The Food Provider ~ June | July | August 2015

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In This Issue


Aloha Kākou

Welcome to the Summer 2015 issue of HānaiʻAi, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

One of the great things about summer is locally grown fruit. In Hawaiʻi that means mangoes, lychee, banana, papaya, and many others. In this special summer fruit issue, we feature Makaha Mangoes, the upcoming Hawaiʻi Tropical Fruit Growers Conference, and proudly introduce two new faculty members with research interest in sustainable fruit production.

Alyssa Cho
Assistant Researcher in Sustainable Farming Systems, Tropical Fruit and Nut Production
Noa Kekuewa Lincoln Noa Kekuewa Lincoln
Assistant Researcher in Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems

Summer 2015 is also the Summer of Soil! In this issue we feature CTAHR cover crop and compost research and two articles on soil health from our friends at NRCS.

Other great features in this issue include:

We hope you find this issue of HānaiʻAi useful, and welcome your input.

Featured Farmer: Mark Suiso
Makaha Mangoes, Mākaha, Oʻahu

Makaha Mangoes

Read the full article here.

Hot Tips from Makaha Mangoes

Makaha Mangoes logo

Mahalo nui loa to Mark Suiso for this interview and photos.

Sustainable & Organic Research and Outreach News

2015 Hawaiʻi WSARE Professional Development Program Summer Update

WSARE 2015 summer meeting

Jari Sugano, Ted Radovich, and Jody Smith
WSARE Hawaiʻi Program

The Hawaiʻi WSARE Professional Development Program (PDP) participated in the 2015 Western SARE PDP held in Durango, Colorado on July 6-8, 2015. Program leaders from the Western SARE PDP as well as members from the Western SARE Administrative Council attended the summer meeting. We received updates on the National & regional SARE program (communication, grants, reporting, etc.), participated in small group discussions on enhancing state grant PDP programing, took part in a presentation entitled, “Resilient and Sustainable Ag Communities”, and engaged in an day long educational tour of sustainable agricultural projects around Durango. Read here.

FMI: Jari Sugano, email: suganoj@ctahr.hawaii.edu

Southwest Regional Climate Hubs and Climate Change in Hawaiʻi

Projected drougth areas in Hawaii

Jensen Uyeda, CTAHR-TPSS and Clay Trauernicht, CTAHR-NREM

In 2014 the USDA formed seven regional climate hubs across the United States to support climate-smart decision-making. This is a multiagency effort among the Agriculture Research Service, US Forest Service, and Natural Resource Conservation Service intended to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners that will help them adapt to climate change and weather variability. Hawaiʻi and the US-affiliated Pacific Islands are included in the Southwestern Regional Climate Hub (SWRCH). Read here.

FMI: Jensen Uyeda, email: juyeda@hawaii.edu; Clay Trauernicht, email: trauerni@hawaii.edu

A New Kind of PIE: Introducing Public Issues Education-Hawaiʻi

M’Randa Sandlin, CTAHR-Public Issues Education-Hawaiʻi

Public Issues Education-Hawai‘i (PIE-HI) is a new area of research and outreach in CTAHR created to measure consumer and constituent knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes about agriculture and natural resource issues that affect Hawaiʻi. Through unbiased research and proactive outreach, communication, and training, policy makers and the general public can make informed decisions to protect and preserve agriculture and natural resources in Hawaiʻi. Read here.

FMI: M’Randa Sandlin, email: SandlinM@ctahr.hawaii.edu

Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death | Ceratocystis Wilt of ʻŌhiʻa

Map of incidences of ohia wilt


A newly identified disease has killed thousands of acres of mature ʻōhiʻa trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) in forests and residential areas of the Puna and Hilo Districts of Hawaiʻi Island. Landowners have observed that when previously healthy-looking trees begin to exhibit symptoms they typically die within a matter of weeks. Pathogenicity tests conducted by the USDA Agriculture Research Service have determined that the causal agent of the disease is the vascular wilt fungus, Ceratocystis fimbriata. Read here.

FMI: J.B. Friday, email: jbfriday@hawaii.edu

Organic farmer uses cover crops for soil health

Chris Robb

Jolene Lau, USDA NRCS Pacific Islands Area

Chris Robb is an organic farmer from Hawaiʻi County who began Robb Farms in 1993. Historically, he used compost because it kept the soil fertility up and worked well with his system of vegetable cropping. Now, Robb is experimenting with different cover crop mixes. A lot of research has been done for the subtropical lower elevations, but Robb Farms is almost a sub-temperate climate with definitive seasons. The soil temperatures are cooler, and the variety of plants that can be grown are quite different. The soil max builder Robb likes is a combination of cayuse oats, bell beans, Austrian peas, and purple vetch that work very well. The resulting compost is a stable form with a longer residual effect. Read here.

FMI: Jolene Lau, email: Jolene.Lau@hi.usda.gov

Building the Future on a Foundation of Soil Health

Unlock the secrets of the soil - USDA NRCS

Susan Kubo, USDA NRCS Pacific Islands Area

Healthy soil produces more, and will increase your profits not just by higher yields, but also through lower inputs of labor, fuel, fertilizer and pesticides. Soil health isn’t important just for farmers. Improperly managed grazing can disturb the soil. Forest systems that lack diversity also lack stability and function. The principles of building healthy soils are the same everywhere. Read here.

FMI: Susan Kubo, email: susan.kubo@hi.usda.gov

Publications & Programs

Black Pod Rot of cacao


CRATE: Center for Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship

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.

CRATE iconCover Crop Plant Available Nitrogen (PAN) Calculator

Koon-Hui Wang, Archana Pant, Theodore Radovich, Shova Mishra, Shelby Ching, Jeana Cadby, UH-CTAHR

Cover Crop Calculator

Leguminous cover crops can contribute significant amount of nitrogen to crop production. However, farmers need a better tool to accurately estimate the nitrogen contribution from legumes so as to precisely reduce fertilizer rates. A simple calculator to address this issue was developed for Idaho and Oregon farmers with high success rate. This project is adapting this concept for tropical climates and soil types in the Pacific Islands. View poster here.

FMI: Koon-Hui Wang, email: koon-hui@hawaii.edu

CRATE iconHot Water Treatment for Arthropod Pests Management

Koon-Hui Wang, Megan Manley, Donna Meyer, Jari Sugano, Jensen Uyeda, UH-CTAHR

Hot water treatment

Hot water treatments have been shown effective to free various plant materials (including potted plants, plant suckers, tropical cut flowers) from arthropods and other invertebrate or vertebrate pests particularly for export materials against quarantine pests. The objective of this project is to examine the potential of hot water treatment as a non-chemical based approach to manage arthropod pests on field grown crops. Two cropping systems targeting on different key arthropod pests were examined: 1) tea (Camellia sinensis) infested with red, broad and 2-spotted spider mites (Acari: Tarsonemidae) and scale insects (Homoptera: Diaspididae); and 2) tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) infested with silverleaf whiteflies (Bemisia argentifolii). View poster here.

FMI: Koon-Hui Wang, email: koon-hui@hawaii.edu

CRATE iconInsectary Plants for Organic IPM

Koon-Hui Wang, Adam Park, Shelby Ching, Shova Mishra, Jari Sugano, Jensen Uyeda, Jane Tavares, and Marisol Quintanilla, UH-CTAHR

Insectary plants

Insectary plants attract beneficial insects. Most insectary plants produce a great abundance of nectar and pollen critical for the survival, development and reproduction of many natural enemies of agricultural pests. Some insectary plants provide ground cover, creating habitat for ground arthropods. Other insectary plants produce extra-floral nectaries (nectar glands not associated with flowers) that serve as food sources and mating sites. This poster summarizes how to integrate insectary plants into different agroecosystems compatible with organic farming practices. View poster here.

FMI: Koon-Hui Wang, email: koon-hui@hawaii.edu

CRATE iconUse of Oyster Mushroom Compost for Nematode Management

Shelby Ching and Koon-Hui Wang, UH-CTAHR

Root gall on basil

The oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is known to have nematicidal effects on plant-parasitic nematodes in vitro. Currently, information is lacking on making use of the nematicidal properties of oyster mushroom against plant-parasitic nematodes in the field. Two basil field trials were conducted with amending potting mix with 50% oyster mushroom compost, and drenching the roots with 25% MCWE after transplant into the field. Objectives of these experiments were to examine if mushroom compost treatments 1) suppressed plant-parasitic nematodes; 2) enhanced beneficial nematodes (bacterivores, fungivores, omnivores) and 3) improved basil yield. View poster here.

FMI: Koon-Hui Wang, email: koon-hui@hawaii.edu

From the Agribusiness Incubator

AIP logoDistributing Your Product within Hawaiʻi

Taking your product to market,
do you have to do all the work?

There are many ways to get people to buy your wonderful Hawaii-grown or -made product.  Customers can come to your business and buy it directly from you, you can take it to a farmers’ market and sell it to them, you can take it to a restaurant, a wholesaler can send a truck to your farm, or it can be a combination of distribution options.  Each one of these options has its positive and negative sides. Read here.

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

Organic Update

Hawaii Farm & Food

This is first in a regular series of columns on organic agriculture. The intent of these columns is to improve understanding in those unfamiliar with organic production and to provide a resource to growers interested in or currently producing organically. Let us know what you want to see featured by emailing theodore@hawaii.edu.

The primary goal of organic agriculture is to enhance biological cycles in the soil and aboveground to meet our food and fiber needs in the short term, while sustaining the economic, natural and human resources required to ensure productivity in the long term. Read more here.

Subscribe to here:

Sourcing organic seeds has emerged as a vexing problem for organic producers, who often search in vain for certified seed in varieties suited to their needs. But the shortage of specialty seed can offer lucrative opportunities to regional organic seed growers, according to a study by researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) extension. Read more here, news from the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

Webinar series from the USDA Science and Technology Training Portal

For New Farmers

Citizen Science

Dr. Ania Wieczorek and student

CTAHRʻs Dr. Ania Wieczorek has long observed that Hawaii’s teachers lacked the resources and time to teach science comprehensively in their classrooms. She saw an opportunity to augment what was being taught in Hawaii’s public and private schools during non-school hours. To fill this void, she has created curricula that transport young students into new, imaginative worlds where they are immersed in criminal forensics and other roles involving science. Read here.

: Using Experiment Stations to Increase Engagement of Traditional and Non-traditional Stakeholders

Workshops | Conferences | Meetings

Moringa pods Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

The Symposium will include hands-on activities, interactive presentations, farm tours, keynote speakers, and panel discussions on topics including federal funding and legislative updates. Natural Farming is the practice of using locally sourced microorganisms to boost soil fertility and plant health and productivity.

Videos & Webinars

Our agency was founded to prevent another Dust Bowl, and soil health has always been our focus. We invite you to join us this year, and every year, in celebrating the soil.


Funding Opportunities

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.

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program WSARE

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