Sustainable Agriculture at CTAHR

The UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources website contains hundreds of questions and answers to a variety of topics. It includes access points for CTAHR's Publications DatabaseKnowledge Master (information on weeds, diseases, and pests), The Farmer's Bookshelf (production information about many fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, and home garden vegetables), and eXtension (an interactive learning environment delivering research-based information emerging from America's land-grant university system). 

Below, find helpful links to a few of the sustainable agriculture topics addressed through CTAHR.

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Cover Crops & Green Manures

Cover Crop and Green Manure Database at CTAHR provides information about 25 plants which are suitable as cover crops and/or green manuers in tropical climates. This includes downloadable plant descriptions, plus updated links to related articles and research for Hawaii and the Pacific. A few examples are listed below:



Cover crops have a myriad of potential benefits for any agricultural system, including: improved soil structure and microfauna populations, weed suppression, promotion of habitat for beneficial insects, reduced nutrient leaching, and increased trafficability between rows. Click on each species below for additional information.                                                                                                                                                      Green manures are frequently used in vegetable crop production. They are incorporated or plowed into the soil to add organic matter and nutrients for the cash crops. Green manures can also be managed to disrupt plant disease cycles or to suppress nematodes. In general, they grow very quickly, are herbaceous, decompose rapidly, and release nutrients quickly. Click on each species below for additional information.








Additional information about green manures and cover crops

Manure & Composts

A Portable Dry Litter Pig Pen by Glen Fukumoto and Jim Wimberly (CTAHR Factsheet).

Composts as as Soil Amendment: Dr. Nguyen Hue, TPSS UH-CTAHR

Reducing Wastewater from a Swine Operation, ADAP Factsheet.
Collection and Separation of Solid and Liquid Swine Wastes, ADAP Factsheet
Treatment, Storage and Use of Swine Waste Solids, ADAP Factsheet
Treatment, Storage and Use of Swine Wastewater, ADAP Factsheet
Dry Litter Waste Management System, ADAP Factsheet

Pigs in Paradise Website: managing pig manure (American Samoa)

USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) helps fund projects that install conservation measures on agricultural lands to address animal waste, sedimentation, noxious weeds, insufficient water supply for crops or livestock, excess surface runoff, pesticide or nutrient contamination of ground or surface waters, or at-risk species habitat.

Beneficial Insects

BENEFICIAL INSECT FLASH CARDS  can be purchased for $10 from your local Master Gardener Office. Click HERE to find the one nearest to you.

Farming for Beneficial Insects: Pollinators, Predators and Parasitoids (YouTube)

Wasp Nesting Block: a condominium to attract natural enemies of pests

Extension Entomology & UH-CTAHR Integrated Pest Management Program. Knowledge Master contains general information on pest hosts, distribution, damage, biology, and management. This website is helpful for pest identification. The management recommendations are for conventional agricultural practices and will most likely need modification for sustainable systems. Contact CTAHR experts directly for more information.

Crop Knowledge Master: Everything You Wanted to Know about Agricultural Pests. This website is helpful for pest identification. It provides information on Hawaii pests sorted by crop, pest type, scientific name, and photos

Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center: CTAHR lab which offers insect identification services.  


Pests and Pest Control



Weed Control

Pesticides and Pesticide Safety

Plant Disease

Resource Websites:

CTAHR Publication and Information Central has many free and for sale publications on plant diseases.

Soil Identification, Health & Fertility

Identify your soil

Fertility and Soil Quality




Livestock Management

Grass Farming

Pasture and Range Management: See CTAHR's list of free publications available on 

Stocking rate: The most important tool in the toolbox by Mark Thorne and Matthew Stevenson.

Hawaii Rangelands Website provides introductory information and links for rangeland education.

The Forages Website provides grazers with tropical grass and legume information compiled from research station and on-ranch field plot projects from CTAHR’s Cooperative Extension Service. Website also contains information about marketing Big Island beef, “A Taste of the Hawaiian Range.”

Beef & Dairy

CTAHR Beef Initiative, to improve the competitiveness, profitability, and sustainability of the beef industry.

Hawaii Cattlemen's Council


What do you need to raise pigs?  by Dr. Halina M. Zaleski, University of Hawaii Swine Extension Specialist.
Vaccination Schedule for Swine in Hawaii by Dr. Halina M. Zaleski, University of Hawaii Swine Extension Specialist.
A Portable Dry-Litter Pig Pen, CTAHR Factsheet
Keeping Pigs Cool, ADAP FactSheet
New Construction Ideas for Healthier Pigs - Farrowing and Nursery, ADAP Factsheet
New Construction Ideas for Healthier Pigs - Flushing System, ADAP Factsheet
Food Discards for Swine, ADAP Factsheet




Environmental Issues


Grazing Livestock Under Orchards by Glen Fukumoto, CTAHR


Taste of the Hawaiian Range is a successful marketing effort organized by CTAHRCooperative Extension to promote Big Island beef products.


The Farm as Habitat: Environmental Topics  

Coral Reefs

Endangered Species & Wildlife Protection

Hawaii has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of threatened and endangered species in the nation. Our islands are small and the influence of man’s land uses so great that currently 312 plants and animals are considered to be threatened or endangered. Often farmers can manage land to enhance habitat for these plants and animals.

Funding Sources for Conservation

USDA NRCS Financial Assistance Programs: General overview of conservation, farm/ranch, forestry, grassland and environmental programs offereded by the USDA NRCS. Contact your local USDA NRCS Field Office for technical assistance and cost-share funding.

  • Conservation Security Program (CSP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to promote the conservation and improvement of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life, and other conservation purposes.
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) helps fund projects that install conservation measures on agricultural lands to address animal waste, sedimentation, noxious weeds, insufficient water supply for crops or livestock, excess surface runoff, pesticide or nutrient contamination of ground or surface waters, or at-risk species habitat.
  • Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a federal cost-share program (operated through the USDA NRCS) to assist landowners and leasees up to 75% of the cost of the conservation practices.
  • Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) is a cost sharing program to help landowners and leasees restore, enhance or create wetlands on agricultural lands.

Invasive Species: Invasive and Noxious Weeds

With the best intentions, agriculture, forestry and most recently the horticulture and landscaping industries have introduced plants and animals to the Pacific Islands which over time proved to seriously out compete native species. Fortunately, farmers can now check to see if a plant that they grow will cause long-term damage to our island’s ecosystem.

Livestock Management

Manure management can be a major headache for livestock producers! Water quality citations and fines from improper storage and spreading can be avoided with good management. Partner with other landowners to use manure and compost to improve soil quality Refer to the animal production webpage for more information about rotational grazing, manure management, and composting.

Soil Erosion

Erosion from farmland impairs water quality and farmers can be fined. Plan to prevent erosion you’re your property. These websites can help you manage your land resource to keep your valuable topsoil on-site. Land clearing is regulated by local grading ordinances. Before clearing land, be sure you learn about your restrictions.


Land use changes have caused extensive damage to water quality nationwide. Agriculture has been a source of sedimentation that damages our coral reefs, nutrient pollution which causes excessive algae blooms, pesticide and herbicide pollution in our groundwater. We can learn from these past mistakes. In addition, funding is often available to assist landowners and leasees to protect our water resources.

Water Quality

Stream Protection

Groundwater Protection


Natural Resource Inventories


Webinar Portal for Conservation of Natural Resources: Up-to-date info on the latest research and industry practices in forestry, conservation, bioenergy, and natural resources. Most user friendly webinars provide the opportunity to accrue continuing education credits, from professional accrediting organizations such as Society of American Foresters, International Society of Arboriculture, The Wildlife Society, Certified Crop Advisors, and others.

The Business of Agriculture

  Farm Business Skills Training

Marketing: General Information

Locally Grown
Farmers Markets - Farm Stands

Pick Your Own
AgriTourism - Entertainment Farming
Restaurant Sale

Farm to School
Marketing Cooperatives
Internet - Mail Order
Adding Value - Processing
CSAs - Community Supported Agriculture - Subscription Farming
Marketing Organic Products

LINK HERE for advanced resources from AIP