Volume 45 Jan | Feb | March 2022

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

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

January | February | March 2022

Aloha Kākou


This issue of HānaiʻAi is packed full of diverse information that you should find interesting and useful. Topics include implementation of cover crops and insectary plants into your field management, turmeric production and curcumin content, pest management for avocado lace bug, nematodes, and sweet potato weevils, highlights about ongoing aquaculture research in Hawai'i's loko i'a (fish ponds), and much more


Please be on the lookout for our HānaiʻAi survey in the next issue. Completing the survey is your chance to let us know what you want to see more of and how HānaiʻAi can best serve you.


Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter as well, which feature Publications & Programs, Upcoming Workshops, Conferences and Meetings, and the Organic Corner for the latest news on organic production.


Stay up to date with our weekly SOAP activities via our instagram, facebook and twitter feeds, links are below.


As always, 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, and we would like to hear from you!



On-line version of newsletter as well as archived issues available at:  



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Feature Farmer: Pualei Farm- Donna and Jason Gamiao

How long have you been farming? 

We have been growing on the homestead (gardening) since we have been on the homestead. In 1999, we started growing commercially. 


How many years has your current operation been in production?

2 years


What crops do you grow? Animals do you raise? Any other goods and services you provide (i.e. value added)?

We started with things we liked and knew, like eggplant, squash, and kalo. We added in cover crop rotations. Currently the main crop is salad mix (salanova) and asian greens (baby bok choy, 3 varieties), mustard cabbage, and cilantro. We also raise egg-layers for personal and family use. 


Read the full article here.

Hot Tips from Pualei Farm

You gotta love it - it's not easy work. It's physically challenging, and you got to love bending down and getting dirty. You need to understand the challenges of the crops - nature, nutrients, keeping the family (children) excited about it, the fluctuations of the seasons and the crops.


Mahalo nui loa to Pualei Farm, Jennifer Hawkins and Christine Bradish for this interview and photos.

Read More

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawaiʻi's Researchers and Extension Professionals

Assessing Yield and Curcuminoid Content for 6 Varieties of Turmeric

(Curcuma longa) Grown on Kauaʻi

Emilie Kirk, Kylie Tavares, Justin Calpito, Sharon Wages, J.P. Bingham, Amjad

Ahmad, Jensen Uyeda, Eric Collier, Theodore Radovich

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Recent biomedical studies have corroborated the long-known traditional medicinal values of turmeric and its constituent curcuminoid compounds, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties. In addition to crop yield, curcuminoid content is also an important market factor because of the desirability of turmeric for medicinal use. In Hawai‘i, there is resurgent interest in growing turmeric to meet rising demand for both local and export markets. In 2018, turmeric was the second highest value specialty crop in the state after bananas on the USDA “Hawaii Tropical Fruit and Crop Report” (NASS 2020). As part of statewide research and extension efforts to support an expanding turmeric industry, researchers at the University of Hawai'i's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources examined yield and curcuminoid content of six varieties of C. longa grown on the windward side of the island of Kauaʻi.


Read full article

FMI: Emilie Kirk

Yield and Quality of Turmeric Grown on Maui 

Kylie Tavares, Emilie Kirk, Justin Calpito, Jon-Paul Bingham, Sharon Wages, Amjad Ahmad, Jensen Uyeda, Eric Collier and Ted Radovich 

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources 

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 

As the market for Hawaiʻi grown turmeric increases both locally and internationally, researchers at the University of Hawai'i 's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources conducted field trials on Maui Island to determine the potential commercial value of turmeric grown in different environmental and climactic conditions over two years. Findings at the higher elevation Kula Research Station site were notably lower than yields observed elsewhere in the state, while curcuminoid content was similar.


Read full article

FMI: Kylie Tavares

Evaluation of Conventional and Organic Insecticides Against Avocado Lace Bug in Hawaiʻi

Koon-Hui Wang, Jensen Uyeda, Amjad Ahmad

Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


Since the first report of avocado lace bug, Pseudacysta persea (Hemiptera: Tingidae), on Oʻahu in 2019, it has been found widespread throughout Hawaiʻi. Avocado trees of various ages and varieties have been found suffering medium to heavy levels of lace bug infestation. Nonetheless, conservation biological control, by establishing insectary plant borders or ground covers, plays a key role in developing an effective integrated pest management program for avocado production. The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources researchers investigated the use of insecticides registered for use on avocado trees in Hawaiʻi. However, researchers encourage avocado growers to do farm-scaping to enhance the natural enemies for long-term solution of this pest.


Read full article

FMI: Jensen Uyeda

Intercropping: A Sustainable Strategy for Hawaiʻi’s Small-Farm-Holders

Amjad A. Ahmad, Theodore Radovich, Jensen Uyeda, Sharon Motomura, Emilie Kirk, Joshua Silva, Kylie Tavares, Rosemary Gutierrez-Coarite, Jennifer Hawkins, and Jari Sugano

Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences

College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources

University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa


Many small farmers use intercropping to increase their diversity and land use. In many parts of the world intercropping is used to increase food and feed crop production. This article discusses the use of intercropping in Hawaiʻi. Dr. Amjad Ahmad discusses the benefits and kinds of successful intercropping management systems in Hawaiʻi, in particular sweet corn and cowpea as well as Mamaki and Sudex. 

 Read full

FMI: Dr. Amjad Ahmad

Sound Cannons for Bird Deterrence: Regulations and Noise Complaints

Joshua Silva, Kylie Tavares, Jennifer Hawkins

Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


For many producers, birds can create a major obstacle for vegetable producers. Bird damage reduces the number of harvestable crops by eating seeds and leaves, and makes many crops unmarketable by damaging vegetable foliage. Birds don't just cause physical damage to crops-- birds may also harbor diseases in their droppings, posing serious food safety risks for fresh produce. To deter bird damage, many producers implement the use of sound cannons. Sound cannons use pressurized gas to emit a loud sound that is meant to scare birds aways from production areas. The use of sound cannons may appeal to some growers who may want to implement them into their crop management system, however, it is important to know the laws surrounding the use of sound cannons in Hawaiʻi.


Read full article

FMI: Joshua Silva

The Pua Boot Camp: A Demonstration Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture System for Commercial and Restorative Aquaculture Based at a Native Hawaiian Fishpond

Bradley K. Fox, Cherie Kauahi, Elizabeth A. Lenz, Darren T. Lerner, Darren K. Okimoto, Daniel

Woo, Andrea Grant, Dash Dicksion, University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program,

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Maria C. Haws, Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center, College of Agriculture,

Forestry and Natural Resources Management University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Rosalyn K.R.D. Concepcion, Herb Lee, Pacific American Foundation

Vernon Sato, retired (dba Phytoplankton Technologies)


Take a moment to read an exciting update of an ongoing project conducted by the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program. The project focuses on addressing bottlenecks associated with the release of hatchery-raised fish into loko iʻa, or Hawaiian fishponds. This detailed update will take you on a tour of the project’s goals and design. Throughout the project, there will be opportunities for student and workforce training at the Pua Boot Camp facility. The information gathered from this project will be shared with the Hui Mālama Loko iʻa, a network of loko iʻa practitioners consisting of over 40 sites across Hawaiʻi, and the Limu Hui, a network of over 30 elders, educators and community members who gather to restore native limu throughout the state. Additionally, the pua and limu produced over the course of the project will be distributed to networks for release of up to 5,000 pua into at least three loko iʻa on Oʻahu and planting and restoration of limu in threatened coastal areas around the island.


Read full article

FMI: Dr. Bradley K. Fox

Reducing Fertilizer Requirements through Sunn Hemp Cover Cropping

Joshua Silva, Jonathan Deenik, Tai Maaz, Jensen Uyeda, Aleric Krenz

Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences

With the long-time practice of applying excess fertilizers to ensure a good harvest, practices such as those have contributed to harmful impacts to the environment and wildlife. Cover crops serve many agroecological benefits, such as increasing soil health, combating soil diseases, shading out weed species, and attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. Cover crops also can serve as a source of plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen where cover crops like sunn hemp, are 2.5% nitrogen. Researches at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources have investigated a farmer's sunn hemp cover crop practice to reduce the need for additional synthetic fertilizer and meeting the plants needs.

Read full article

FMI: Joshua Silva

Three promising sweet potato varieties for Kauaʻi from a 2019 trial 

Roshan Manandhar, James Keach, and Emilie Kirk 

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources 


Growing sweet potato? You may have come across a common pest among your sweet potato fields, the common sweet potato weevil. The sweet potato weevil can cause up to 97% crop loss, and is considered a quarantine pest, which facilitates the requirement of irradiation of the crop for export from Hawaiʻi. In addition to weevil pressure, juvenile reniform nematodes enter the tubers and cause cracks and deformed tubers. Because most of the life cycle of the weevil and reniform nematode are underground the damage caused is not detected until the tubers are harvested.  This paper, an investigation by faculty at the College of Tropical Agriculture, attempted to identify varieties of sweet potato that support sustainable pest management and are resistant or tolerant to aforementioned pests and which would produce an acceptable yield. 


Read full article

FMI: Dr. Roshan Manandhar


 Controlled Environment Agriculture for Homeowners

Brylin Nelson and Kent Kobayashi

University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources


Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is a form of agriculture that creates optimal growing conditions by manipulating and controlling the environment. CEA’s increase in popularity has facilitated many large elaborate and successful indoor growing operations across the various parts of the world and locally, at MetroGrow. Hawaiʻi’s food security and sustainability has been a hot topic for many years. As Hawaiʻi continues to import the majority of food, homeowners can continue to take initiative to offset their reliance on food imports. How can homeowners begin to utilize a CEA? This article discusses the benefits, home set-up, and possible crops that can be grown in an at home CEA system.


Read full article

FMI: Brylin Nelson

Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 

CTAHR Publications

Organic Corner

Changes Proposed to National List of Organic Inputs

The USDA National Organic Program recently announced proposed changes to the

National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.The proposed changes are based

on October 2020 and April 2021 recommendations from the the National Organic

Standards Board (NOSB). Proposed changes include:

Allowing paper pots for use as a planting aid in organic crop production.

Allowing low-acyl gellan gum for use as a thickener, gelling agent, or stabilizer in

organic food processing.

Correcting a spelling error on the National List to change “wood resin” to “wood rosin.”

The National List identifies the synthetic substances allowed and the natural substances

prohibited in organic farming. It also identifies nonagricultural and nonorganic

agricultural substances that may be used in organic handling. Any change to the

National List requires a recommendation from the NOSB. The NOSB is the federal

advisory board charged with advising USDA leadership about the National List and

other matters. After NOSB recommendation, USDA rule-making with multiple

opportunities for public comment follow.


The USDA welcomes comments on the proposed amendments until April 4, 2022. To

review and comment on the proposed changes, please go to: http://go.hawaii.edu/rZV


Organic Produce Sales Growth in 2021

Organic fresh produce sales value grew by 5.5% in 2021, while volume grew by just

over 2%. While these numbers were more modest than expected, growth in organic

produce outpaced conventionally grown produce in year-over-year gains in both sales

and volume, according to a recently release report by Organic Produce Network and

Category Partners. Organic produce passed the the $9 billion mark for the first time

ever in 2021.


Organic fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

registered the greatest growth, with a 14 percent gain in sales and a 10 percent rise in

volume. Packaged salads dropped in volume in 2021, but increased in sales value due

to one of the highest organic price premiums ($3.11/lb.) over conventional. Significant

price premiums were also recorded in organic berries which sold for $2.50-$3.00 more

per pound over conventional. Organic bananas, in contrast, continued to have one of

the smallest price premiums at $0.15/lb. However, organic bananas continued to be

sold in the greatest volume of all organic produce, with 547 million pounds sold in 2021.


The 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report utilized Nielsen retail scan data

covering total food sales and outlets in the US from January through December 2021. A

summary of the report is available here: http://go.hawaii.edu/VZ7


For New Farmers

USDA Seeks Applications to Help Farmers and Ranchers Access New and Better Markets


The United States Department of Agriculture is making grants available under the Value-Added Producer Grants program (VAPG). The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.

 Independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer- or rancher-cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures, are eligible to apply for this program.

Beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative or are proposing a mid-tier value chain may receive priority. 


For more information click here

FYI & Events

HATCH: A Global Catalyst For Aquaculture and Alternative Seafood Innovation


HATCH, a global accelerator and investor in early-stage aquaculture companies with a mission to catalyze sustainable innovation in this sector, is organizing the Aquaculture Innovation Studio Hawaii from Apr 18 - May 13, 2022, for the second year in a row in partnership with the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiʻi Authority (NELHA). This program offers unique aquaculture industry mentorship for aquaculture innovators to develop their company's commercial scalability, technological readiness, and product-market fit.


To see the video click here

Click here for website

Click here for pdf



Soil Health Training with Oʻahu Resource Conservation and Development Council

The training program is designed to help commercial farmers to understand the link between soil health, fertility, and production issues. With demonstrations on how to build and maintain soil health throughout the various phases of production. The training program is free and participating farmers will receive a complimentary soil health test from the Crow Soil Ecology and Biogeochemistry Lab as well as support to design and trial a soil health practice on their farm.


For more information

Click here to register



HCA Coffee Cupping Competition

The Hawaii Coffee Association invites you to enter their 13th Statewide Cupping Competition! Submit your best samples to have them professionally evaluated and scored! Engage in a friendly competition with your fellow producers to help raise the bar for Hawaii-grown coffee! Learn more or register here.



HCA 27th Annual Conference, Trade Show & Statewide Cupping Competition

Aloha, HCA Members and Friends!


The registration to the 27th Annual Conference is now open!

Hawaiʻi Coffee Association 27th Annual Conference, Trade Show & 13th Statewide Cupping Competition

May 19-21, 2022

Kona Outrigger Resort & Spa


Please join for education, fellowship and fun! They expect to have a vibrant and interactive group of attendees, presenters and exhibitors at this year’s event. They’ve planned interactive workshops on cupping, roasting and grafting. Events include a networking cocktail mixer, an off-site tour, cupping competition awards ceremony and full service dinner. Register today and book your hotel room with special rate by April 19th!

Conference Schedule and More...


2022 Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair

Event will take place at War Memorial Special Events Field on Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.—and as always, it’s free! 


If there are any new developments surrounding the pandemic that will prohibit MCFB from presenting AgFest, we will let everyone know. For now, save the date, register to participate and buy tickets!


All the signature events will be back, including the Maui Legacy Pancake Breakfast, Grand Taste, Keiki Zone, 4-H Livestock Show and Auction, Farmers’ Market, Education Tent and food booths/food trucks. The event is free, and parking is $5 per car.


New this year is an easy registration system in order to reduce crowding in popular areas. Attendees can go online to mauicountyfarmbureau.org and schedule a time slot to visit the Keiki Zone and the 4-H Livestock Show. Simply show your registration to enter. As always, attendees can purchase tickets for the Legacy Pancake Breakfast and Grand Taste chefs’ event; online sales start May 1.


For all other areas at AgFest, no need to register; they will be wide open to the public. Shop, eat, learn, shop, eat some more! These areas include:


- Farmers’ market

- Education tents

- Tractor displays

- Food trucks & food booths

- Eating areas

- Restrooms


Vendors and sponsors are encouraged to join Maui AgFest 2022 by filling out an online application at mauicountyfarmbureau.org. For the Grown on Maui Farmers’ Market, only product grown on Maui is allowed. New this year is the Made in Maui market for vendors who are official Made in Maui members and including not only agricultural products like Maui Crisps beef jerky and Maui ‘Ulu Hummus, but also jewelry, clothing and more.


It’s everything you’ve come to expect from Maui AgFest, coming to you live and in-person on June 4, 2022: mark your calendars now!


-Maui County Farm Bureau 


Videos & Webinars


Regenerative Agriculture Workshop Series


This workshop series is to provide the Hawaii Women Farmer Network (WFN) with an introduction to regenerative agriculture principles and practices, focusing on soil health management. This series will explore how farmers in Hawaiʻi can better manage the health and functionality of their soil as a pathway to improving their operation. The workshops will support farmers in identifying regenerative agriculture principles and practices they may be using already and assist farmers in monitoring soil health for improvements.

Our farmer-to-farmer network is continuously trialing new practices, sharing what is learned, and collaborating to grow local agriculture together. The workshops are intended to provide a farmer-to-farmer learning platform for the WFN and to explore how local producers and other experts in the field are integrating soil health practices into existing farm management systems and decision-making. 

This four-part workshop series will feature the leadership of female farmers from a diverse spectrum of operations across the islands. Although these workshops are intentionally designed to provide an inspirational and inviting space for wahine in agriculture, these workshops are open to all local producers and agriculture enthusiasts.

Registration is now open for each of the virtual and on-farm workshops, which will begin June 1, 2021. Please click the button below to register. You can check out the workshop topics and register below, view farmer videos, and join our Facebook Group to begin actively participating in our network of farm mentors and agriculture professionals. For those who are unable to attend, you can still view workshop recordings and access workshop materials on our WFN webpage.

In addition to attending the workshop series you can also generate a personalized list of soil health goals for your farm by taking our Regenerative Agriculture Quiz.

For information and to register click here


Soil Nutrient Management Webinar, part 1 & part 2


Part 1: Monday, April 4, 2022

5 pm – 6:30 pm



• Importance of soil testing

• Fertilizer timing for specific plant

growth stages


Register at:



Part 2: Monday, April 11, 2022

5 pm – 6:30 pm



• On-farm trials comparing

nitrogen, phosphorus fertilizers

• Sunn hemp cover crop as a

nitrogen amendment

Register at:



University of Hawaii Presenters:

• Dr. Jonathan Deenik (Soil Specialist)

• Jensen Uyeda (Associate Extension Agent)

• Joshua Silva (Assistant Extension Agent)

• Tai Maaz (Assistant Researcher)


Open to everyone without regard to race, age, sex, color, or disability. Educational activities are accessible for individuals with disabilities. For more information or to request auxiliary aid or service (e.g. sign language interpreter, material in alternative format, etc.), please contact us at: ADA-contact@ctahr.hawaii.edu or Joshua Silva (jhsilva@hawaii.edu) at least seven days prior to the event.

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)



Research and Education

Researchers from Western institutions may apply. Projects must incorporate research and education, and bring together a team of researchers, students, ag professionals, and producers. Submission of Research and Education proposals is limited to applicants who submitted a successful pre-Proposal. Project budget is $350,000 maximum, with project length 1-3 years.

Deadline: May 19, 2022 12:00 PM (MST/MDT)

For full application


Grant Writing Webinars

Western SARE offers grant writing webinars for those interested in applying for Farmer/Rancher grant, Professional + Producer grant, Professional Development grant, Graduate Student grant, Sabbatical Research and Education grant, and/or Research to Grassroots grant.

The following topics are addressed:

  • What is Western SARE?
  • The sections of the proposal: their meaning and expectations
  • The on-line platform submission system
  • How to write a Western SARE budget
  • The proposal review process


View the fall issue of Simply Sustainable with articles on Montana producers testing cover crops, managing Iron deficiency in dry beans, project visits by Western SARE, and ag in Alaska.


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: http://www.westernsare.org/ or contact Hawai'i WSARE co-coordinators Jensen Uyeda (juyeda@hawaii.edu) and Sharon Wages (smotomur@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

Amjad AhmadKylie Tavares & Emilie Kirk Co-Reviewers

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


On-line version of newsletter as well as archived issues available at:  



Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution providing programs and services to the people of Hawai‘i without regard to race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, arrest and court record, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.


Eric Collier | Web Manager | colliere@hawaii.edu

Copyright ©2013 University of Hawai‘i - College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Updated 4 Nov, 2021

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