Volume 31: Dec | Jan | Feb 2018

  • 18 December 2017
  • Author: Soap Web Master
  • Number of views: 5340
Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community
Hānai ʻAi
The Food Provider December 2017 | January | February 2018
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Welcome to the Winter 2017/2018 issue of Hānai'Ai, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawai'i. To visit the SOAP website, click here. Mahalo to the Hawai'i Department of Agriculture for their continuing support of the website, Hānai'Ai, and other SOAP activities to serve Hawaii's growers. To visit the website, click here. Mahalo to the Hawai'i Department of Agriculture for their continuing support of the website, Hana'Ai, and other SOAP activities to serve Hawaii's growers.

Designing a sustainable agroecosystem is an overarching theme through this issue, highlighted by our Featured Farmer Don Heacock of Kauai Organic Agroecosytem. Don't forget to check our "back pages" for announcements regarding upcoming events and funding opportunities.

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

Sustainable & Organic Research &
Outreach News

News from Hawai'i's Researchers and Extension

Screen House Systems

Sugano, J., K.H Wang, J. Uyeda, J. Silva, K. Wong, D. Meyer, R. Shimabuku, T. Radovich, P. Shingaki, R. Corrales, S. Migita, L. Nakamura-Tengan and S. Fukuda
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, CTAHR

Screen houses can offer farmers environmentally friendly protection from pest pressures in Hawaii. Many crops haven't been commercially viable for production in the tropics due to reduced yield, and the heavy financial costs associated with infestation. In a recent evaluation by CTAHR's extension specialist, a variety of screen houses were assessed for productivity and potential profit margins based on preliminary investments. The availability of grants and financial assistance for the initial set up costs offers farmers a realistic option to produce crops that are highly sought after by both insect and consumers! To read the in depth analysis of screen house production in Hawaii, Read here.

FMI: Jari Sugano, Email: suganoj@ctahr.hawaii.edu

Comparing Multiple Forms of Nematode Suppression on Zucchini and Cherry Tomato

Koon-Hui Wang, Shelby Ching, and Jensen Uyeda
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, CTAHR 





                          Does your sweet potato show splitting symptoms like this? Or does the root system of your zucchini or squash produce galls like this? Then your field is heavily infested with reniform and root-knot nematodes, respectively. This article provides nematode management options for organic or conventional farming, both approaches offer significant yield improvements for infested fields. Read here.

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

Soybean Variety Trial

Joshua Silva, Jensen Uyeda, J, Roger Corralles, Desmond Ogata, and Jari Sugano-Tornel, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, CTAHR

Soybean is a common and popular vegetable in local diets. From home cooked meals to party pupus, this valuable source of protein is the base of many value added products. The commercial success of this crop is partly dependent on the selection of high yielding, good quality, and easily harvest-able varieties. A soybean variety trial was conducted at the Waimānalo Research Station in October 2017 to evaluate yield, pod quality and size, plant growth, and harvest ease. Read here.

FMI: Joshua Silva, Email: jhsilva@hawaii.edu

Agroforestry Can Offer Cooling Shade, Nutritious Food

Kalani Matsumura,
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, CTAHR

Agroforestry is the integration of trees and shrubs into farming systems for economic, environmental, and social benefits. You can use tropical agroforestry practices in your garden to provide shade, recycle nutrients, and grow nutritious food. Read here.

FMI: Kalani Matsumura, Email: kalanitm@hawaii.edu


Breadfruit in Regenerative Agroforestry

Craig Elevitch and Diane Ragone
Agroforestry Net, NTBG Breadfruit Institute

Breadfruit has been an integral part of Pacific island agroforestry systems for centuries. The Breadfruit Institute, located at The National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai, in collaboration with Agroforestry Net, with be holding a series of six workshops throughout Hawaii to build knowledge and awareness of regenerative breadfruit agroforestry. Click Here


FMI: Craig Elevitch, Email: cre@agroforestry.org

Publications & Programs

For sustainable and organic production systems


New from CTAHR

Organic Update

"Organic" is More Than a Marketing Label

A recent article published in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Environmental Science highlights the history and complexity of organic farming and attempts to challenge oversimplification of this unique approach towards sustainable agriculture. Although based on observations made in nature and practices derived from traditional agricultural systems, the contemporary organic farming movement developed in response to dramatic changes in food systems during the 20th century.

Organic Field Day Presentations

Presentations from the field day held at CTAHR's certified organic plots in Waimanalo and Poamoho are available online here.

Organic Agriculture Research Act 2017

Chellie Pingree, a representative and farmer from Maine, introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2017. This bipartisan bill proposes more than doubling the previously allocated funds for organic agriculture research for the 2018 Farm Bill. Increased funding will be directed towards addressing many topics such as soil health, cover crops, effective pest control and weed management, plant breeding, cultivar development, and the economics of organic farming. To read more about the fight for organic agriculture on capital hill click here.

USDA Seeks Applications for $10 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants

The USDA is now accepting proposals for innovative conservation projects directed towards three areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health. The organic systems focus looks to develop innovative cropping and tillage systems, edge-of-field monitoring, crop rotations and inter cropping systems. Grant proposals are due Feb. 26, 2018. For more information, click here.

The intent of these columns is to improve understanding in those unfamiliar with organic production and to provide a resource to growers interested in or currently producing organically. Let us know what you want to see featured by emailing theodore@hawaii.edu


The Kohala Center: Local Seeds For Local Needs

Hawaii Seed Growers Network (HSGN)

Small-scale farmers and home gardeners in Hawaii now have an additional option for purchasing locally produced seeds! A statewide group of seed producers, organized and supported by The Kohala Center's Hawaii Public Seed Initiative launched its online store on December 4th. Their current collection of locally adapted seeds include beans, flowers, fruits, greens, herbs, and peppers. HGSN's goal is to contribute to resilient local food systems by offering seeds selectively bred to thrive in Hawaii's diverse soils micro-climates. Pre-order your 2018 varieties today!

Breadfruit Agroforestry Workshops 

The Breadfruit Institute (NTBG) in collaboration with Agroforestry Net

Attention all Islands! Mark your calendars for a Breadfruit Agroforestry Workshops near you! The Breadfruit institute, located at The National Tropical Botanical Garden, in collaboration with Agroforestry Net, will be holding workshops focused on utilizing Breadfruit in a regenerative, agroforestry setting. Growers, processors, sellers, chefs/restaurateurs, consumers, educators, policymakers, and others interested in regenerating breadfruit are encouraged to attend. For dates, locations, and registration info Click here

CTAHR Celebrates a Decade of Kalo


Waimanalo Research Station

The CTAHR ohana welcomes you to celebrate 10 years of Hawaiian Kalo planted on site at the Waimanalo Research Station. This fun and educational event will be held on March 17, 2018. For more information regarding this event, contact CTAHR extension agent Jari Sugano.

Industrial Hemp Pilot Program


Hawaii Department of Agriculture

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is currently developing seed for their industrial hemp pilot program in Hawaii. Depending on the results from the initial variety trials, the estimated time for application release is projected as February 2018 (subject to change.) Interested applicants should review the following rules and regulations.
ACT 228
ACT 199
Hemp Program Admin. Regulations

New Farmers

Molokai Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmers Newsletter

Increasing Efficiency on Your Farm


Glenn Teves, University of Hawai'i Mānoa, CTAHR

The Molokai Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmers Quarterly Newsletter for Fall 2017 focuses on eliminating the aspects of your farm that don't serve you. Efficiency on a farm can be the defining factor between success and excess. Creating simplicity and order on your farm can not only help organize your system, but make room for success! Check out this article to find out more!

FMI: Glenn Teves, Email: TevesG@ctahr.hawaii.edu

Finding a New Crop


Glenn Teves, University of Hawai'i Mānoa, CTAHR

Whether new or old to farming, the question of what to grow will always present itself. In a place where hundreds of different crops can be grown commercially, this can be a very difficult question, and also a very expensive one if you select the wrong crop. So what is the 'right' crop? click here for some helpful hints on choosing your next cash crop!

FMI: Glenn Teves, Email: TevesG@ctahr.hawaii.edu

From the Agribusiness Incubator Program (AIP)


Sales Channels For Your Product


AIP and Erik Shimizu

Once you've started producing a viable crop or value added product, the next step is getting it to your customers. Deciding on the proper sales channel (direct to consumer, retail, and wholesale outlets)requires you to consider your volume of production, quality and sales goals. click here to find out the pros and cons of each option and which one might be best for you.

FMI: Erik Shimizu, Email: erikms@hawaii.edu

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education Program (WSARE)

Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy

High and fluctuating energy costs have caused economic challenges for many of the country's farmers and ranchers. For this reason, more producers are seeking alternative energy sources to improve their energy independence and revenue. check out ways in which your farm can generate it's energy!

Our Farms, Our Future Conference 

April 3-5, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri.

This national event will bring together a diverse agricultural community: farmers and ranchers, agricultural professionals, agribusiness stakeholders, students, researchers, scientists, agency representatives, and nonprofit leaders. Every decade, SARE hosts a conference to look at the progress of sustainability in agriculture, and to understand our trajectory for the future. click here for more information and registration details.

Videos Worth Watching

Cover Crops, Soil Health Principles, and Maximizing Yields One of four videos in a webinar series produced by the American Society of Agronomy (co-sponsored by SARE) addresses many aspects of cover crops and their benefits to your growing system. Check out all four videos here.

To brose all of WSARE videos click 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 involced 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.

To continue receiving this newsletter, please confirm your interest by updating your profile/email address (see link below). If this publication has been valuable, please forward it to others. Send in your suggestions for what you want to read about in our articles. Tell us about your research needs.

Mahalo nui loa,

Jari Sugano and Dr. Ted Radovich
Giselle Bryant, technician and editor

Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program
Cooperative Extension Service
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa



In this Issue


Featured Farmer

Don Heacock, Kauai Organic Agroecosystem (KOA)Lihue, Kaua'i

Area under production: 25-acre integrated aquaculture,agriculture, agroforestry, and agropastoral farm on Kaua'i.

Years farming in Hawai'i: Don Heacock has been farming the land that is now KOA since 1986, but has been working with plants all his life.

Crops grown: Taro, avocado, blue tilapia, ulu, papaya, banana, industrial bamboo, hardwoods, yerba mate, and more!

Fertility management: Alluvial flooding and natural agropastrol and agroforestry nutrient cycling maintains fertilization on the farm. Integrates N-fixing trees, azolla, biochar, and sheet composting.

Read full article here

Mahalo nui loa to Don Heacock for this interview and photos.


from Kauai Organic Agroecosystems

Optimize the sources of nutrients that naturally occur on your land!


Categories: Event, Archive