Volume 24: June | July | Aug 2015

  • 2 August 2016
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Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community
HTML version of HānaiʻAi available at: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/news/index.html
The Food Provider
June | July | August  2015   
Sustainable and Organic Program Logo

Welcome to the Spring 2015 issue of Hanai'Ai, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.


One of the great things about summer is locally grown fruit. In Hawaiʻi that means mangoes, lychee, banana, papaya, and many others. In this special summer fruit issue, we feature Makaha Mangoes, the upcoming Hawai'i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference, and proudly introduce two new faculty members with research interest in sustainable fruit production.

Alyssa Cho  

Alyssa Cho



Noa Kekuewa Lincoln  

Noa Kekuewa Lincoln
Assistant Researcher in Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems



Summer 2015 is also the Summer of Soil! In this issue we feature CTAHR cover crop and compost research and two articles on soil health from our friends at NRCS. 


Other great features in this issue include: 

  • Back to Our Roots: Hawai'i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference
  • Climate change
  • Lots of great new research from the Center of Rural Agriculture Training and Entrepreneurship
  • New online pubs from CTAHR
  • Understanding Organic in Hawaiʻi and other Organic Update features
  • Upcoming local events featuring sustainability
  • WSARE updates including upcoming funding opportunities

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


Sustainable & Organic Research & Outreach News
News from Hawaii's researchers & extension professionals
2015 Hawaiʻi WSARE Professional Development Program Summer Update
WSARE 2015 field trip

Jari Sugano, Ted Radovich, and Jody Smith
WSARE Hawaiʻi Program


The Hawaiʻi WSARE Professional Development Program (PDP) participated in the 2015 Western SARE PDP held in Durango, Colorado on July 6-8, 2015. Program leaders from the Western SARE PDP as well as members from the Western SARE Administrative Council attended the summer meeting. We received updates on the National & regional SARE program (communication, grants, reporting, etc.), participated in small group discussions on enhancing state grant PDP programing, took part in a presentation entitled, "Resilient and Sustainable Ag Communities", and engaged in an day long educational tour of sustainable agricultural projects around Durango. Read here


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

Southwest Regional Climate Hubs and Climate Change in Hawai'i

Drought prediction map Jensen Uyeda, CTAHR-TPSS and Clay Trauernicht, CTAHR-NREM  


In 2014 the USDA formed seven regional climate hubs across the United States to support climate-smart decision-making. This is a multiagency effort among the Agriculture Research Service, US Forest Service, and Natural Resource Conservation Service intended to deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners that will help them adapt to climate change and weather variability. Hawaiʻi and the US-affiliated Pacific Islands are included in the Southwestern Regional Climate Hub (SWRCH). Read here.  


FMI: Jensen Uyeda, email: juyeda@hawaii.edu; Clay Trauernicht, email: trauerni@hawaii.edu   


New Kind of PIE: Introducing Public Issues Education-Hawai'i

PIE logo M'Randa Sandlin, CTAHR-Public Issues Education-Hawaiʻi


Public Issues Education-Hawai'i (PIE-HI) is a new area of research and outreach in CTAHR created to measure consumer and constituent knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes about agriculture and natural resource issues that affect Hawaiʻi. Through unbiased research and proactive outreach, communication, and training, policy makers and the general public can make informed decisions to protect and preserve agriculture and natural resources in Hawaiʻi.   Read here.

FMI: M'Randa Sandlin, email: SandlinM@ctahr.hawaii.edu  


Rapid 'Ohi'a Death | Ceratocystis Wilt of 'Ohi'a

cardy meter J.B. Friday, CTAHR-NREM


A newly identified disease has killed thousands of acres of mature 'ohi'a trees ( Metrosideros polymorpha) in forests and residential areas of the Puna and Hilo Districts of Hawai'i Island. Landowners have observed that when previously healthy-looking trees begin to exhibit symptoms they typically die within a matter of weeks. Pathogenicity tests conducted by the USDA Agriculture Research Service have determined that the causal agent of the disease is the vascular wilt fungus, Ceratocystis fimbriata. Read here.
 FMI: J.B. Friday, email: jbfriday@hawaii.edu


Organic farmer uses cover crops for soil health

Chris Robb Jolene Lau, USDA NRCS Pacific Islands Area


Chris Robb is an organic farmer from Hawai'i County who began Robb Farms in 1993. Historically, he used compost because it kept the soil fertility up and worked well with his system of vegetable cropping. Now, Robb is experimenting with different cover crop mixes. A lot of research has been done for the subtropical lower elevations, but Robb Farms is almost a sub-temperate climate with definitive seasons. The soil temperatures are cooler, and the variety of plants that can be grown are quite different. The soil max builder Robb likes is a combination of cayuse oats, bell beans, Austrian peas, and purple vetch that work very well. The resulting compost is a stable form with a longer residual effect.  Read here.


FMI: Jolene Lau, email: Jolene.Lau@hi.usda.gov 

Building the Future on a Foundation of Soil Health

Unlock the Secrets in the Soil Susan Kubo, USDA NRCS Pacific Islands Area


Healthy soil produces more, and will increase your profits not just by higher yields, but also through lower inputs of labor, fuel, fertilizer and pesticides. Soil health isn't important just for farmers. Improperly managed grazing can disturb the soil. Forest systems that lack diversity also lack stability and function. The principles of building healthy soils are the same everywhere. Read here.


FMI: Susan Kubo, email: susan.kubo@hi.usda.gov 

Publications & Programs
for sustainable and organic production systems
cacao black pod rot New from CTAHR
CRATE: Center for Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship
In this column, the CRATE team will publish recent project activities that will help local farmers to explore competitive and economically viable organic crop production methods. 

CRATe icon Cover Crop Plant Available Nitrogen (PAN) Calculator

Koon-Hui Wang, Archana Pant, Theodore Radovich, Shova Mishra, Shelby Ching, Jeana Cadby, UH-CTAHR


cover crop research Leguminous cover crops can contribute significant amount of nitrogen to crop production. However, farmers need a better tool to accurately estimate the nitrogen contribution from legumes so as to precisely reduce fertilizer rates. A simple calculator to address this issue was developed for Idaho and Oregon farmers with high success rate. This project is adapting this concept for tropical climates and soil types in the Pacific Islands. View poster here.


Hot Water Treatment for Arthropod Pests Management  

Koon-Hui Wang, Megan Manley, Donna Meyer, Jari Sugano, Jensen Uyeda, UH-CTAHR


hot water treatment Hot water treatments have been shown effective to free various plant materials (including potted plants, plant suckers, tropical cut flowers) from arthropods and other invertebrate or vertebrate pests particularly for export materials against quarantine pests. The objective of this project is to examine the potential of hot water treatment as a non-chemical based approach to manage arthropod pests on field grown crops. Two cropping systems targeting on different key arthropod pests were examined: 1) tea (Camellia sinensis) infested with red, broad and 2-spotted spider mites (Acari: Tarsonemidae) and scale insects (Homoptera: Diaspididae); and 2) tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) infested with silverleaf whiteflies (Bemisia argentifolii). View poster here.  


Insectary Plants for Organic IPM

Koon-Hui Wang, Adam Park, Shelby Ching, Shova Mishra, Jari Sugano, Jensen Uyeda, Jane Tavares, and Marisol Quintanilla, UH-CTAHR


insectary Insectary plants attract beneficial insects. Most insectary plants produce a great abundance of nectar and pollen critical for the survival, development and reproduction of many natural enemies of agricultural pests. Some insectary plants provide ground cover, creating habitat for ground arthropods. Other insectary plants produce extra-floral nectaries (nectar glands not associated with flowers) that serve as food sources and mating sites. This poster summarizes how to integrate insectary plants into different agroecosystems compatible with organic farming practices. View poster here.


Use of Oyster Mushroom Compost for Nematode Management

Shelby Ching and Koon-Hui Wang, UH-CTAHR


basil root gall The oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is known to have nematicidal effects on plant-parasitic nematodes in vitro. Currently, information is lacking on making use of the nematicidal properties of oyster mushroom against plant-parasitic nematodes in the field. Two basil field trials were conducted with amending potting mix with 50% oyster mushroom compost, and drenching the roots with 25% MCWE after transplant into the field. Objectives of these experiments were to examine if mushroom compost treatments 1) suppressed plant-parasitic nematodes; 2) enhanced beneficial nematodes (bacterivores, fungivores, omnivores) and 3) improved basil yield. View poster here. 


For More Information on all the posters above, contact Koon-Hui Wang, email: koon-hui@hawaii.edu, and visit CRATE.  


From the AgriBusiness Incubator 
Agribusiness Incubator Program
Distributing Your Product within Hawaiʻi Taking your product to market,
do you have to do all the work?

Steven Chiang

Director, UH Agribusiness Incubator Program


There are many ways to get people to buy your wonderful Hawaii-grown or -made product.  Customers can come to your business and buy it directly from you, you can take it to a farmers' market and sell it to them, you can take it to a restaurant, a wholesaler can send a truck to your farm, or it can be a combination of distribution options.  Each one of these options has its positive and negative sides. Read here.    


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

Organic Update

Hawaii Farm and Food Understanding Organic: Hawaiʻi Farm and Food

This is first in a regular series of columns on organic agriculture. 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 primary goal of organic agriculture is to enhance biological cycles in the soil and aboveground to meet our food and fiber needs in the short term, while sustaining the economic, natural and human resources required to ensure productivity in the long term. Read more here.


Subscribe to Hawaiʻi Farm and Food here:

Organic Seed Production Offers Profit Potential

Sourcing organic seeds has emerged as a vexing problem for organic producers, who often search in vain for certified seed in varieties suited to their needs. But the shortage of specialty seed can offer lucrative opportunities to regional organic seed growers, according to a study by researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) extension. Read more here, news from the Organic Farming Research Foundation. 


Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture

Webinar series from the  USDA Science and Technology Training Portal 

For New Farmers
Go Farm Hawaii

AgCurious & GoFarm Hawaii on Maui


July 27, 2015, 5:30 - 8:30 pm, UH Maui College


RSVP to Maui@gofarmhawaii.org or call 808-984-3243.


 GoFarm Hawai`i comes to Maui at UH Maui College. Attend our AgCurious seminar to find out about and apply for the subsequent phases starting in August.

Citizen Science
Dr. Ania Wieczorek & student

Saturday GENE-ius Program


CTAHRʻs Dr. Ania Wieczorek has long observed that Hawaii's teachers lacked the resources and time to teach science comprehensively in their classrooms. She saw an opportunity to augment what was being taught in Hawaii's public and private schools during non-school hours. To fill this void, she has created curricula that transport young students into new, imaginative worlds where they are immersed in criminal forensics and other roles involving science.  Read here.


CTAHR Learning Centers: Using Experiment Stations to Increase Engagement of Traditional and Non-traditional Stakeholders

Workshops | Conferences | Meetings
Moringa (Malunggai) Field Day
  • July 29, 2015, 2:00-4:30 PM, Dupont Pioneer, 94-488 Kunia Rd, Waipahu HI 96797 (intersection of Anonui and Kunia roads)
  • Learn about research and marketing updates on Moringa (Malunggai, Moringa oleifera) and see new tree types being screened by CTAHR.
  • DuPont Pioneer policy requires visitors going to fields to wear long pants and covered shoes. Please obey speed limit signs, use seatbelts, and refrain from using telephones while driving on Pioneer property.
  • FMI or to RSVP email: theodore@hawaii.edu
Hawaii Conservation Conference 2015
Permaculture Design Certificate Program
Seed Saving Workshop
  • August 8, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Waimea Valley, 59-864 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, HI 96712
  • Featuring Lyn Howe from the Hawai'i Public Seed Initiative. Learn the best ways to save, store and clean seeds. Meet other "Seed Heads" at this community gathering. This free workshop is in preparation for the Waimea Valley Seed Exchange.
  • Register at  www.eventbrite.com/e/slow-food-hawaii-hawaii-seed-seed-saving-workshop-tickets-17609398184 
  • FMI: Mary Lacques, 808 652-5286
  • Sponsors: Slow Food in Hawai'i, Hawai'i SEED, Waimea Valley
The Dirt on Soilless Agriculture
  • August 15, 2015
  • 8 am - 3 pm, @Kroc Center, 91-3257 Kualaka'i Parkway, Conference (including lunch)
    4 pm - 8 pm, @Mari's Gardens, 94-415 Makapipipi St.- Farm tour and gourmet wine dinner by Miso & Ale
  • Registration Information: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-dirt-on-soilless-agriculture-tickets-16440237192  
  • Early Bird Special: $180 until July 15. Regular Rate ($195) after July 15. Fee includes conference participation, coffee and light breakfast, bento-style lunch, guided farm tour, and gourmet wine dinner featuring Mari's Gardens fish and produce.
  •  Conference flier 
Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Back to our Roots Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers
First Annual Natural Farming Symposium
  • October 1-3, 2015
  • Komohana Research and Extension, 875 Komohana Street , Hilo, HI, 96720
  • $200 for members of the Hawai'i Farmers Union and $250 for non-members
  • FMI: contact M. DuPonte, email: mduponte@hawaii.edu

The Symposium will include hands-on activities, interactive presentations, farm tours, keynote speakers, and panel discussions on topics including federal funding and legislative updates. Natural Farming is the practice of using locally sourced microorganisms to boost soil fertility and plant health and productivity.

Videos and Webinars

Rapid 'Ohi'a Death ~ 'Ohi'a Wilt: Sampling 'Ohi'a trees for infection with Ceratocystis fimbriata

Sampling 'Ohi'a trees for infection with Ceratocystis fimbriata
Sampling 'Ohi'a trees for infection with
Ceratocystis fimbriata

Production of Edible Ginger Clean Seed by Sub-irrigation methods in Hawaiʻi

TheUSDANRCS YouTube Channel


Our agency was founded to prevent another Dust Bowl, and soil health has always been our focus. We invite you to join us this year, and every year, in celebrating the soil.


SARE bulletins and brochures on innovative sustainable agriculture practices available on-line

Funding Opportunities
Western SARE

The 2016 Calls for Proposals for four Western SARE grant programs have been released. Descriptions of each program and links to the full Call can be found at westernsare.org/Grants/Types-of-Grants. 

  • Professional Development projects focus on training agricultural professionals to help them spread knowledge about sustainable agriculture concepts and practices. Proposals are due noon MDT, October 28, 2015 with notification in March 2016.
  • Farmer/Rancher projects are conducted by agricultural producers with support and guidance from a technical advisor. Producers typically use their grants to conduct on-site experiments with results that can be shared with other producers. Multiple farmers or associations may qualify for a higher level of funding. Proposals are due 1 pm MDT, December 2, 2015 with notification in March 2016.
  • Professional + Producer projects are similar in concept to the Farmer/Rancher Grants with a few key differences. Instead of a producer serving as the project coordinator, an agricultural professional coordinates the project. Farmers or ranchers serve as project advisors. Proposals are due 1 pm MDT, December 2, 2015 with notification in March 2016.
Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)
WSARE logo

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.
  • 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,
Jody Smith, e-Extension Manager
Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program
Cooperative Extension Service
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

On-line version of newsletter available at
In This Issue
Research & Outreach News
Agribusiness Incubator
Organic Update
For New Farmers
Citizen Science
Workshops & Conferences
Videos | Webinars
Funding Opportunities
HOT TIP: Makaha Mangoes
Tree-ripened mangos
Featured Farmer:
  Mark Suiso
Makaha Mangoes, Makaha, Oʻahu
Area under production: 1 acre, plus other cooperative arrangements

Years farming in Hawai'i: 25 years


Crops grown, animals raised, other services: mango, tropical fruit, sheep and goats   


Fertility Management:

It is evolving, from traditional, to mulches and foliars to EM®, occasional soil and tissue analysis.


Read the full article here. 


Mahalo nui loa to

Mark Suiso for this interview and photos.  

Mark Suiso
Makaha Mangoes

There's lots of information on YouTube and Google. Sharing information with others helps us all get better.


Makaha Mangoes 


Makaha Mangoes on Facebook 

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