Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program


Volume 41: Jan | Feb | Mar 2021

  • 26 April 2021
  • Author: Eric Collier
  • Number of views: 1503
The Food Provider
WINTER 2021 JAN| FEB | MAR Volume 41
Sustainable & Organic Research & Outreach News
News from Hawaii's Researchers & Extension Professionals
 Insecticide Resistance Management for Diamondback Moth in Organic Farms: Integration of Trap Cropping, Intermittent Sprinkler Irrigation, and Biological Control 
 K-H. Wang, S. Budhathoki, M. Pugh, I. Shikano, J. Silva, J. Uyeda, R. Manandhar and B.S. Sipes 
University of Hawaii at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella, is a recurring pest on cruciferous crops with a well-documented propensity to develop insecticide resistance, threatening cole crop producers around the world. In Hawaii, DBM inflicts substantial pest pressure, breeding year-round with around 15-17 generations per year. Farmers in Hawaii have reported 20-40% (and sometimes up to 100%) yield loss in crucifer crops despite intensive DBM management efforts (Shimabuku et al., 1997). While conventional growers can mitigate resistance development by rotating the use of several effective synthetic insecticides (Mau and Gusukuma-Minuto, 2001), organic growers have fewer options that are organic compliant, and primarily consist of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and spinosad. Bt- and spinosad-resistant DBM populations are widespread in Hawaii (Mau and Gusukuma-Minuto, 2001). Thus, it is imperative to identify other biocontrol agents and cultural practices to assist organic farmers in managing DBM infestations. Presently, various integrated pest management (IPM) tactics are being investigated against different life stages of DBM (Fig. 1) to determine if combinations of multiple tactics would provide effective control of DBM. To read the full article click here.
FMI Please contact Koon-Hui Wang
Perpetual Spinach (Beta vulgaris L. Cicla group) 
Eric Collier and Ted Radovich 
University of Hawaii at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Dark green vegetables provide dietary minerals, proteins and antioxidants that we need to stay healthy. There are multiple families of leafy greens including the Asteracea (lettuce), Brassicaceae (cabbage) and Chenopodiaceae (spinach). Spinach in particular is highly sought after because it is softer and milder tasting than most greens used in cooking. Spinach can be hard to grow in Hawai’i, especially at low-elevation and in the summer, because it prefers a cooler climate. Swiss Chard, a close cousin to spinach, is a nutritious vegetable that is better adapted to Hawai’i, but has waxy leaves, thick petioles and an unusual flavor (NC State Extension). These characteristics make chard a fair to poor substitute for spinach. Researchers at the University of Hawaii conducted a preliminary trial defining the characteristics of "Perpetual Spinach' and 'Barese Chard' varieties. Click here to read the article.
FMI Please contact Eric Collier
Produce Safety and On-Farm Flooding
Kylie Tavares, Joshua Silva & Sharon Wages
University of Hawaii at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Severe weather conditions in March 2021 brought torrential and sustained rains across the state, totaling more than 20 inches over a 72-hour period in some locations, according to the NOAA National Weather Service. These rains caused destructive flooding, substantial property damage, and crop loss. In addition to the immediate danger to human health and safety, flooding can also negatively impact farm food safety. After a flood, it is critical to be aware of the food safety risks that can impact crops during clean-up and recovery. To read more about why flooding is a concern for produce safety, click here for full article
FMI Please contact Kylie Tavares
 Apivectoring: A novel tool for Hawaii’s IPM toolbox
Dr. Chrissy Mogren, Assistant Specialist, PEPS 
University of Hawaii at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Plants and Environmental Protection Services
Honey bees are recognized worldwide for their critical role in crop pollination. Here in Hawaii, their pollination role extends beyond just high-value crops like coffee and Macadamia nuts1 – in the absence of native pollinators, such as the Hawaiian yellow-faced bees or native honey creeper birds, honey bees aid in the propagation of native plants2,3. But in agricultural systems especially, honey bees may come in to contact with pesticides used to control economically harmful insect, pathogen, and weed pests. Producers may be faced with a situation where they are paying to control a multitude of damaging pests while balancing safety for the bees they need for pollination services. Wouldn’t it be nice if an integrated pest management 
(IPM) approach existed that could address pest control while promoting pollination services simultaneously? click here.
FMI Please contact Dr. Chrissy Mogren
Macadamia Nut Cake as and Alternative Feed for Broilers
S. Yadav, K. Neupane, R. Jha
University of Hawaii at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Dept. Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences
The cost of conventional feedstuffs in Hawaii is a major hurdle for local broiler producers. The availability of economically viable feedstuffs and/or comparable alternative replacements would be ideal as a hedge against fluctuations of the local feed market and shipping costs. Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture evaluated alternative feedstuffs for broilers. Macadamia nut cake (MNC) is a by-product of the macadamia nut oil extraction process and is available in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Brazil, Israel, and elsewhere in the world. Like other co-products, MNC is high in fiber, fat residue, and gross energy, moderate to high in protein, and reasonably high apparent metabolizable energy content. Interested in feed composition please click here and here for articles.
FMI Please contact Dr. Rajesh Jha
Publications & Programs
Home Garden Network: Learning, Growing, Sharing and Healing Together
The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program has developed a series of online guided gardening lessons that both parents and keiki can enjoy. Dubbed a homeschool edition of the HDFS’ Home Garden Network (HGN), the videos use activities—conducted by parents—that teach and demonstrate to their keiki the basic concept and understanding of seeds. Since most parents need simple guidance to teach their kids, HDFS interns Tiana Brennan and Jarett Shiu have incorporated helpful print and online tools aimed at adults. Link to the website and the materials: Click Here
Pots in Paradise: CTAHR Team Seeks Container Gardening Advice with Survey
A new team at the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and
Human Resources (CTAHR) is seeking seasoned gardeners to share their insight and
experience with growing edible crops in containers to help develop gardening
recommendations for Hawaii.
CTAHR offers a variety of programs for new gardeners using containers, allowing
participants to try their hand at horticulture and enjoy home-grown food even within
small spaces. Programs serve beginning gardeners from keiki to kupuna, with initiatives that distribute seedlings or potted plants, teach gardening skills, and deliver nutrition education to SNAP eligible recipients. With Hawaii’s unique growing conditions, feedback from growers around the state can support the development of specialized recommendations to help others find success with container gardening.
Gardeners and farmers are invited to share their knowledge and experience with
container gardening in Hawaii through a short online survey. Responses can help
CTAHR to better support gardening in local communities by providing Hawaii-specific guidance on growing food in containers. In the coming months, results from the survey combined with information from gardener-based focus groups will be integrated into a new website for collecting and sharing resources about container gardening in Hawaii.
The container gardening survey is open until April 15th and can be accessed at If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Jamieson, CTAHR Waianae Farm to School Coordinator, at
Other CTAHR Publications & Programs
Grow, Eat, Think Local
The GET Local initiative is a collaborative effort by the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Cooperative Extension agents in agriculture and human resource based fields. The Extension agents incorporate the concept of GET Local and educating the community and stakeholders on the commodities available locally in order to increase consumer interest, grower knowledge, and general public awareness of local agriculture.
Mushroom Trip
Extension’s hands-on school program stokes excitement and interest in keiki during distance-learning
by Mahina Smith
What is a mushroom? Is it a fruit, or is it vegetable? Is it even a plant?
During this pandemic, it’s more important than ever to create hands-on “classroom” activities that students can do from home. Look no further than Extension educators, who’ve been able to deliver on CTAHR’s Land Grant obligations by helping students cultivate oyster mushrooms at home. Which are, in fact, a fungus – not a fruit or vegetable.
More than 100 teachers and community members joined Extension for an online webinar , learning how to leverage mushroom cultivation using teacher-crafted lessons for 150 students grades K-12. The webinar was hosted in partnership with the Center for Getting Things Started, the County of Hawaii, the Hawaii
Island School Garden Network, Opala Foods and PLACES Hawaii.
Each mushroom grow bag can yield around 3 flushes of mushrooms that students can engage with to learn STEM principles, before trying their hand at cooking with and eating their very own mushrooms! Younger students use mushrooms to learn about life-cycles, while the older students can practice collecting data and learn about complex nutrient cycles. With people feeling so disconnected, students are
invited to connect with their place, observing mushrooms in their own environment, to deduce where in their homes fungi will thrive.
While students have been making mushroom observations, teachers have been making observations as well. The kids are really excited to have something they can call their own, take care of, and discuss. The kids get creative, they note. Sometimes the best place to grow a mushroom is under a cabinet, or in a closet, or hidden in their bathroom. “With edible mushrooms being produced in as little as two weeks, students can have a fast-paced farm-to-food experience from their own homes in a year” says Kristen Jamieson, Waianae Farm to School Coordinator.
So far, more than 250 mushroom kits have been sent out statewide. Teachers are hopeful that after the pandemic, they’ll be able to implement a mushroom program in their classrooms. Two teacher participants are making plans to one day cultivate mushrooms at a larger scale for students to practice laboratory, business and culinary skills with the fruit of their efforts. ...Well, maybe the fungus of their efforts.
Beginning Farmers
Helpful articles and resources for those getting started
Legal Workshop for Farmers Online in April
Discovering Resilience: A Legal Workshop for Farmers and Ranchers, April Tuesdays 2021
Discovering Resilience is a legal workshop for farmers designed just for you. The workshop empowers farmers and ranchers with the legal knowledge and skills they need to resolve legal vulnerabilities, and we are excited to co-host this offering in partnership with The Land Connection and Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. Discover the 10 legal best practices in 5 core areas of farm law including: Business Structures, Insurance, Employment Law, Land Leasing and Purchasing, & Diversification (value-added and agritourism).
This session of Discovering Resilience will meet:
April 6, 2021 6:00 pm CDT
April 13, 2021 6:00 pm CDT
April 20, 2021 6:00 pm CDT
April 27, 2021 6:00 pm CDT
May 4, 2021 6:00 pm CDT
Legal Workshop for Farmers Instructor - Eva Moss
Eva Moss leads development of our educational curriculum, ensuring that our workshops empower the agricultural community with critical knowledge and skills. She also works closely with partners to build legal programming opportunities for farmers across all 50 states. Eva has ancestral farming roots stretching from the island of Samoa to Alabama, and holds a Master’s degree in Food and Agriculture Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Sewanee: The University of the South. She has taught food policy courses at Guilford College for the Sustainable Food Systems department, and has operated her own small farm business, Heartstrong Farm, in central North Carolina.
Learn the 10 best practices of farm legal risk management. Here’s what you can expect for each week:
Week 1: Farm Law as Your Creative Power
Week 2: Organize Your Farm Business for Legal Success
Week 3: Your Legally Resilient Workforce
Week 4: Access Farmland with Legal Confidence
Week 5: Diversify Farm Enterprises Without Adding Legal Risk
Each week contains a pre-work video, assessment, and a live meeting, plus optional activities and reading selections. Want to know more about what to expect? Check Discovering Resilience for full details or go to HERE to Register.
Prepare to apply for the Micro-grants for Food Security Program
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture will award grants to eligible applicants including farmers, ranchers, food producers, hunters, home gardeners, and organizations for small-scale gardening, livestock, and food access projects. The MGFSP request for proposals will be posted this month with the deadline to submit proposals 45 days after the posting. Applicants must obtain a DUNS Number and a Certificate of Good Standing to be eligible for an award. Visit the program website and refer to the press release for more information.
Apply for the Community Food Systems Mentorship Program
The Food Systems Leadership Network is accepting applications for the Community Food Systems Mentorship Program, which provides food systems leaders with the opportunity to engage with proven experts as thought partners and coaches. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 11. Refer to the program website for more information and to apply.
Organic Update
Organic Certification: The Basics 
Organic growers should be certified by an accredited third party agency. Certification is an assurance to consumers, retailers and brokers of organic produce that the produce marketed as “certified organic” has been grown under standards set by the National Organic Program. Growers with less than $5,000 in annual organic sales are exempted from the certification requirement, but are encouraged to file an affidavit of NOP compliance with a third party certifier. Certification costs will vary, but a significant portion of the cost may be reimbursed by federal cost share program managed by the Hawai’I department of Agriculture. More information see: Click Here
To begin the certification process, contact one of the certification agencies operating in Hawaii for an application (See table below). This table has been updated to reflect most recent data available. Click here to view table. Third party certifiers continue to consolidate and this is reflected in the reduced number of certifiers in the State. For example A Bee Organics and International Certification Services have been recently acquired by Where Food Comes From. An important part of your application is describing your organic system plan (OSP). For assistance in developing your OSP, contact your local UH Cooperative Extension Office Click Here
For more information on certification, see: Click here
Upcoming Events
Coffee Berry Borer and Coffee Leaf Rust 2021 Conference
The USDA-Agricultural Research Service and University of Hawaii-CTAHR invite you to participate in the Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) and Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) Conference. This is an informational event where farmers, researchers, Cooperative Extension, and other agricultural professionals can share their knowledge on managing these coffee pest and disease issues. Please join us; This event is open to all who are interested.
Friday & Saturday, April 16 & 17, 2021
9:00 am - 12:30 pm via Zoom
To view agenda click here
To register for conference click here
Diversified Agriculture & Small Livestock Manager Wanted
Grow your career at Kualoa Ranch! Kualoa Ranch is looking for a qualified small livestock and diversified agriculture manager. if you are qualified and interested click here for full details or contact Stephanie Mock
Website: Kualoa Ranch

Feature Farmer
Sakda Farm
Koloa/Moloa'a/Lihue, Kaua'i, HI
Farmer: Sakda and Usa Meephol
Area under production: 65.1 acres
Years farming in Hawai'i: Farming full-time for the past 6 years
Crops grown, animals raised, goods & services: Pineapples, bananas, mango, rambutan, longan, watermelons, other tropical fruit and a wide range of mixed vegetables
Fertility Management: I use pelletized chicken manure every time between planting and compost when I can, but compost is very expensive ($900 for a large truck load). I also use 15-15-15 or 16-16-16 mineral fertilizers during fruiting or pre-plant. The organic fertilizer is slower releasing and longer lasting than the mineral
fertilizer, so I use it when planting young trees.
Hot Tip: Young people are very clever and learn faster than our older generation, but they don’t have the experience that we do. If they are genuinely interested in farming, I think they can do even better than us because of technology. If they study hard, they will find ways to farm smarter and easier, while the older generation struggles to make changes beyond what they are used to and are slower to adapt or adopt new ideas.
Mahalo nui loa 
Counter Culture Organic Farm
Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education Program (WSARE)
Fresh Growth Podcast
Fresh Growth: Approaches to a More Sustainable Future from Western Ag Practitioners introduces you to farmers and ranchers from around the western United States who are finding innovative sustainable practices that enrich the natural resources we all care about. These successful multi-generational operations experiment with new ideas and are making it pay.
Listen in as wheat growers at, Diamond S Farms, discuss the benefits they have seen using no-till practices.
Western SARE Competitive Grants Research & Education
The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program announces the Call for Preproposals for Research & Education grants for 2022. With a Research and Education grant, a researcher and at least three (3) Producers work together to develop a proposal to conduct both research and education on a sustainable agriculture topic. Outreach activities may include on-farm/ranch demonstrations, farmer-to-farmer educational activities, and other approaches to assist producer adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. The goal of this program is to achieve results that can be communicated to producers and professionals; sustain and improve the environmental quality and natural resource base on which agriculture depends; improve the profitability of farmers/ranchers and associated agricultural businesses; and enhance the quality of life for farmers/ranchers in their local communities. Click here for more information
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.
For more information, please see: or contact Hawai'i WSARE co-coordinators 
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
Sharon Wages & Jensen Uyeda WSARE Content Reviewers
Jari Sugano & Giselle Bryant Editors Emeritus and Reviewers
Ted Radovich Editor-in-Chief
Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program 
Cooperative Extension Service 
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
On-line version of newsletter as well as archived issues available at:  
CTAHR Sustainable and Organic Program
at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Dr. Theodore Radovich
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