Welcome to the Summer 2016 issue of Hanai'Ai, the sustainable agriculture newsletter of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
This newsletter focuses on the research and extension efforts of the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP). This summer, SOAP helped to sponsor a mini-conference in collaboration with Oahu County's Cooperative Extension Service, Turtle Bay Resort, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association, Ko'olau Seed Company, Smart Yields, Brewer Environmental Industries (BEI), and Feed the Hunger Foundation. We also helped to sponsor a field day at the Waimanalo Research Station on cover crops and soil health.
In this edition, you will find presentations from these two SOAP supported events. We were recently awarded an Enhanced State Grant from WSARE which will allow us to conduct more sustainable and organic educational programs across the state later this fall.
New faces are introduced in the Organic Corner. Conservation tillage is addressed in the publication from CRATE, and the WSARE section highlights new and recently awarded grants.
We hope you find this issue of HānaiʻAi useful, and welcome your input.
Sustainable & Organic Research &
News from Hawaii's researchers & extension professionals
Advancing Oahu's Edible Crop Industries-Mini Conference
May 24, 2016, Turtle Bay Resort
Welcome and Introductions:
- Ralph Makaiau, Turtle Bay Resort Farm Development Office
- Jari Sugano and Jensen Uyeda, Oahu County Extension Agents
Dr. Ted Radovich, WSARE/SOAP
Kathy King, State Statistician, NASS
Dr. Amjad Ahmad, UH CTAHR
Jari Sugano, UH CTAHR, Cooperative Extension Agent
Jensen Uyeda, UH CTAHR, Cooperative Extension Agent
Dr. Koon-Hui Wang, UH CTAHR
Dr. Leyla Kaufman, UH CTAHR
Dr. Ronald Mau and Robin Shimabuku, UH CTAHR
- UH Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP)
- East County - Hawaii Farm Bureau
- Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association
- Ko'olau Seed Company
- Smart Yields
- Brewer Environmental Industries (BEI)
- Feed the Hunger Foundation
Cover Crop and Soil Health Field Day
June 21, 2016, Waimanalo Field Day
Evaluating the Suitability of Chickpea (Ciser arietinum L.) as a New Crop to the Tropical Conditions of Hawai'i
Amjad Ahmad, Theodore Radovich, Hue
Nguyen, Jensen Uyeda, Alton Arakaki, Cynthia Nazario Leary, Jari Sugano, Sharon Motomura, and Joshua SIlva University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Chickpea is a highly nutritious grain legume crop, and one of the cheapest sources of protein. It is an important crop for local trade and consumption, especially in South East Asia, India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. This study seeks to determine the viability of chickpea as a crop here in Hawaii. Thus far, 10 varieties have been planted on each of the five main Hawaiian islands with various sowing dates. The principal investigator is seeking farmer participation for this project to further explore chickpea production on island.
FMI: Dr. Amjad Ahmad, email:
|CRATE: Center for Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship
In this column, the
CRATE team will publish recent project activities that will help local farmers to explore competitive and economically viable organic crop production methods.
Improving Conservation Tillage with Conservation Agriculture Practices
Josiah Marques, Kelsey Mitsuda, Koon-Hui Wang
University of Hawaii at Manoa, CTAHR, PEPS
As studies show that some 38% of globally cultivated lands have severely degraded soils, the need for soil conservation has never been more widely acknowledged. Conservation tillage alone has not provided the answer, as it has been shown to reduce crop yields. However, when combined with the practices of conservation agriculture, it provides significant soil protection and crop benefits, including weed and pest management, as well as decreased soil compaction.
S.O.F.T. and the Noelani First Grade Garden
Students at UH Manoa involved in SOFT (Student Organic Farm Training) volunteer and collaborate with first grade teachers at Noelani Elementary School to teach first graders about the science of agriculture through various activities, including the planting and harvesting of their very own 'spaghetti' or 'soup' themed garden.
|From the AgriBusiness Incubator
Training Programs for Beginning Farmers
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.
New Agents To Work on Sustainable & Organic Ag
CTAHR has hired two new junior agents to work in the area of organic, sustainable agriculture and soil health
stationed in Hilo, brings her past experience working with CTAHR as a nematologist and entomologist to Hawaii county. Kylie Wong,
stationed in Kahului, has previously worked as a conservation specialist for Maui Soil and Water Conservation Districts, providing assistance to Maui farmers and ranchers through the development of USDA-NRCS conservation plans. Marisol and Kylie will be working with the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) and other CTAHR faculty to transfer research based information, knowledge, and skills that help agricultural producers correctly choose and utilize specific technology and practices best suited to meet their diverse educational needs.
Marisol Quintanilla Tornell
Hawaii county junior agent
Maui county junior agent
New Organic Tax Credit
Recently passed HB 1689 establishes an organic foods production tax credit applicable to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2016 and s
Introduced by Representative Chris Lee, HB 1689 includes a new tax credit that will reimburse farmers for many of the costs of organic food production and certification, up to $50,000. It includes reimbursement of the 25% of costs not covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Certification Cost Share Program and many costs that are ineligible under that program; including equipment, materials, and supplies necessary for organic certification and
2015 Organic Workshops Presentations Online
A reminder that presentations on organic agriculture research
in Hawaii are vailable online at the SOAP Website here:
Organic Market News
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Specialty Crops Market News recently published the National Specialty Crops Organic Summary. Published daily, this report provides organic price information at terminal markets, shipping points, and retail advertised prices throughout the U.S. The report highlights prices for 133 organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other specialty crops, as well as movement data including domestic shipment volumes and import information. For more information on market trends for organic specialty crops, view the National Specialty Crops Organic Summary.
Subscribe to Hawaiʻi 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 email@example.com.
CTAHR Hires Five New Junior Agents in 2016
CTAHR has hired several new Junior Agents, two of which are introduced in the above Organic Updates section.
Kalani recently joined CTAHR as a Junior Extension Agent in urban horticulture. He will assist the Oahu Master Gardener Program and help to expand training and outreach opportunities.
Fred is a Junior Extension Agent based on Oahu. He will be assisting growers to improve food safety practices in ways that enhance the profitability, environmental quality, and equity of Hawaii's agriculture.
Joshua is a Junior Extension Agent on Kauai, focusing on sustainable agriculture, crop diversification, and the development of extension tools and services, particularly for soil management. He is also the Master Gardener Coordinator for Kauai County.
|FMI / FYI
SARE bulletins and brochures on innovative sustainable agriculture practices available on-line:
|Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Education Program (WSARE)
Spring 2016 Simply Sustainable Newsletter
- Food Tourism
- Finding Local Fertilizer Sources in Hawaii
- High Tunnels in Alaska
- Graduate Student Grant Impacts
- Habitat Planting for Pollinators
Hawai'i Brings in $756,285 of WSARE Grants Towards 2016 Projects
Six separate projects based in Hawai'i have been awarded grants through WSARE funds, including two Research and Education grants to UH CTAHR faculty. To read a more in-depth summary of the 2016 projects,
Research and Education Grants:
--Nguyen Hue, UH CTAHR:
Improving Nitrogen Synchronization of Local
Fertilizers, Soil Fertility, and Crop Quality with Biochar Application
--Mark Thorne, UH CTAHR:
Development of Individual Free-Choice
Mineral Supplementation Program for Sustainable Grazing
Management of Hawaii's Rangelands
Professional + Producer Grant:
--Jean Brokish, Oahu Resource Conservation & Development:
Crop Cocktails: Evaluating Costs and Benefits of Mixed-Species
Professional Development Grant:
--Craig Elevitch, Permanent Agriculture Resources:
for Sustainable Production Systems in the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands
--Ken Love, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Establishing Profitable Durian
Crops in Hawaii
--Melanie Holt, Real Farm:
Malama Kou Kino
Please click on the title of the grant to learn more about their requirements.
WSARE Appoints New Regional Coordinator
As of January 15th, WSARE welcomes Dr. Rhonda Miller, an Agricultural Environmental Quality Specialist, as the new Regional Coordinator.
New Members Join Administrative Council
To learn more about the new appointees and their backgrounds,
- Jim Farrar, Western IPM Center
- Brian Higginbotham, Utah State Extension
- Joe Munyaneza, USDA-ARS
- Bryce Wrigley, Alaska Flour Company/Wrigley Farms
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.
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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Mahalo nui loa,
Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program
Cooperative Extension Service
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
On-line version of newsletter available at
Vincent & Irene Mina,
Kahanu Aina Greens,
Area under production
1200 sq.ft plus 400 sq.ft compost and 400 sq.ft processing
Years farming in Hawai'i: 23 years
Crops grown, animals raised, other services:
microgreens: sunflower, green and yellow pea, kaiwari radish, wheatgrass
Compost used seedling flats in static piles and re-balance mineral content before reusing.
Mahalo nui loa to
VIncent and Irene Mina for this interview and photos.
-- Grow what you love and share it with your community.
-- Develop strategies to recycle nutrients back onto the farm.
-- Find your nice and hone it to be a fine- tuned operation.