Volume 27: Sept | Oct | Nov 2016

  • 26 September 2016
  • Author: Moore
  • Number of views: 6436
Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community
Hānai ʻAi
The Food Provider September | October | November 2016
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This issue we feature an inspiring young farmer from the big island, Kyle Studer, who is growing his own way. We also have great articles by CTAHR faculty and partners on topics ranging from native Hawaiian sugarcane, mulch and conservation programs, and great updates from the CRATE program.

The deadline for submitting organic certification fee reimbursement to the Department of Agriculture is Sept 30th; get your applications in now! More details can be found in the Organic Updates section. Grants available to farmers are still open at the WSARE website, see below for details on proposal due dates - they are coming up fast. Lots of other great information in this issue, so check it out!

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

Kō (Sugarcane) as a Traditional Hawaiian Crop

Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

When we think about native crops, kō, or sugarcane, rarely comes to mind. However, research shows that sugarcane was once an integral part of many different cropping systems across the islands. Dr. Lincoln of UH CTAHR has created an identification guide for the myriad of native kō varieties, which will soon be accessible to the public in an online format. Read here.

FMI: Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, email: nlincoln@hawaii.edu

The Wild World of Sugarcane Genetics

Michael Kantar, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

Commercial sugarcane is an interspecific cross: the result of two different parent species. Hawaiian sugarcane varieties, however, are a single, pure species (Saccharum officinarum). An ongoing project seeks to trace the genetic fingerprint of kō as a means to track the number of times cane was introduced to Hawaii, find relationships to the varieties present in world collections, and assist in the conservation of traditional varieties. Read here.

FMI: Michael Kantar, email: mbkantar@hawaii.edu

Mulches for Pest Control and Soil Health

Marisol Quintanilla-Tornel, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

Whether comprised of synthetic or organic material, mulches can play a surprisingly beneficial role in pest control and soil health. This article outlines the benefits of a few different types of mulches and when to use each to attain sustainable pest control. Read here.

FMI: Marisol Quintanilla-Tornel, email: marisolq@hawaii.edu

White Stem Negi Onion Trial

Jensen Uyeda, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

This article gives a few updates on the Negi onion trials ongoing at Poamoho research station on O'ahu. In Hawai'i, green onions are typically grown for their green leaves, while in Japan they are grown for their white stems and known as Negi onions. This trial seeks to evaluate 20 different varieties for potential Negi onion production here in Hawai'i. Read here.

FMI: Jensen Uyeda, email: juyeda@hawaii.edu

Candidate Conservation Program (CCP)

Carrie Harrington, Candidate Conservation Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The CCP is a tool designed to help rare and/or declining native Hawaiian species before they can become listed as threatened or endangered. Similar to SHA or MOU, the agreements provided by this program grant landowners benefits and a degree of predictability regarding how their land can be managed utilizing proactive conservation strategies. Read here.

FMI: Carrie Harrington, email: carrie_harrington@fws.gov Website: www.fws.gov/pacficislands

Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems

New from CTAHR

CRATE: Center for Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship

In this column, the CRATE team generated two YouTube videos featuring the use of insectary settings to attract natural enemies of arthropod pests for various agroecosystems.

Insectary Settings for Arthropod Pest Management I

Koon-Hui Wang and Shelby Ching, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

Besides attracting pollinators to the system, insectary plants provide pollen or nectar to attract predators and parasitoids of various pests. Other insectary settings include night light traps and wasp nesting blocks. The first video highlights the use of insectary settings to manage taro and onion pests. View video here.

Insectary Settings for Arthropod Pest Management II

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

The second video highlights the use of insectary settings to manage arthropod pests on eggplant and brassica crops through proper cropping designs. Commercial cover crops as well as native plants can provide services as insectary plants through ecological understanding of agroecosystems. View video here.

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

Organic Update

USDA Organic Cost-Share Programs

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has renewed a cooperative agreement with the Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reimburse a portion of the cost of organic certification. The agreement is in effect between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. Reimbursement of 75% of an individual's certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope. Such certification costs must be paid during the period stated above. Hawaii has a reimbursement budget of $31,900 for organic growers/producers, and $81,000 for organic value-added processors/handlers. Deadline for receipt of all applications and documents is Friday, October 14, 2016. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Organic Seed Production Webinars

A continuing series on organic seed production, offered by Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), covers a range of topics, from planting to harvest to the economics of seed production. Three seminars already given are archived here:


The schedule for the remaining seminars are listed below. All webinars take place at 2PM EST (8AM HST). You are welcome to attend even if you missed the first two presentations. Register now.

NOP Handbook Update: Revised Instruction on Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp

The National Organic Program (NOP) has published an update to an NOP Handbook Instruction document.

NOP 20140: Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp Production

This instruction applies to all NOP-accredited certifying agents, and replaces the version of NOP 2040 issued in February 2016. The document clarifies U.S. Department of Agriculture policy regarding the organic certification of industrial hemp production by USDA-accredited certifying agents. View all NOP guidance, instructions, and policies in the NOP Handbook.

Subscribe to Hawai'i Farm and Food 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


Farm Training Opportunities (Workshop)

September 24, Key Project, 47-200 Waihee Rd, Kaneohe, O'ahu

A workshop featuring guest speakers focusing on training opportunities and grant opportunities for farmers on O'ahu. Click here for more information and to register.

2016 HFUU Annual Convention

October 14-16, Hilo

The 2016 HFUU Annual Convention is Oct. 14-16 just outside of Hilo on Hawai'i Island. Our host is the beautiful OK Farms located alongside the historic Wailuku river in Hilo, long blessed with sufficient rainfall and used for agriculture for over 100 years. OK Farms specializes in high-quality tree crops such as coffee, macadamia nuts, cacao, hearts of palm, and a wide variety of citrus, tropical fruits and spices. See flyer HERE.

Art and Culture of Seed Saving

October 17, Mahele Farm, Hana, Maui

For more information see flyer here.

11th Annual East Side Seed Exchange

October 22, Pāhoa, Hawai'i Island

Bring your favorite dishes focusing on fresh and locally grown produce for the Potluck - bring seeds and FIRE ANT-FREE plant cuttings and bare roots (PLEASE Check for Fire Ants!) - dance with Kunzwanana marimba band! Co-sponsored by The Kohala Center's Hawai'i Public Seed Initiative. Click here for more information.


Lyon Arboretum

Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education Program (WSARE)

Grant Deadlines

Please click on the title of the grant to learn more about their requirements.

2016 Funded Grants Announced

37 projects have been approved for funding, totaling nearly $2.9 million. Some of the major topics being investigated include: effective water, weed, and nutrient management; season extension; cover crops and soil health; rangeland and riparian habitat management; and food safety. To see a full description of each grant, click here.

2017 Funded Graduate Student Projects

Eight graduate students in five western states have received WSARE funding for their research. To view a summary for each project, please 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 Sarah Moore, 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

Kyle Studer, Pa'auilo Forest Farm, Honoka'a, Hawai'i

Area under production: 13 acres in veggies, 4 in fruit

Years farming in Hawai'i: 9 total, 6 full-time

Crops grown: head cabbage, pak choi, beets, green onions, carrots, kale, radish, turnips, and another dozen mixed veggies

Fertility management: certified organic, lots of compost, cover crops, some gliricidia ally cropping, and tankage or 4-1-1 fish emulsion

Read full article here

Mahalo nui loa to Kyle Studer for this interview and photos.


from Pa'auilo Forest Farm

--Know your cost of production! Otherwise you might over- or under-charge.

--Be persistent and work hard. Be at the farm and stay late when you need to.


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