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CRATE Handbook cover


CRATE (Center for Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship) Handbook

Koon-Hui Wang, Jari Sugano, J. Uyeda, A. Ahmed, J. Silva, and T. Radovich

NOTE: Preparation of this publication is on-going



Basic concept of crop nutrient management

Local fertilizers

Soil amendment


Soil health management

Conservation agriculture

Cover crop selection

Cover crop calculator for plant-available nitrogen

Soil inoculum

Natural farming


Organic insecticides

Insectary plants

Hot water treatments

Screenhouse production

Row cover


Common diseases in Hawaii


Fungicide rotation


Stale seed bed


“Turn-the-page” light exclusion technique

Spray coverage and seeding rate calibration

1/128 method for spray coverage

10/160 method for seeding rate calibration


Basil, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Corn, Cowpea, Cucumber, Daikon, Eggplant, Lettuce, Soybean, Tomato, Onion


Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Focus Statement of CRATE

This is a USDA NIFA funded project (2013-2018) for Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities for Small and Medium-Size Farms entitled ‘Center of Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship’ (CRATE). Hawaii along with many other Pacific islands are located in the most geographically isolated area from any continents in the world; currently over 80% of food and 90% of energy in Hawaii is imported (Leung and Loke, 2008). The need of food self-sustainability is ever increasing. At the same time, agriculture in Hawaii underwent a significant transition from large-scale monoculture of pineapple and sugarcane to small- and medium-sized farms that produce exotic fruits and vegetable crops. In 2012, 7,000 farms were operating in Hawaii, up from only 3,700 in 1954 (NASS, 2014). Thus, our key target farmers are from small acreage and family owned farms which are now accounted for 88% of Hawaii’s agriculture (NASS, 2014). While larger agriculture entrepreneurship are more profitable, there is a critical needs to assist a large clientele in need. This project aims to develop sustainable agricultural practices that rely on efficient use of on farm resources and integrate natural biological cycles and controls that will lead to promoting rural community entrepreneurship in Hawaii. Effort to develop rural agriculture training in Hawaii would serve as a model for other island countries in the Pacific region to address increasing food security needs.

Stakeholder Needs and Inputs

Based on a statewide survey conducted by The Kohala Center (TKC), an independent, community-based center for research, conservation, and education in Hawaii, there is a significant increase in demand for locally grown, certified-organic produce in Hawaii which greatly exceeds the current supply (The Kohala Center, 2014). Another survey conducted by University of Hawaii Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP), organic farmers list lack of information on effective organic pest management and reduction of fertilizer costs as top research priorities (Radovich, 2009). There is an urgent need for effective low input farming, including the development of farm-based or locally available organic fertilizers, non-chemical based pest management strategies, crop varieties adapted to local climates in Hawaii, and comprehensive decision making tools that could assist growers in growing organic crops profitably.

Outline of CRATE Handbook

CRATE team conducted field trials to resolve farm based issues for edible cropping systems in Hawaii. This handbook summarizes some of the key information discovered during this project period that would be most appropriate for Local & Immigrant Farmer Education program offered by the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), University of Hawaii.

CRATE sponsors

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