Volume 4: June | July | August 2010

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Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

September | October | November 2009  

Welcome to the Summer 2010 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.

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


Feature Farmer

Wooten ʻOhana

Kauaʻi Kunana Dairy, Kilauea, Kauaʻi



Area under production:

 1½ acres in crops, 13 acres livestock including dairy goats and laying hens.


Years farming in Hawai'i:

Since 1979.


Crops grown:

All crops are Certified Organic by HOFA: avocado, bananas, papayas, mango, citrus, lychee, soursop, salad crops, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, beans, spinach, green onions, herbs, all cabbage types, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, radishes, beets, chards, kales, arrugula


Fertility management:

We make 75% of our own fertilizer by composting our goat and chicken manure. Manure management is a big part of our operation. We do inter-planting and crop rotation as well as green manure crops.


Pest Management:

We time our plantings, interplant with trap crops, plant pest resistant varieties, and use mulch and traps.


What Sustainability Means to You:

Sustainability means being creative and innovative when challenges occur and using low-impact methods whenever possible.


HOT TIPS from Kula Country Farms

Integrating livestock into a sustainable farming system is something that every operation should consider. The benefits of keeping animals as part of a balanced farming system are many, even though they do require a lot of love and attention.


Mahalo nui loa to Wooten Ohana for this interview

Read More

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Cover Your Asset: Choosing appropriate cover crops for your Production System

Ted Radovich,

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


Cover crops are a time-tested strategy to improve the ecological function of tropical farming systems. There are multiple species that may be used. The species that is most ideal for any given situation will depend on the interaction of several factors, including inherent characteristics of the crop, the environment it's grown in and the primary objective(s) for using it. This article briefly discusses critical thinking involved in selecting and managing cover crops. The article also highlights Hawaii-based information that is available to help you in decision-making when selecting and managing your cover crops.


READ the full article here

FMI: Dr. Ted Radovich, email: theodore@hawaii.edu

Growing Your Business

Linda J. Cox,

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


Price Maker or Price Taker? How to Differentiate your Products


Making a profit starts with a consumer who is willing to buy a product. Farmers who sell in commodity markets where one farmer’s product is the same as the another’s are faced with fierce competition. In order to escape this situation, many farmers try to convince consumers that their products are different from those of other farmers. The value of a product’s characteristics to a consumer is difficult to determine and agricultural producers must try to determine these values if they want to be profitable.


READ the full article here

CTAHR Sustainable & Organic Research News

News from our researchers

Sunn Hemp.jpg

Avocado in Kona

Ty McDonalde

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


A few of the key agronomic variables for growing avocado are outlined, which indicate why the Kona district on the Big Island has traditionally been the principal avocado growing area in the state. Around 30 years ago the industry decided to produce and promote Sharwil avocados to reclaim the local market and to develop an export market. Unfortunately, in 1992, this effort was derailed when Hawaii producers were no longer allowed to export and the industry continued to lose market share to imported Hass avocados. Recently, efforts to remove this export restriction appear to be gaining ground.


READ full article here


FMI: Ty McDonald, email: tym@hawaii.edu

Fruit quality of 'Sharwil' Avocado grown at three locations in South Kona

Nancy Chen, Marisa Wall, Robert Paull, and Peter Follett

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


CTAHR and USDA/ARS researchers recently completed a project that investigated the changes in fruit dry matter content, oil content and sensory quality throughout the harvest season for ‘Sharwil’ avocados grown at three orchard elevations during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Fruit quality was similar in both seasons, regardless of orchard elevation. Late season fruit had a higher dry matter and oil content, were smaller in size, and had a shorter shelf life than early and midseason fruit. Fruit flavor and texture did not change throughout the season.


READ full article here


FMI: Dr. Robert Paull, email: paull@hawaii.edu


Sustainable Seed Production and Cover Crops

Cindy Goldstein and John McHugh

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.


Sustainable agriculture is integrated into Pioneer Hi-Bred International’s agronomy programs and guide the direction of their plant breeding programs to develop hybrids and varieties that help reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint. They conducted cover crop research at their Waialua Parent Seed station on Oahu with Crop Care Hawaii, LLC to identify agronomic benefits of cover crops by establishing on-farm demonstration plantings and then promote the continued adoption of the practice. Cover crops tested in these studies included sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), buckwheat, winter wheat, oats, barley, sudex, lana vetch, and mung beans. Sunn hemp has proven to be very effective as a cover crop for weed suppression and soil erosion control, although the production of an ample supply of sunn hemp seed has been a challenge.


Read the full article here


FMI: Dr. Cindy Goldstein, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. email: cindy.goldstein@pioneer.com

Dr. John McHugh, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. email: john.mchugh@pioneer.com

Dry Litter Systems for Small-Scale Piggery Operations

Glen K. Fukumoto

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


A modified dry litter system for piggeries has been developed at CTAHR that promotes the collection and processing of nutrients using a managed composting system and eliminates the use of water for pen clean-up, which will reduce polluted run off. Two producers in Tinian, one in American Samoa, two on the island of Hawaii and one on Oahu are using the modified dry litter piggery system. The USDA NRCS has program funds in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) that can now be used to construct and implement the modified dry litter system.


Read the full article here

FMI: Glen Fukumoto, email: gfukumot@hawaii.ed

Opportunities for the Application of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Technology in Hawaii

Mitiku Habte

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


Over 90% of the plants in the tropics have arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in their roots that enhance the uptake of diffusion-limited nutrients such as P, Cu, K, Zn and Fe. Soil samples from Kaua'i, Big Island, and O'ahu suggest that not enough AM fungi exist for rapid and effective mycorrhiza development and therefore, AM fungi must be applied to the soils as inocula. At present, AM fungal inocula is applied during nursery production of seedlings, while the interest to integrate the AM fungal technology in protocols for production of micropropagated plants is growing.


Read the full article here



Improving Marigold cover cropping for Nematode Management

Koon-Hui Wang

University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR


Home gardeners often want to know organic approaches for controlling nematodes. One approach is to grow a ground cover, such as marigold (Tagetes spp.) that can add beauty to the landscape while taking care of the nematode problem. Research is described that concludes that root-knot nematodes can be controlled more efficiently if marigolds are planted close to a nematode infected plant or immediately into soil that was recently grown with root-knot nematode colonized plant hosts. This allows marigolds to release compounds that are toxic to the active vulnerable stage of root-knot nematodes.


READ full article here

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


CTAHR Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production system


“Functional Foods” April 2010 issue of CTAHR Research News (CRN): Includes the following articles: CTAHR explores functional foods, Pre- and probiotics, Importance of functional foods, Cacao a functional food?, Bitter melon & diabetes, Māmaki tea helps, Omega-3 in clinical practice, and Veggie’s phytonutrients.


“Water Based Agriculture” March 2010 issue of CTAHR Research News (CRN): Expanding aquaculture extension, Aquaponics in the Pacific, Creating new fish foods, Optimizing shrimp harvesting, Non-circulating hydroponics, and Aquaculture education.


Kau 'i County Livestock News (Spring 2010). This edition features tips for estimating forage production, pictures from the Australia Leucaena Study Tour, notes from the Kaua'i County 4-H livestock programs, new publications from UH-CTAHR, and more.


From our Office of Communication Services



Revised and updated



“Heritage” articles now available From the CTAHR archives: Many early research articles written prior to the wide scale adoption of chemical controls are very relevant to sustainable and organic production systems. Read more here.



Hawaii Soils Information: Visit Dr. Jonathan Deeniks’ favorite links page to find maps of Hawaii soils, links to CTAHR soils publications, presentations on basic soil concepts for Hawaii, links to USDA NRCS soil surveys for Hawaii, info on soil fertility and management, soil organic matter, soil quality and health, and soil classification and survey.


Local Immigrant Farmer Education (LIFE) website now available, with info on workshops, field days, field trials and links to training materials in Ilocano, Korean, Lao, and other languages.


Edible Hawaiian Islands: Spring Issue now available


Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network launches new web site which contains an events calendar, resource lists, community page, blog and more.


Hawaii Farm Facts: March 2010, National Agricultural Statistics Service


ATTRA Website: New and Improved! Are you looking for the latest in sustainable agriculture and organic farming news, events and funding opportunities? The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service covers these topics, plus offers in-depth publications on production practices, alternative crop and livestock enterprises, innovative marketing, organic certification, and highlights of local, regional, USDA and other federal sustainable agriculture activities.


eOrganic at YouTube


Choices, the online magazine published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, has a new edition available with the theme of "Local Food -- Perceptions, Prospects and Policies."

Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts and Issues

America's Organic Farmers Face Issues and Opportunities

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE) 


Check out these and other great resources at the WSARE website.


Local Harvest: A Multifarm CSA Handbook

The 130-page book details how farmers in CSA cooperatives can best work together to market their produce, including advice on staffing, volunteer boards, distribution, legal topics and other practical information. Online PDF (2.5 MB)


“Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers and Conservationists”

Step-by-step, full-color guide for rearing and managing bumble bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees and other bee species that provide pollination alternatives to the rapidly declining honey bee. Online PDF (5.0 MB)


WSARE PDP Advisory Committee

We are delighted to announce the members of the newly formed WSARE PDP Advisory Committee for 2010: Alton Arakaki, Linda Cox, Tane Datta, Ranae Ganske-Cerizo, Una Greenaway, Grant Hamachi, Susan Matsushima, and Jerry Ornellas. The WSARE PDP program provides professional development opportunities for CES agents, NRCS staff and others agricultural professionals.


WSARE Hawaii grant award recipients

It is also a pleasure to congratulate the WSARE Hawaii grant award recipients for the 2010 cycle:


Research and Education Grants:

  • Dr. Susan Miyasaka, Control of Bacterial Wilt of Ginger through an Integrated Pest Management Program, $289,245 (SW10-013)

Producer Grants:

  • Richard Spiegel, Organic Varroa Management and Beekeeper Education in Hawaii, $15,000 (FW10-011)
  • Jennifer Bach, Relocating Swarms for Pollination: How Feral Bees Can Be Integrated into Sustainable Farming Strategies, $29,975 (FW10-040)
  • Kathie Pomeroy, Use of Cover Crops with Medicinal Herbs in North Hawaii, $20,117 (FW10-056)

Professional + Producer

  • Dr. Harry Ako, Using Aquaponics with Renewable Energy Resources to Create Sustainable Food Systems while Reducing Nutrient, Energy and Water Costs, $50,000 (OW10-301)

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 Hawaii. 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.


For more information, please see:https://western.sare.org/ or contact Hawaii WSARE coordinator Dr. Ted Radovich at theodore@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.


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Mahalo nui loa,

Eric Collier, Education Specialist and Managing Editor

Dr. Linda Cox and Dr. Ted Radovich

Jody Smith, e-Extension Manager

Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program

Cooperative Extension Service

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Jody Smith | Web Manager | smithjos@hawaii.edu

Copyright ©2013 University of Hawai‘i - College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Updated 6 January, 2013

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