing and Small Farm Viability: Resources for Instructors
Dole's March Organic Pineapple promotion contributed $1 to the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) for every box of DOLE® Organic pineapples sold in the U.S. and Canada from March 1-31, raising $6,000 for organic farming research. Link to the OFRF Spring newsletter here.
- February 2015: Empowerment
- March 2015: Know your History, Know your Water! Part 1
- April 2015: Know your History, Know your Water! Part 2
- June 12–13, Maui
- June 20–21, Kona, Hawai’i Island
- June 27–28, O’ahu
Topics include (agendas are set for each workshop based on speaker availability): Important traditional Pacific island crops and agroforestry systems, Soil fertility maintenance using locally available resources, Pest and disease prevention strategies, Food forestry for home and commercial use, Small-scale enterprise development and value-added processing based on perennial food plants, Hawaiian cultural perspective on Pacific Island agroforestry systems, Strategies for converting to agroforestry systems, Fruit and nut trees for environmental services such as shade, windbreak, erosion control, and noise barriers, their use and maintenance; NRCS practice standards that support their use, Integrating livestock and poultr, Perennial alternatives to annual crops, Advice and techniques for landscapers, Local experiences in agroforestry system implementation.
- Read the full announcement here.
- For More information: For more information about the workshops and companion book, visit www.agroforest.info.
- August 3-6, 2015
- University of Hawaii at Hilo
Examples of Recent Webinars: http://www.conservationwebinars.net/previous-webinars
- Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Biodiversity
- The Relevance of Soil Biology in Assessing Fertility and Soil Health
- Cornell Soil Health Assessment: A Diagnostic Approach for Evaluating and Managing Soil Health
- Reduced Tillage in Organic Specialty Crop Systems
- Cover Crop Economics Decision Support Tool
- Conservation Biological Control: Habitat Management to Control Pests
- Invasive Plant Best Management Practices
- Urban Forestry Webinar Series: Green Infrastructure
- Urban Forestry Webinar Series: Urban Interface Planning
Many of you have been anxiously awaiting and we are pleased to announce that a permanent Director has been named. Previously the Nevada State Conservationist, Bruce Petersen was selected by Chief Jason Weller to serve as the Director for the Pacific Islands Area. Read here.
Voluntary, incentive-based efforts will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand renewable energy production, help producers boost their operations and grow the economy. Read here.
Long-term research by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists has documented the capacity for farmland in the San Joaquin Valley managed with conservation practices to sequester carbon, results that could give farmers a seat at the carbon trading table. The study was published this month in the Agronomy Journal.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) unveiled a new conservation activity in select states and territories to address feral swine management. An ongoing concern in the islands, Hawaii and Guam joins Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi in a pilot effort to reduce adverse impacts of feral swine on our natural resources and on livestock and human health and safety. View announcement here.
The 2016 Calls for Proposals for four Western SARE grant programs have been released. Descriptions of each program and links to the full Call can be found at westernsare.org/Grants/Types-of-Grants.
- involve scientists, producers, and others using interdisciplinary approaches to address issues related to sustaining agriculture. Pre-proposals are due 1 pm MDT June 3, 2015. Following scrutiny by a technical review panel, presenters of the best pre-proposals will be asked to submit full proposals, due in November 2015 with notification in March 2016.
focus on training agricultural professionals to help them spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture concepts and practices. Proposals are due noon MDT, October 28, 2015 with notification in March 2016.
are conducted by agricultural producers with support and guidance from a technical advisor. Producers typically use their grants to conduct on-site experiments with results that can be shared with other producers. Multiple farmers or associations may qualify for a higher level of funding. Proposals are due 1 pm MDT, December 2, 2015 with notification in March 2016.
- are similar in concept to the Farmer/Rancher Grants with a few key differences. Instead of a producer serving as the project coordinator, an agricultural professional coordinates the project. Farmers or ranchers serve as project advisors. Proposals are due 1 pm MDT, December 2, 2015 with notification in March 2016.
- WSARE Accepting Nominations for Western Sustainability Pioneer Award
- What projects has WSARE funded in Hawaii in 2015
- Sustainable Livestock Grazing Management Factsheet available
- Spring 2015 Simply Sustainable
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:
- Promote good stewardship of our natural resources.
- Enhance the quality of life of farmers and ranchers and ensure the viability of rural communities.
- Protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems.
- Promote crop, livestock and enterprise diversification.
- Examine the regional, economic, social and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems.
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.
- To continue receiving this newsletter, please confirm your interest by subscribing or updating your profile/email address.
- If this publication has been valuable, please forward it to others.
- Send in your suggestions for what you want to read about in our articles.
- Tell us about your research needs.
Mahalo nui loa,