Volume 19: March | April | May 2014

  • 2 August 2016
  • Author: Moore
  • Number of views: 2445

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

Hānaiʻ Ai

The Food Provider

March | April | May 2014

Aloha Kākou


Aloha Kākou, welcome to the Spring 2014 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.


It takes a community to make agriculture thrive. From crowd sourcing to seeking community involvement in submitting digital pictures to safeguard the Kamehameha butterfly...Yes, you can make an impact in safeguarding and expanding Hawaii's valuable agriculture industry. In this issue we highlight the ways community can support local agriculture.


Our featured farm, Ali'i Kula Lavender, has been a leader and innovator in agritourism, actively engaging visitors and kama'aina alike. In this issue we also feature great research on plant and soil health by CTAHR research and extension personnel. Make sure to visit the "back pages" of the newsletter as well, which features Publications & Programs, upcoming Workshops, Conferences and Meetings, and the Organic Update. Stay up to date with our weekly SOAP activities via our twitter feed at: https://twitter.com/SOAPHawaii

We need your help! Limited resources are pushing CTAHR to be more creative in how it goes about funding it's much needed educational and research programs that benefits everyone from kama'aina to commercial agriculturalists and conservationalists. That’s why we have put up a campaign on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise money so they can raise the roof! And now they need supporters in CTAHR to raise some buzz about the campaign. Know anyone who wants to donate (even a few dollars) to a worthy cause? Point them in the direction of Waimanalo! There’s a little more than a month left on the campaign, plenty of time to get some shelter on the pavilion.


Feature Farmer

 Koa Chang

Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm, Kula, Maui


Area under production: 13.5 acres, at 4,000 ft. elevation

Years farming in Hawaiʻi: 11 years

Crops grown, products/services: Lavender (Approximately 55,000 plant and 45 varieties) as the main crop, and recently, started to increase diversity on the farm to include: citrus trees, apple, plus about 10 more native plants, such as ōʻhia lehua, hibiscus, cane, taro.

Fertility Management: The farm depends on mixed management fertility, it depends on each batch/location of the farm needs and growth stage. In the recent years, the farm has been relying more on organic fertilizers and recycling (composting using Bokashi) and producing our own vermicompost.

Pest management: Mainly neem-based pesticides to control pests and it's been working very well for the plants.

Read the full article here.

Hot Tip from Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm

Utilize value-addition, agritourism and species diversity to improve revenue stability for your operation



Mahalo nui loa to Koa Chang for this interview and photos.





Read More

Sustainable & Organic Research &

Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Ti Leaf Diseases in Hawaii’s Commercial Orchards

M. Kawate, J. Uchida, J. Coughlin, M. Melzer, C. Kadooka, J. Kam, J. Sugano, and S. Fukuda, UH CTAHR PEPS


Ti leaf (Cordyline sp.) also known locally as Kī is an important agricultural crop to Hawaii. Laboratory and field trials which evaluated promising crop protection chemicals for possible minor crop fungicide registrations have been completed with the assistance of CTAHR’s IR-4 Minor Crop Pesticide Registration Program. Read here.


FMI: Michael K Kawate, email: mike@hpirs.stjohn.hawaii.edu

Soil Solarization as a non-chemical preemergent weed control tool on Oahu

Josiah Marquez, UH-CTAHR TPSS, and Koon-Hui Wang UH-CTAHR PEPS


Soil solarization is a non-chemical soil treatment that utilizes solar radiation and a thin film of transparent mulch to heat the soil for soil pasteurization. Soil solarization has been studied as an alternative to chemical soil fumigant and as a pre-emergent control for weed seeds in the ground. This article discusses certain challenges of using solarization in the humid tropics and methods to overcome these obstacles. Read here.


FMI: Josiah Marquez, email: josiahma@hawaii.edu and Koon-Hui Wang, email: koonhui@hawaii.edu

Rhizosphere Inoculum and Amendment

Koon-Hui Wang, CTAHR PEPS


The frequent use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides has lead to disruption of soil health, which often goes unnoticed. New generations of farmers are seeking profitable organic food crop production. Prohibitively high costs of organic fertilizers in Hawaii are providing incentive for farmers to utilize beneficial microorganisms to improve plant health. Many organic farmers are well aware of the benefits of beneficial soil microorganisms for farming. This handout introduces several approaches to invigorate soil microbial activities in agroecosystems to manage root health for profitable fertility and some soil-born stress or disease management. View handout here.


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

New Improvements on Coffee Berry Borer Management

Andrea Kawabata and Stuart T. Nakamoto


Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) has the ability to decimate a coffee crop if left unmanaged. Proper control involves using an integrated pest management (IPM) approach where field sanitation, monitoring, spraying and timely harvests are of utmost importance. Learn about some important and updated CBB recommendations and tips from the 2014 CBB IPM Summit. Read here.


FMI: Andrea Kawabata, email: andreak@hawaii.edu

Producing High Nitrogen Liquid Fertilizer for Fertigation Purposes

Amjad A. Ahmad, Theodore J.K. Radovich, Nguyen V. Hue, and Alton Arakaki UH-CTAHR TPSS


Replacing imported fertilizers with local resources is the highest research and education priority identified by stakeholders throughout the Pacific. The production of locally derived nutrient solutions for fertigation will keep local farmers competitive, reduce water-use and loss, and protect the environment by reducing chemical use. The main objective of this study was to produce high nitrogen soluble fertilizer for fertigation purposes using local organic materials. The lab results showed that locally produced tankage is potentially good, extractable sources of nitrogen. Incubation time, temperature, covering, and addition of vermicompost enhanced nitrogen release. Read here.


FMI: Amjad Ahmad, email: alobady@hawaii.edu


Performance of cool season cover crop in Lalamilo, Waimea, HI, Winter 2013-2014

Archana Pant, Theodore J.K. Radovich, Koon Hui Wang, N.V. Hue, Marla Fergestrom, Randall Hamasaki, Matthew Wung, Cynthia Stiles and Chris Robb


Cover crops are the backbone of sustainable cropping systems as they can prevent soil erosion, reduce nutrient leaching, add organic matter, improve soil health, fix nitrogen, suppress weeds and reduce insect pests and diseases. This project focused on evaluating performance of different species of cool season cover crops at high elevation growing condition in Hawaii. Read here.


FMI: Archana Pant, email: apant@hawaii.edu

Honeybee diet: individual forager decisions and colony health correlates

Ethel Villalobos and Zhening Zhang

The effect of malnutrition on the health of social bees has been the focus of many recent studies. The UH Honeybee Project has begun to look at what plants bees are utilizing in Hawaii by sampling the pollen being brought to the hive by the bees themselves. Read here.


FMI: Ethel Villalobos, email: emv@hawaii.edu

Citizen Science Opportunities


UH-CTAHR's "Pic-a-Papaya" Citizen Science Project

Citizen Scientists can help CTAHR Researchers Scot Nelson and Richard Manshardt "Pic-a-Papaya" by helping us survey papaya plant populations in the Honolulu area for papaya ringspot disease (PRSV) and for plants with genetically engineered resistance to PRSV.

Download and use the free Pic-a-Papaya app for smartphones to snap pics of papaya plants and send them to Drs. Nelson and Manshardt for diagnosis of PRSV. Each plant will be assessed a value of healthy or diseased and its GPS coordinates mapped to a location in Hawaii. Users of the app can view the map to see the distribution of infected plants



Samples of Downy Mildew on Cucurbit Crops

Cucurbits are members of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) which includes popular crops such as cucumber, pumpkin, squash, melon and watermelon. Our lab needs to collect diseased samples from across the state of Hawaii to advance our research on this disease. This article explains downy mildew symptoms (plus photos) and gives instructions on how to participate in this research should you suspect downy mildew on your curcubits. Read more here.


Pulelehua Project

The Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea) is endemic to Hawaiʻi, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. Although the butterfly is historically known from all the main Hawaiian Islands, it is no longer found in some areas where it used to be common (e.g. Tantalus on Oʻahu), and it appears to be declining. The Pulelehua Project is an effort to map current populations of the Kamehameha butterfly using observations submitted by the public, combined with surveys of remote areas by scientists.


We need your help! We are calling upon anyone who sees a Kamehameha butterfly, caterpillar, egg, or chrysalis to submit their photos and observations. Your data will be used to map the current distribution of the Kamehameha butterfly, and help determine how and why it has declined. You can also use this site to learn more about how to find and identify the different life stages and host plants of the Kamehameha butterfly.


Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems 


Natural Farming:

Expanding Tree Diversity in Hawai'i’s Landscapes:


Growing Grapes in Hawai'i

Sugarcane Crosses as Potential Forages for Ruminants: Phase I – Selection Criteria

Biotech in Focus (from the Biotechnology Outreach Program, CTAHR)


From the Agribusiness Incubator


Business Structure and Registration:

Determine the form of ownership that best suits your business venture

By Steven Chiang Director, UH Agribusiness Incubator Program


Many factors must be considered when choosing the best form of business ownership or structure. The choice you make can have an impact on multiple aspects of your business, including taxes, liability, ownership succession, and others. This document is an overview of the various forms of business ownership including sole proprietorship, partnering, corporations, and limited liability companies. It includes excerpts from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Program Office guide on business structure. Read here.


FMI: Steve Chiang, email: schiang@hawaii.edu

Organic Update

Growing Organics: Moving Hawai‘i’s Organic Industry Forward

At the behest of leading members of Hawai‘i’s organic industry, The Kohala Center applied for USDA Specialty Crops Block Development Grant funding, through the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, to conduct a Hawai‘i Organic Industry Analysis and generate a final report. The objective of the proposed project was to (1) conduct a needs assessment and study by soliciting stakeholder input and synthesizing of archival data, and (2) recommend ways to implement an economically self-sustaining organic program. The final report may be found here.

For New Farmers


Molokaʻi Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmer Program Newsletters


Health Options by Alan Titchenal & Joannie Dobbs

(Honolulu Star Advertiser article 4/08/2014)





Sprayer Calibration Using the 1/128th Method for Motorized Back-Pack Mist Sprayer Systems

Calibrating a motorized back-pack mist sprayer properly is an important step in applying crop-protection chemicals to a targeted crop within the recommended label rate. This video covers a modified 1/128th method of calibrating a motorized back-pack mist sprayer, a fast, easy way to compute the gallon-per-acre rate (GPA).


National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health

Presentations (video and .pdf) now available.


Conservation Webinar Portal

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)

Utah State University and the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE) are proud to announce the selection of Dr. Teryl Roper as the program’s new regional director. Dr. Roper will assume his duties on July 1, 2014. The current director, Dr. V. Philip Rasmussen, will retire after 20 years with Western SARE on June 30, 2014. Read more here.


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 Dr. Ted Radovich (theodore@hawaii.edu) and Jari Sugano (suganoj@ctahr.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 4 Nov, 2021

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