GLP Bulletin: ‘Kaua’i law restricting GMOs and pesticides illegal’ rules Hawaii Federal judge

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A federal judge struck down a new law regulating the use of pesticides and growth of genetically modified organisms by large-scale commercial agricultural companies on Kauai.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren decided Ordinance 960 (formerly Bill 2491) is invalid and preempted by state law.

The law was scheduled to go into effect Aug. 16 but the court extended it to October. However, the judge’s ruling stops the county from enforcing the ordinance.

The law required seed companies to disclose the types of pesticides they use and establish buffer zones near dwellings, medical facilities, schools, parks, public roadways, shorelines and waterways.

GLP Bulletin: ‘Kaua’i law restricting GMOs and pesticides illegal’ rules Hawaii Federal judge | Genetic Literacy Project

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Big Isle papaya farmers’ loss estimated at $53M

Tropical Storm Iselle hit Hawaii island hard. It devastated papaya farms in Pahoa as the fruit-laden, top-heavy trees were no match for the storm’s intense winds.

HILO >> Hawaii island farmers are assessing damage to crops after Tropical Storm Iselle made landfall last weekend.

“It was pretty clear to us that the papaya farmers took the highest amount of damage,” Richard Ha, president of the Hamakua Springs Country Farms, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “Estimation of the sales lost, plus the startup, the bulldozing costs and growing up to that first year, when they’re ready to harvest again is about $53 million,” he said.

“People have been flying overhead to look over the damage with helicopters. The damage is devastating. Some folks have about 80 percent damage. Some folks’ farms had less, of course, but the damage is extremely high,” Ha said.

State and federal agriculture officials spoke with local farmers Monday, he said. Continue reading ‘Big Isle papaya farmers’ loss estimated at $53M’

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This Thursday-Sunday, July 3-6: Makawo Rodeo & Paniolo Parade

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Saddle up for the 59th Annual Makawao Rodeo (July 3-6) and the 49th Annual Makawao Paniolo Parade (July 5). The Rodeo never ceases to entertain with four full days of qualifying rounds, bull-riding, team-roping, mugging, barrel racing and more. Friday’s Bull Bash will amp the crowd for Saturday’s Colorful Hawaiian Style Parade (9am-11pm), complete with rodeo royalty, pa’u riders, classic cars, cowboys, cowgirls and local celebrities. Park at the Oskie Rice Arena Rodeo Grounds and take the free shuttle to the parade (7-9am) and then back to the rodeo grounds(11:30am). Rodeo: $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, Students, $5 Kids. Oskie Rice Arena (Olinda Rd., Makawao), mauimapp.com/rodeo.htm

This Thursday-Sunday, July 3-6: Makawo Rodeo & Paniolo Parade | mauivents.com

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GMO ban, research at odds?

Hawaii County set itself apart from much of the rest of the state in December by effectively banning the large biotech seed companies that have become a major, though controversial, part of Hawaii agriculture.

But with a ban also on the outdoor testing of transgenic crops, can the Big Island, home to genetically modified papaya, still be a place for genetic research?

Six months later, the answer might be clearly no for some researchers while a bit hazy for others.

Because of the law, Russell Nagata, Hawaii County administrator for the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, said his staff will not pursue genetic engineering.

“It will prevent us from using biotech as a solution” to agricultural issues, he said following a panel discussion on genetic modification Thursday evening.

“It forces us to look at it in a different manner. It may be slow, it may not be as effective.”

Scientists interviewed say growing modified crops, that are still under development, in open fields is necessary to test their effectiveness.

While they say they take steps to prevent the spread of genes, including the removal of plants before flowering, critics of genetic modification believe outdoor testing presents too much risk. They also question the approval process.

“We are looking at the precautionary principle,” said Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille during the panel discussion sponsored by the Hilo chapter of the American Association of University Women. Wille introduced the bill restricting the use of transgenic crops.

Under the county’s law, testing can occur but it must be done indoors.

At the time the bill was adopted, Nagata said his office was not conducting any genetic research.

For those with projects already in progress, the law might provide less certainty.

Michael Shintaku, a plant pathologist at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, said he is continuing his research on creating lettuce resistant to the tomato spotted wilt virus but is unsure of whether he can get it approved with the current restrictions. Continue reading ‘GMO ban, research at odds?’

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MALP Lawn and Garden Fair–Saturday, June 14th, 10am-3pm, Maui Mall

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FREE event Featuring:

  • Educational talks:  Ian Cole – Breadfruit Institute;  Gerry Ross – Kupa’a Farms;  James Simpliciano – Simpli-Fresh Produce, LLC,  Emil Lynch – Maui’s Best Honey, and  Melanie King – Waste Not Want Not
  • More than 20 vendors selling plants and gardening material
  • Book sale featuring gardening and plant books
  • Door prizes
  • Free soil pH testing – Bring 2c soil sample selected from various areas across property
  • Free plant problem diagnosis – Bring a plant sample – bagged
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Cowboy Fun: Rodeos and Polo


Paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) show off their skills at three major annual events: the Piiholo Cowboy Classic in September; the Oskie Rice Memorial Rodeo in December; and Maui’s biggest event, the 4th of July Rodeo, which comes with a full parade in Makawao town and festivities that last for days.

Polo is popular with the Upcountry paniolos. From April through June, Haleakala Ranch hosts “indoor” or arena contests on a field flanked by side boards. The field is on Route 377, 1 mile from Route 37. During the “outdoor” polo season, September to mid-November, matches are held at Olinda Field, 1 mile above Makawao on Olinda Road. There’s a $5 admission for most games, which start at 1:30 pm on Sunday.

Manduke Baldwin Memorial Tournament. Held over Memorial Day weekend, the Manduke Baldwin Memorial Tournament is a popular two-day polo event. It draws challengers from Argentina, England, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. 808/877–7744. www.mauipoloclub.com.

Cowboy Fun: Rodeos and Polo – Maui | Fodor’s

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Agriculture grant information session | About Town | 4-21-14


Agriculture grant information session planned for Thursday

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is inviting the public to an agriculture grant information session and market development workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Kona Cooperative Extension Service, 79-7381 Mamalahoa Highway in Kainaliu.

Attendees will discuss different funding sources, proposal preparation and reporting and grant requirements. There is no cost to attend but registration is required the day before the event.

For more information, call Marci at 973-9595 or email hdoa.md@hawaii.gov. Continue reading ‘Agriculture grant information session | About Town | 4-21-14’

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Why Are We Pro-GMO?

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We feel that genetic engineering is an important and crucial technology. Ignorance and myths surrounding this field hinders advancement at best and harms at worst. It’s especially a concern to us as vegans for these reasons:

  1. Animal testing: Insisting on unfounded safety testing leads to more animals being harmed in order to perform this testing.
  2. Animal alternatives: GM technology can help create alternatives to animal products. For example, insulin used to be obtained from slaughtered animals; now it is manufactured by genetically modified bacteria. It could also be possible to use GM technology to replace animal foods. Cheese has been difficult to mock, and the lack of acceptable vegan cheese analogues could be a barrier for many potential vegans.
  3. Nutrition & Health: GM technology can benefit vegans by creating plants rich in nutrients vegans lack, such as vitamin B12 and DHA. This would make it easier for people to go and stay vegan. Recently, CSIRO scientists have been enabling canola plants to produce DHA. People who are vegan need DHA, and synthetic DHA can help save the lives of fish, who are often used as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. People are animals too, and there are many in dire need of help. GM technology could help bring essential nutrients to starving populations, and GM foods could even be used as vehicles for vaccine delivery.
  4. Environment: Creating plants that use fewer pesticides and fertilizers will help us strive toward a sustainable agriculture that’s less detrimental to all life on this planet. Fewer insects would be killed, less runoff will poison fish, and no- or low-till agriculture will save the lives of ground-dwelling animals.

There are many in the vegan community co-opting the vegan cause with conspiratorial thinking and junk information on GMO. The best antidote to this is good critical thinking. Please be sure the source for your information is well-qualified and scientific.

Why Are We Pro-GMO? | Vegan GMO

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Maui Roping Club & Auxiliary Presents the 2014 Makawao Rodeo Queen and Princess Contest

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Date: 5/10/2014
Time: 4pm

Queen: 18- 25 Yrs. Old. has never held the title of Makawao Rodeo Queen.

  • Must be able to participate in the upcoming parades and attend the Makawao Rodeo and parade.
  • Must be able to do radio announcements and sponsor appearance.
  • Must ONLY enter 1 rodeo event at the 4th of July rodeo. Must be in good health
Princess: 15 – 17 Yrs. Old. has never held the title of Makawao Rodeo Queen or Princess.
  • Must be able to participate in the upcoming parades and attend the Makawao Rodeo and parade.
  • Must be able to do radio announcements and sponsor appearance.
  • Must ONLY enter 1 rodeo event at the 4th of July rodeo. Must be in good health
For More information, Please contact Maui Roping Club Auxiliary President Deidra Lopes @ 298-1310 or Royal Court Coordinator Kathleen Birmingham @ 283-4615 Applications are due May 2, 2014

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Ant infestation covers 4 acres in Waimanalo

HONOLULU — An extensive survey of an area in Waimanalo has determined approximately 4 acres are infested with little fire ants, tiny invasive ants that can inflict painful stings. Crews surveyed more than 50 acres from Kumuhau Street to Mahailua Street in Waimanalo and determined that the infestation area is on state land and in mulch areas located outside nurseries in that area. Little fire ants were detected previously on hapuu from Hawaii Island at a few nurseries and garden shops earlier this year, but those areas were treated and are now clear of little fire ants.

Survey operations were headed by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and involved several agencies including: the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Ant Laboratory, Oahu Invasive Species Committee, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, Hawaii Invasive Species Council, The Nature Conservancy, University of Hawaii, City & County of Honolulu, and Hawaii National Guard.

Little fire ants have been found on Hawaii Island since 1999. In late December, the ant was detected on hapuu logs (Hawaiian fern) at retail stores on Maui and Oahu. Since its detection, Oahu and Maui nurseries have been surveyed. Five Oahu nurseries, three of which were in Waimanalo, were found to have small infestations of little fire ants, which were treated and are clear of the ants.

Ant infestation covers 4 acres in Waimanalo | West Hawaii Today

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8 Pets That May Actually Be Illegal In Your State

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At some point in our lives, the majority of us have known the joys of caring for a beloved pet, whether it was an adorably loyal Labrador or a Jackson’s chameleon with a face only a mother could love.

Considering that 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet, it’s clear the nation loves its companion animals.

However, you might be surprised to learn that some common critters are actually illegal to own in certain states.

In many states, seemingly harmless animals are seen as a threat to native plants, wildlife or agriculture, or as a danger to public health.

Hawaii, for instance, is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to letting plant and animal species into its borders. Due to its fragile ecosystem and in an effort to protect against the propagation of invasive species, the list of banned animals is quite lengthy. According to Janelle Saneishi, a public information officer for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, most of the state’s illegal species would have no natural predators in Hawaii, meaning there’d be nothing to keep the population in check.

Be sure to check your local county, state or federal laws or guidelines regarding pet ownership. Laws can vary widely from state to state and may even conflict with federal or other guidelines. Continue reading ‘8 Pets That May Actually Be Illegal In Your State’

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U.S. bacon prices rise after virus kills baby pigs


MILWAUKEE >> A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it’s threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.

Estimates vary, but one economist believes case data indicate more than 6 million piglets in 27 states have died since porcine epidemic diarrhea showed up in the U.S. last May. A more conservative estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows the nation’s pig herd has shrunk at least 3 percent to about 63 million pigs since the disease appeared.

Scientists think the virus, which does not infect humans or other animals, came from China, but they don’t know how it got into the country. The federal government is looking into how such viruses might spread, while the pork industry, wary of future outbreaks, has committed $1.7 million to research the disease.

The U.S. is both a top producer and exporter of pork, but production could decline about 7 percent this year compared to last — the biggest drop in more than 30 years, according to a recent report from Rabobank, which focuses on the food, beverage and agribusiness industries.

Already, prices have shot up: A pound of bacon averaged $5.46 in February, 13 percent more than a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Continue reading ‘U.S. bacon prices rise after virus kills baby pigs’

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BIO Attends HCIA/Hawaii Chamber “Biotech Week”

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Monday, March 17 marked the beginning of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA)/Hawaii Chamber “Biotech Week” in Honolulu. Well-attended by employees of the seed companies and many farmers at the state capital and elected officials, the event reminded everyone of the importance of biotechnology in the agricultural community of Hawaii. During my time there, I was able to hear first-hand accounts of the role that biotech has played in the survival of the papaya industry and the impact of the current Hawaii County ban of GM crops on papaya farmers and ranchers.

The Rainbow Papaya Story is still very much familiar to not only the papaya famers of Hawaii but to the general public as well.  In the 1950s, a devastating papaya ringspot virus spread on island of Oahu causing severe economic loses. Papaya production then had to move to the Puna area of the Big Island in the 1960s, but, by 1997, the virus had almost destroyed the industry. Production of Hawaii’s fifth largest crop fell by nearly 40 percent, farmers were going out of business, and Hawaii’s once $17 million papaya industry was struggling to survive.

Then biotechnology becomes the island’s lucky charm. In 1997, the U.S. government concluded its regulatory review of the first genetically engineered papaya variety named Rainbow, which includes a gene that makes the papaya plants resistant to the ringspot virus. Commercialized in 1998, the genetic improvement had not only begun to show promise for the Hawaii papaya industry, but production actually began to return to levels near where they were before the papaya ringspot virus invaded. Continue reading ‘BIO Attends HCIA/Hawaii Chamber “Biotech Week”’

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USDA Encourages Early Registration for FSA Programs

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USDA Encourages Early Registration for FSA Programs

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2014 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today recommended that farmers and ranchers who plan to participate in FSA programs register in advance. Producers are encouraged to report farm records and business structure changes to a local FSA Service Center before April 15, 2014.

Enrollment for the disaster programs authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, including the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will begin by April 15, 2014.

“We expect significant interest in these programs,” said Garcia. “Early registration should help improve the sign-up process and allow us to expedite implementation of the programs. I strongly encourage producers to complete their paperwork ahead of time.”

Examples of updates or changes to report include:

  • New producers or producers who have not reported farm records to FSA.
  • Producers who have recently bought, sold or rented land. Those producers need to ensure that changes have been reported and properly recorded by local FSA county office personnel. Reports of purchased or sold property should include a copy of the land deed, and if land has been leased, then documentation should be provided that indicates the producer had/has control of the acreage.
  • Producers that have changed business structures (e.g. formed a partnership or LLC) need to ensure that these relationships and shares are properly recorded with FSA. Even family farms that have records on file may want to ensure that this is recorded accurately as it may impact payment limits.

Farm records can be updated during business hours at FSA Service Centers that administer the county where the farm or ranch is located. Producers can contact their local FSA Service Center in advance to find out what paperwork they may need. In addition, bank account information should be supplied or updated if necessary to ensure that producers receive payments as quickly as possible through direct deposit.

While any producer may report farm records and business structure changes, it is especially important for producers who suffered livestock, livestock grazing, honeybee, farm-raised fish, or tree/vine losses for 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014, and may be eligible for assistance through one of the four disaster programs. Continue reading ‘USDA Encourages Early Registration for FSA Programs’

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Invasive species bill has good intention, serious consequences

A Maui coffee farmer said controlling invasive species such as the notorious coqui frog and fire ant is a Big Island problem.

“They already have them, we don’t. Why put the cost on us?” asked Bobbie Becker, owner of Maui Mountain Coffee Farm. “They’ve got it there.”

Becker is a supporter of state Senate Bill 2347, which soon will be taken up by the House Finance Committee.

The legislation, written as an attempt to control the interisland spread of invasive species to the local agriculture industry, was amended last Friday. Parts of the bill would prohibit the transportation of the pests and establishes penalties for violations, including language that would require any commercial entity that transports the invasive species to pay a fine equal to the value of the infested shipment.

Eric Tanouye, president of Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association and vice president of Green Point Nurseries, called the bill “a detriment to the Big Island.”

“They are distracting, and distracting all of us from the main objective,” he said. “How do we make ag thrive on the Big Island and in the State of Hawaii?”

Springer Kaye, manager of the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, said the committee agrees with the intent of the bill, but does not support SB 2347 and thinks it puts the Big Island at a disadvantage. Continue reading ‘Invasive species bill has good intention, serious consequences’

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