Volume 29: Mar | Apr | May 2017

  • 12 May 2017
  • Author: Moore
  • Number of views: 3782
Providing science-based information to serve Hawaii's Farming Community
Hānai ʻAi
The Food Provider March | April | May 2017
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Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of Hanai'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, Hana'Ai, and other SOAP activities to serve Hawaii's growers.

Organic nutrient management is a major focus of this issue of Hanai'Ai. We also visit our featured farmer, Farm Boy Hawaii, a papaya producing operation led by an innovative young farmer. And, as usual, check the "back pages" for funding announcements and upcoming events.

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

Drop Spreader Calibration

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

Calibrating equipment for a specific amount of granular fertilizer, soil amendment, or cover crop seeds to be spread over a field is important to ensure application accuracy of a recommended product. This article demonstrates a fast and easy way to calibrate the spreading rate (lb/acre) of a product using a drop spreader.
Read here.

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

Improving Seedling Quality with Locally-Made Liquid Nutrient Solution

Amjad Ahmad, Tiare Silvasy, Sarah Moore, Chandrappa Gangaiah, Hue Nguyen, Jensen Uyeda, and Theodore Radovich
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

There are many benefits to planting seedlings rather than direct seeding your field. However, how successful your transplants are is dependent on the health of the seedlings. This trial looked at local organic liquid fertilizer, liquid synthetic fertilizer, and water and their effects on overall seedling health in the greenhouse.
Read here.

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

Exploring the Genetic Diversity of Hawaiian Sweet Potato

Elizabeth Winnicki, Kauaki Perez, Sarah Moore, Jay Bost, Aurora Kagawa-Viviani, Theodore Radovich, and Michael Kantar
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, CTAHR

Native to Central/South America and first introduced to Hawai'i by Polynesian settlers, uala (Ipomoea batatas) is one of the world's most important food crops. The objective of this study is to compare the genetic information gathered from Hawaiian, USDA, and historic herbarium sweet potato samples in order to explore the origins of different sweet potato varieties in Hawaii, and how preferences for these cultivars has changed throughout history.
Read here.

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

GoFarm Hawai'i: Farmers' Perspective

Words of wisdom from some of our past Featured Farmers. However you come to the farming life, GoFarm is here to help guide you. Click on the video to the right to hear more.

FMI: GoFarm, email: info@gofarmhawaii.org

Publications & Programs

for sustainable and organic production systems

New from CTAHR

From the Agribusiness Incubator

Distributing Your Product Within Hawai'i

AIP and James Hollyer

Finding the right combination of distribution methods and sales channels for your farm is the key to profitably distributing your product in Hawai'i. As the dynamics of your farm change, so will the aspects of your distribution. This article outlines the pros and cons of the different options available to help you consider how you want to get your product out there. Read here.

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

Organic Update

Organic Field Day Presentations

Presentations from past field days are now available online



Peer Review Corrective Actions

The AMS National Organic Program (NOP) has published Peer Review Corrective Actions in response to the 2016 ANSI Peer Review Audit. As part of its commitment to continuous improvement, NOP implemented a peer review to evaluate the USDA's organic accreditation program based on the handbook: Peer Review of NOP Accreditation. External auditors review documents to determine if the NOP has followed its own quality management procedures. View the Corrective Actions Report HERE.

NOP Handbook Update

The National Organic Program (NOP) has published an updated program handbook:

USDA Publishes National Organic Standards Board Meeting Proposals and Discussion Documents

Today, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted meeting materials and an updated agenda for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring meeting, to be held in Denver, CO, April 19-21, 2017. Documents are posted on the

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


The Leaflet by the Kohala Center

To achieve long-term resilience in Hawai'i, we must nurture and empower the next generation of leaders who will lead our islands into the future. In this issue of The Leaflet, we focus on new programs designed to give island youth opportunities to consume healthier foods and deepen their engagement withe the 'āina that sustains us all. We also honor Waimea residents Gunner and Elli Mench, who for eight years have supported out efforts to protect water resources from mauka to makai. Read here.

Negi Green Onion Field Day


May 13, Poamoho Research Station, Waialua, O'ahu

TTopics to be covered include: observations of each variety's growth characteristics, management practices, pest issues and management strategies, crop nutritional values, culinary uses, and taste evaluations.Click here for more information.

Sugarcane Field Day


May 25, Poamoho Research Station, Waialua, O'ahu

Come learn how to identify different varieties of Hawaiian sugarcane and get some tips and tricks on how to grow this important heritage crop. Click here for more information.

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 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:


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

Ross Sibucao, Farm Boy Hawai'i, Hilo, Hawai'i

Area under production: 15 acres

Years farming in Hawai'i: 16 years as a business owner, farming since age 10

Crops grown: papaya

Fertility management: Crop rotation and fallowing, but looking to incorporate cover crops. Regular monitoring of soil fertility to make efficient fertilizer use.

Read full article here

Mahalo nui loa to Ross Sibucao for this interview and photos.


from Farm Boy Hawaii

Be open minded to all methods of farming.


Categories: Event