Wild Pigs Worldwide 6 July 2021

Wild Pigs Worldwide

NREM studies their impact on global diversity

Wild pigs can have a devastating impact on Ag and threaten others species of concern to conservationists. But what about their impact on global biodiversity, particularly islands and species that receive less global conservation attention, such as plants, reptiles and amphibians? “Wild pigs are unique among other species since they are herbivores, top predators, and ecosystem engineers, modifying ecosystems by digging and rooting,” says Derek Risch, a recent grad from the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management. He adds, “We found that in addition to the over 300 plant species threatened by wild pigs globally, wild pigs actively predate and destroy critical nesting sites for hundreds of threatened and endangered reptiles, amphibians and birds.” Read the UH News story.

Impact on Aquaculture 6 July 2021

Impact on Aquaculture

Lots of goings on at the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture

With 14 ongoing projects, 18 pre-proposals, a bi-annual project monitoring and reporting requirements, it looks to be a busy summer for Cheng-Sheng Lee and the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture. In his latest Regional e-Notes, Cheng-Sheng hits some recent CTSA highlights, including:

  • Improving the commercial aquaculture feasibility for Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
  • Culture of a Local Marine Polychaete,Marphysa sanguinea, for Use as a Shrimp Maturation Feed
  • Bivalve Farming in Hawai'i
  • AquaClip: ASC to tackle "one of biggest threats to aquaculture’s reputation" with new feed standard

CTSA is one of five regional aquaculture centers established by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture in support of commercial aquaculture development. CTSA was established in 1986 and is jointly administered by CTAHR and the Oceanic Institute of Hawaiʻi Pacific University.

Visit the CTSA.

Kualoa is Hiring 6 July 2021

Kualoa is Hiring

Diversified Ag wants you

Kualoa Ranch has a half-dozen positions open in its Diversified Ag Department, including soil-based farming, aquaculture, and other fields. “We’re glad to recruit from the CTAHR ‘ohana, and help place them in areas where they would fit in well!,” says Anthony Mau, an MBBE alum. “There’s plenty of opportunity.” Get more info at Kualoa Ranch.


Combating CLR 22 June 2021

Combating CLR

PEPS’ IR-4 team is part of multi-agency response to Coffee Leaf Rust

Wherever coffee is produced, the discovery of ‘coffee leaf rust’ can be devastating news for growers. With its detection in Hawaiʻi late last year, CLR quickly became a serious threat to the second highest-valued crop in our state. “In other coffee-growing areas worldwide, CLR is managed by maintaining plant health, planting resistant varieties, and applying systemic fungicides – but in Hawai‘i, resistant varieties and systemic fungicides are not yet available,” explains Zhiqiang Cheng of the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences. “Local growers,” he continues, “currently have copper products and a few biological products available for use, but these products mainly work as preventative or contact protectants, and mainly when infection levels are low. Systemic fungicides typically provide longer-term control through penetration and  movement in the leaf tissue.” But since 2017, the Hawai‘i IR-4 Program has been preparing for the day when CLR might reach our Islands. Then-PI Michael Kawate (now emeritus), Zhiqiang (current PI), Julia Coughlin, and James Kam have been working to generate the data required to register Quadris®Xtra, a systemic fungicide, to control CLR. “Although Hawai‘i didn’t have CLR at that time, this was a pre-emptive strategy – we wanted to have a systemic product available, if and when CLR arrived,” says Julia. “This hasnʻt been labeled yet, but we are continuing efforts on this project.”

When CLR was first detected in Hawai‘i, Julia immediately contacted the national headquarters of IR-4. Since 1963, this federally funded program has been a primary resource for helping specialty crop growers with their pest-control needs by developing data to support the registration of pest-management products.

IR-4’s plant pathologist quickly reached out to product registrants, hoping to identify an effective fungicide with data on international residue, efficacy, and crop safety – data needed to support an emergency registration.

A potential product was identified, and a multi-agency team (Hawaiʻi Coffee Growers, Hawaiʻi Dept. of Agriculture, BASF, and others) took it from there, successfully obtaining an emergency exemption for the use of BASF’s fungicide product Priaxor® Xemium®. IR-4 supported this effort by preparing the residue data summary needed for EPA’s dietary risk assessment. IR-4 will also prepare the Sec. 3 petition to EPA to add coffee to the Priaxor® label. This will count as progress toward registration, a requirement to renew the Sec. 18 emergency exemption for Priaxor® next year.

While the Sec. 18 submission was in preparation, BASF requested crop safety data. In response, the Hawaiʻi IR-4 Program conducted two field trials testing Priaxor with three different adjuvants to see whether sprays caused any burning or adverse effects on the plants.

“No adverse effects were observed,” says Zhiqiang, adding, “Our field program is currently conducting field efficacy and crop safety trials to screen other potential fungicides. We look forward to more fruitful collaboration as we generate additional field efficacy data and submit proposals to control CLR.”

Read the article, Coffee Rust Attacks Hawaii Coffee Trees; IR-4 Fights Back.

Growing With Kupuna 22 June 2021

Growing With Kupuna

FCS Extension shares plants, manaʻo and aloha

For older adults stuck at home during the pandemic, a container gardening program is one way to provide them with fresh home-grown crops, support for plant problems, and opportunities for socialization. In partnership with the non-profit Kumuki‘a, CTAHR Extension on Hawaiʻi Island helped launch a ʻKumu Malaʻ program with 64 Waimea-area kupuna; each kupuna received potted plants with herbs and vegetables to grow at home. We also delivered a short guide to container gardening and kit of supplies, along with invitations to an online training session and weekly Zoom check-in. This pilot program was funded by the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. Each week, Master Gardeners from around Hawaiʻi Island staff a virtual “Kumu Mala Happy Hour” to help the kupuna with plant problems. Trained by Extension to provide assistance to home gardeners, these volunteer experts field questions about unidentified pests, mysterious leaf changes, and other issues with potted plants. The kupuna themselves swap cooking ideas and plant photos, and share stories and memories about growing up with food and plants.

With additional funding from Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s West Hawaiʻi Fund, we’ve expanded the program to include students at Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School, who grow plants and write letters to the kupuna.

I am grateful for the wisdom and insights from both kupuna and Master Gardeners. These online gatherings offer an incredible opportunity to enjoy stories, gardening knowledge, and camaraderie in a safe format. I find myself looking forward to checking in with our volunteers and participants to learn more about plants – and the life experiences of our kupuna.

Feedback is very promising. Participants say their container gardens are convenient, practical, and enjoyable. “I love my container garden!” a kupuna said. “It's easy to manage and provides healthy fresh veggies for my ʻohana to enjoy. Tending to my container mala is refreshing and therapeutic for me.” In another memorable session, a participant talked about how her Hawaiian mother taught her to always give food to guests. Whether sharing food, connections, or experiences, giving to others always leads to receiving something in return.

The Kumu Mala project demonstrates mana‘o in action. CTAHR Extension’s gifting of plants, time, and expertise to kupuna in the community has nurtured appreciation, connection, and fruitful experiences for everyone involved.

Photos by Liz Barney.


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