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Less Rejection, More Value

The biosecurity of Hawai’i’s ornamental industry gets federal dollars

  • 9 February 2021
  • Author: Mark Berthold
  • Number of views: 999
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Less Rejection, More Value

“Ornamental production is the second-leading agricultural commodity in Hawaiʻi, second only to seed production,” says Joanna Bloese of the Dept. of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences. “The development of novel, innovative techniques to manage pests and diseases is vital to the biosecurity and competitiveness of our industry.”

With a new grant from the USDA’s APHIS Plant Protection Act, Joanna is feeling better equipped to continue her research, as well as educating and training nurseries.

“Early detection of incipient pest species, and developing best management practices, will facilitate the mitigation and rapid response to emerging pest populations,” she says. “This grant aims to increase the annual value of Hawai’i’s exported flowers and nursery products by decreasing shipment rejections.”

She adds, “With less exports from Hawaiʻi being rejected, quarantine security for the Mainland will be strengthened, exporters will experience fewer financial losses, and consumers will gain confidence in receiving products from Hawaiʻi.”

Working closely with HDOA, CDFA, and industry partners, Joanna will identify major pest interceptions and other biosecurity problems facing Hawaiʻi nurseries, conduct applied research to develop in-field and post-harvest pest management, and develop BMP’s based on applied research and compliance agreements with the feds.

For 2021, PPA topped $70 million in grants to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, and threat mitigation; safeguard the nursery production system; and respond to pest emergencies.

“I am very grateful and excited to continue this research,” Joanna says. “This grant provides much needed continuity in protecting Hawaiʻi’s ornamental crops.”

Read more about Joannaʻs Best Management Practices Program for Plant Quarantine Security of Hawaiʻi’s Tropical Flowers and Foliage in the USDA Plant Protection Act Section 7721 Fiscal Year 2021 Spending Plan.

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