Volume 25: Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec 2015

  • 2 August 2016
  • Author: Moore
  • Number of views: 2532
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
September-December  2015   
Sustainable and Organic Program Logo

Happy Holidays! Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Hanai'Ai, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.


Vegetables take center stage with original research and production updates on taro, tomato and green onion. Our partners at Kohala Center, Hawaiian Islands Trust and NRCS have updates on conservation land trusts, conservation client gateway and beginning farmer/rancher programs. New CTAHR publications, the Organic Corner and mana'o from CTAHRs Agribusiness Incubator Program round out this last newsletter of 2015.


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
Growing Upland Taro
Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR -Cooperative Extension Service - Molokai
The majority of taro grown on the islands today is in wetland or submerged culture, but traditionally taro was also grown in upland areas with reliable rainfall. With a decrease in amount and reliability of water flow for wetland cultivation, upland taro production is a viable alternative, albeit with its own difficulties, including differences in resulting poi characteristics. Read here .
FMI: Glenn I. Teves, email:  tevesg@ctahr.hawaii.edu  
Using Reflective Plast ic Mulch to Enhance Plant Quality and Pest Management in Tomato
Dr. Leyla Kaufman, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Plastic mulches provide many positive advantages for farmers, such as increased yields, early maturing crops, crops of higher quality, enhanced insect management, and weed control. A tomato field trial was carried out at Poamoho Experimental Station from June to October 2015.  The main objective of the trial was to assess the effectiveness of a silver reflective plastic mulch to suppress insect vectors of viruses, and other relevant pests in tomato. Read here .
FMI: Dr. Leyla Kaufman, email:  leyla@hawaii.edu
White Stem Negi Onion Variety Trial 
Jensen Uyeda, Steve Fukuda, and Jari Sugano
University of Hawaii at Manoa, CTAHR 
Green onions are typically grown in Hawai'i for the use of the dark green leaves as a garnish. However, in Japan these 'Negi' are grown for the use of their long white stems in cooking. This trial evaluated five commercially available varieties for stem length, shoot length, number of shoots, and total plant weight. The results of this and further green onion trials will be used to determine which varieties are most suitable for production in Hawai'i.  Read here .
FMI: Jensen Uyeda, email:  juyeda@hawaii.edu
Tankage: A Locally Produced Nitrogen Source
Ted Radovich, Amjad Ahmad, Alton Arakaki, Jari Sugano, Jensen Uyeda, and Hue V. Nguyen
University of Hawaii at Manoa, CTAHR
Tankage, the solid by-product of the animal rendering process, has continued to gain importance as an agricultural input in Hawaii. It is known as a high and readily available source of nitrogen for vegetable producers and other growers. Recent work has confirmed N content to generally exceed 9%, and expected mineralization rates approach 70%  during a crop cycle under field conditions. Nitrogen loss over time  in the lab was considerable (5-15% loss annually), and may be greater under field storage conditions.  Read here .
FMI: Amjad Ahmad, email:  alobady@hawaii.edu
FMI: Theodore Radovich,  email:  theodore@hawaii.edu
Beginning Farmer-Rancher Development Program
The Kohala Center, Waimea, Hawai'i
By motivating and training the next generation of local farmers, The Kohala Center's Beginning Farmer-Rancher Development Program seeks to increase local food production, decrease dependency on imports, diversify Hawai'i Island's rural economy, create jobs, and move Hawai'i toward greater food self-reliance. Read here .
 FMI: Derrick Kiyabu, email:  dkiyabu@kohalacenter.org
 The Kohala Center, phone: 808-887-6411
Protect Your Land for Future Generations with Hawaiian Islands Land Trust
Janet Britt and Tina Aiu, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust 
As the world continues to develop, people who love the land are looking for ways to protect it. Kaye Lundburg and her family have turned to Hawaiian Islands Land Trust to preserve their land by donating it to a conservation easement. By partnering with the State of Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DLNR - DOFAW) and the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Kaye is submitting her land to a 10-year stewardship plan that will protect the land while taking action to return it to the native forest that it once was.  Read here.  
FMI: Janet Britt, email:  janet@hilt.org
FMI: Tina Aiu, email:  tina@hilt.org
Conservation Client Gateway
Jolene Lau, NCRS Honolulu, Hawai'i
Conservation Client Gateway is a secure online web application that allows NRCS clients to check the status of their conservation plans, apply for financial assistance, track payments, report completed practices, and electronically sign documents. Sean Fong of Hawaiian Turfgrass tried it out, and has given the system a stamp of approval. Read here
FMI: Jolene Lau, email:Jolene.Lau@hi.usda.gov
Publications & Programs
for sustainable and organic production systems
New from CTAHR
From the AgriBusiness Incubator 
Agribusiness Incubator Program
Training Programs for Beginning Farmers

Steven Chiang
Director, UH Agribusiness Incubator Program

There has been a dramatic increase in interest in local produce, but this has not translated to an equal increase 
in the number of local farmers in Hawai'i. Farming is a tough line of work, and many of those who are attempting to fill Hawai'i's need for local food are coming into the business with no prior experience. Fortunately, there are some resources available for these pioneers, courtesy of UH and other ag-related centers.  Read here .
FMI: Steve Chiang, email : schiang@hawaii.edu  
Organic Update
Hawaii Farm and Food Organic Agriculture on the Rise
Organic agriculture production is, quite literally, growing, on both state and national levels. To learn more about these statistics, Read more here and follow the links below.
Cover Your Assets with Cover Crops: Hawai'i Farm and Food 
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 term 'soil health' in agriculture refers to the ability of the soil to support plant growth and is dependent on many physical, chemical, and biological properties. Cover-cropping is a particularly valuable tool because it contributes to soil health in many ways and can also enhance biodiversity above ground by providing a habitat for beneficial insects, suppressing weeds, and breaking pest cycles.  Read more here.
Subscribe to Hawaiʻi Farm and Food here:
Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture
Webinar series from the   USDA Science and Technology Training Portal 

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

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.
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  • Tell us about your research needs. 
Mahalo nui loa,
Sarah Moore, technician and editor
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
HOT TIP: Makaha Mangoes
Featured Farmer:
  Gerry Ross and Janet Simpson,
Kupa'a Farms, Kula, Maui
Area under production: 4 acres non-certified organic

Years farming in Hawai'i: 12 years


Crops grown, animals raised, other services: 
diversified vegetables, tropical fruit, and coffee   


Fertility Management:

Crop rotation, food waste compost, cover crops, 
compost tea, feather meal as a soil amendment, and liquid fish meal through our drip system.


Read full article here


Mahalo nui loa to

Gerry Ross and Janet Simpson for this interview and photos.  

Kupa'a Farms

-- Tap into the waste stream to cut your fertilizer costs and build soil fertility.

-- Consider a high tunnel with insect screen-these have amazing potential!

Quick Links



USDA NRCS Pacific Island Area

NOP Organic Insider 

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