Washington wants RP to allow entry of US vegetables – GMA News and Public Affairs

This is a terrible time to start importing foreign bananas due to the proposed layoffs of agricultural inspectors. The domestic crop could easily be devastated by invasive pests including banana rasp snail, red palm mite, two-spotted mite, banana root borer, banana aphid and the mealybug.

Bannana Crop could be ruined?<br />Click to View Larger Image
Bannana Crop could be ruined?
Click to View Larger Image
Manila may agree to Washington’s proposal to allow the entry of cold climate vegetables in exchange for the export of Philippine bananas in the US.

Agriculture officials said this may be the only way to secure the approval of the US Department of Agriculture for the Philippines’ formal request to penetrate the lucrative US market for fresh bananas.

“They are asking us if they can export temperate vegetables to the Philippines. We haven’t responded yet, but the arguments will always lead to a counter-trade arrangement," said Bureau of Plant Industry director Joel Rudinas.

The US government, Rudinas said, has expressed its interest to export temperate vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus.

He said the Philippines must submit its position on the findings of the import risk assessment (IRA) conducted by the US government on Philippine bananas as a protocol in the processing of requests for fruit exports.

In its IRA last month, the USDA said Philippine bananas may be allowed entry into the US market if mitigating measures be undertaken to address the issue of the danger of potential pests.

An IRA reviews existing quarantine policy on the import of animals, plants and their products, identifies and classifies potential quarantine risks and develop policies to manage them.

BusinessWorld Online: RP gets provisional approval to export fresh bananas to US mainland

 

BY NEIL JEROME C. MORALES, Reporter

RP gets provisional approval to export fresh bananas to US mainland

Local banana farmers get ready for banana rasp snail, red palm Mite, two-spotted mite, banana root borer and the banana aphid. Click for larger image.
Local banana farmers get ready for banana rasp snail, red palm Mite, two-spotted mite, banana root borer and the banana aphid.                Click for larger image.
Washington D.C. has given Manila preliminary approval to export fresh banana pending measures for Manila to address the quarantine of banana pests, the Philippines’ Agriculture department said in a press release on Friday.

"The [United States’ Department of Agriculture, or USDA] move brings us one step closer to our goal of providing our local banana growers the opportunity to penetrate the lucrative US mainland market," the statement quoted Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap as saying.

Last month, the USDA sent to the local Agriculture department its risk assessment report on Philippine fresh banana.

Mr. Yap, who accompanied President Gloria M. Arroyo in a week-long working visit that ended August 5, said this development highlights the government’s target of increasing farm output and farmers’ incomes by expanding and exploring markets for the agriculture produce.

The report said the US allowed the entry of fresh banana to the US continental mainland, including Alaska, if mitigating measures are put in place to address 14 quarantined pests the USDA identified.

Some of the identified pests may not be present in the Philippines or does not attack hard green banana, the Agriculture department’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) said in a report to the USDA.

Pests identified by the USDA include the banana rasp snail, red palm Mite, two-spotted mite, banana root borer, banana aphid and the mealybug.

The USDA will develop the risk management measures, using its risk assessment report in consultation with the BPI.

Manila asked Washington in December 2005 to allow fresh banana exports to the US mainland, as well as to Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands in September 2007, BPI Director Joel S. Rudinas said in the statement.

BusinessWorld Online: RP gets provisional approval to export fresh bananas to US mainland

Hawaii Crop Weather Weekly Report

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Crop Weather (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending February 3, 2008.

current_hi020508.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514 February 3, 2008

“HAWAII CROP WEATHER” reports are available on our website and also PRINTED weekly. Subscriptions for PRINTED copies are free to those persons who report agricultural data to NASS, upon request and available for $20 per year to all others.

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
On the Big Island, mostly cloudy and rain-filled days slowed growth and fruit development during the week. The reduced sunlight also kept temperatures on the cool side. Incidences of Banana Bunchy Top virus remain isolated in the Puna and Kona areas. Overall, orchards in eastern sections of Hawaii County were in generally good condition. Oahu?s banana orchards were in fair condition. Fields in the leeward and central areas of Oahu made fair to good progress. Windward Oahu fields were in fair condition as cloudy conditions and cooler temperatures continued to slow crop progress and reduce yields. Kauai?s orchards were in fair condition. Harvesting was anticipated to remain steady during the coming weeks. Stripped leaves, as well as cooler temperatures and overcast skies, continued to slow crop development and fruit ripening.

Papayas
Cool, wet conditions slowed orchard growth and fruit development on the Big Island. Orchards in the Puna district remained in fair to good condition. New seedlings established quickly with the high rainfall. Active flowering was evident in most fields, but the heavy rains made fieldwork difficult. Spraying will have to be maintained once the weather clears. Orchards on Oahu were in fair to poor condition. Spraying to control disease and insect infestations remained steady. Kauai?s orchards made fair progress during the week. Acreage for harvest is relatively small, and overall pickings are forecast to remain light. Spraying for disease control was delayed because of inclement weather conditions.

Vegetables

Hawaii Crop Weather Weekly Report

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Crop Weather (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending October 28, 2007.

current_hi102808.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
Steady rain later in the week saturated most fields in windward areas of the Big Island. Most orchards were in good condition, and field work was only slightly hampered by the wet conditions. Banana Bunchy Top virus incidence remained isolated to the Puna and Kona areas. Oahu orchards were in good to fair condition. Leeward and central orchards were in good condition. Moderate to heavy irrigation levels prevailed as showers were not enough for irrigation. However, overcast conditions decreased the plant?s water needs. Windward Oahu fields were in fair to good condition with light supplies. Overall harvesting on Oahu was expected to be at moderate to heavy levels as the shorter day length and slightly cooler temperatures have slowed ripening. Kauai?s orchards were in fair to good condition. Overcast skies and cooler temperatures slowed fruit ripening slightly.

Papayas
On Oahu, fruit development and ripening were fair to good. Overcast skies and shorter day length were affecting the crop. Orchards on Kauai made fair to good progress during the week. Pickings continued at moderate to light levels from several fields in active harvest. Big Island orchards were in fair to good condition. Soil moisture was high due to almost daily rainfall in the Puna area. Young orchards continued to develop, and seedlings were growing rapidly. Flowering was continuous. Virus problems still plagued selected fields in Puna and some heavily infested areas appeared to be abandoned.

Vegetables

Chinese Cabbage
On the Big Island, weeds were still competing with the crop in selected fields. Planting and field activities were steady. Heavy irrigation was needed to maintain crop progress. Overall, the Big Island crop was in fair to good condition.

Head Cabbage
On Oahu, harvesting is anticipated to be light. Insect infestation was light with regular spraying keeping good controls. On the Big Island, weed growth was still competing with the crop in selected fields. Planting and field activities were steady. Heavy irrigation was needed to maintain crop progress. Overall, the Big Island crop was in fair to good condition.

Sweet Corn
Windward and central Oahu fields continued to make good progress under fair weather conditions and heavy irrigation. Production is forecast to be at moderate to heavy levels for the upcoming week. Corn plantings in windward areas of the Big Island received a boost in growth when relatively dry conditions were relieved by this week?s rain. The added soil moisture and mostly sunny days boosted growth of young seedlings. Harvesting was mostly for on-island sales.

Cucumbers
On Oahu, pressure from insect infestation was at light to moderate. Harvesting was active in several fields, and overall production levels are expected to be moderate to heavy.

Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness
How Prepared is Your Farming Operation?

Maui Extension Office
Monday, November 26, 2007
11 am ? 1:30 pm

Natural disasters, such as droughts, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, pests, and diseases, can cause excessive economic damage to agricultural production. In addition to crop damage, disasters can also affect farm buildings, machinery, animals, irrigation, family members and employees. Disasters along with marketing difficulties can lead to serious downturns in your farm income.

How prepared are you? This workshop is designed to provide you with information on:
1) preparing your operation for a natural disaster and
2) available and affordable crop insurance programs that minimize risk associated with economic losses.
Note: Now that the “Adjusted Gross Revenue” (AGR) insurance is available for 2008, in effect all Hawaii crops can be insured to some degree ? not just bananas, coffee, papayas, macnuts & nursery.

Speakers:
? USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers and oversees farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster and loan programs. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry and to help farmers adjust production to meet demand.

? USDA Risk Management Agency Western Regional Office, Davis. USDA RMA helps producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions.

? John Nelson from the Western Center for Risk Management Education (Washington State University) on the new Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) Insurance.

? Dr. Mike Fanning, Executive Vice President, AgriLogic, is a specialist in Agri-Terroism, crop insurance, farm policy analysis, and individual farm risk management.

? Dr. Kent Fleming, an agricultural economist with the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), is an Extension Farm Management Specialist with a focus on risk management education.

The workshop is FREE and lunch (sandwiches or bentos and drinks) will be provided. For more information, visit the website http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/agrisk/ You may also contact Kent Fleming @ 989-3416 or fleming@hawaii.edu or Jan McEwen @ 244-3242 or jmcewen@hawaii.edu

Please call the Maui Extension Office at 244-3242 by November 21, 2007 to register for this seminar.

Hawaii Crop Weather Weekly Report

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Crop Weather (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending October 21, 2007.

previous_hi102107.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
On the Big Island, warm temperatures kept harvesting fairly steady, but slightly cooler temperatures and shorter days should soon slow production. Banana Bunchy Top virus incidence remained isolated in the Puna and Kona areas. Oahu orchards were in good to fair condition. Leeward and central fields were in good condition with moderate to heavy supplies for the market. Heavy irrigation continued as most areas received little or no rain during the week. Windward Oahu fields were in fair to good condition with light supplies. Overall harvesting on Oahu is expected to be at moderate to heavy levels as the shorter day length and slightly cooler temperatures have slowed ripening. Kauai?s orchards were in fair to good condition. Passing showers provided favorable soil moisture for most orchards. Spraying for insect infestation was on a regular schedule.

Papayas
Big Island orchards were in fair to good condition. Soil moisture was maintained by light passing showers and some cloud cover during the week. Steady flowering was noticed. Recent spray activity has reduced weed growth in some orchards. Young orchards were progressing rapidly. Overall harvesting was at a moderate level on Oahu. Some orchards were being re-worked for future harvest after being damaged by a wildfire. In other areas, fruit development and ripening were fair to good with relief from the high temperatures favoring crop progress. Orchards on Kauai continued to make fair to good progress during the week. Pickings continued at moderate to light levels from several fields in active harvest.

Vegetables

Head Cabbage
Some Big Island fields showed rapid weed growth competing with the crop, but overall crop conditions were fair to good. Planting has been steady during the week Heavy irrigation was needed to maintain progress. Maui?s crop continued to make steady progress and was in good condition. Quality was reportedly good. Insect pressure remained relatively low and damage by insects was under control with timely spraying. Growth and development slowed, but production was being adjusted to stabilize a consistent supply into the marketplace. On Oahu, harvesting will be light. Insect infestation was light with regular spraying keeping populations under control.

Sweet corn
Harvesting from Oahu fields is expected to be at moderate to heavy levels as several fields were in active harvest. Pressure from insect infestation was at light to moderate levels.

Other Crops

Coffee
The coffee crop in the Ka`u District of the Big Island was progressing well, and harvesting was active in most orchards. Regular moisture over the slopes benefited bean development. Outlook for the crop was generally good. There have been reports of a later than normal season. Kauai?s orchards were in good condition due to favorable weather during the week. Mostly sunny days prevailed with beneficial rains which kept the reservoirs supplied for irrigation. Overall soil moisture was good and helped to ensure normal crop development. Coffee harvesting has also started on Molokai where fields have been rejuvenated.

Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins
Active harvesting of pumpkins and gourds continued on Oahu as Halloween nears. Sunny and dry conditions allowed the crop to make good progress with good fruit set and sizing.

Sugarcane
On Kauai, harvesting has ended for the season. Planting activities are expected to continue for several more weeks. Favorable weather conditions, including rain at the upper elevations, kept reservoir levels and ditches supplied which allowed for adequate irrigation for good crop progress. Steady harvesting continued on Maui. Generally dry weather in the Central areas aided harvesting activities.

Hawaii Crop Weather Weekly Report

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Crop Weather (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending September 30, 2007.
Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

current_hi093007.pdf

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
Light showers and some sunny periods benefited orchards in the windward areas of the Big Island. Soil moisture was ample and harvesting was active. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Leeward and central Oahu fields were in good condition with heavy to moderate supplies for the market. Heavy irrigation continued as fields remained dry. Windward Oahu fields were in fair to good condition with light to moderate supplies. Overall harvesting on Oahu was expected to be at moderate to heavy levels as the shorter day length and slightly cooler temperatures have slowed ripening. Orchards were in fair to good condition on Kauai. Supplies are expected to be light to moderate, but steady, for on island sales. Spraying for insect infestation was on a regular schedule.

Papayas
Good growing conditions benefited orchard development in the lower Puna areas of the Big Island. Frequent passing showers kept soil moisture adequate. Growers were spraying to try to keep weeds under control. Harvesting in the Opihikao, Pohoiki, and Kapoho areas remained active. Fallowed fields in the Kapoho area were cleared and planting has started. Overall harvesting on Oahu was at moderate levels with some orchards being re-worked for future harvest after being damaged by a wildfire. In other areas, fruit development and ripening were fair to good with the relief from the high temperatures favoring crop progress. Orchards on Kauai continued to make good to fair progress during the week. Pickings were at moderate levels from several fields in harvest with some new fields boosting available supplies.

Vegetables

Head Cabbage
The crop in the Waimea area of Hawaii Island was in fair to good condition. Medium-sized heads were being harvested. Insect and disease damages were generally light. Heavy irrigation was required in the Waimea fields. Growing conditions improved slightly in the Volcano area. Maui?s crop continued to show good progress. However, most fields showed slightly slowed growth and development which was expected for this time of the year. Insect pressure was relatively low, but could increase over the next couple of weeks. Producers were able to control damage and keep losses to a minimum. Plantings have been steady, but the continued shortening of the day length has slowed the rate of growth and development. Overall quality of the crop was good. On Oahu, pressure from Insect infestation was very light.

Cucumbers
Harvesting from Oahu fields was expected to be at heavy levels as several fields were in active harvest. Pressure from insect infestation was light to moderate.

Sweet corn
The Big Island crop was in fair to good condition. Soil moisture was adequate and production will be mainly for on-island consumption. Windward and central Oahu fields continued to make good progress due to sunny skies and heavy irrigation. Areas affected by water use restrictions have cut back on planting activities and have experienced decreased yields.

Dry onion
Maui?s younger fields showed good progress under cooler growing conditions. There were reports of increased insect pressure throughout the growing area which could affect production for older developing fields. Producers were trying to control insect pressure, but it has been challenging. Harvesting has been light. Overall, the dry onion crop was in fair condition. Other Crops

Coffee
Coffee orchards in the upper areas of Kona were in fair to good condition. Soil moisture was adequate. Cherry harvest was in progress. Most of the coffee trees in the Ka?u district have branches full of still green cherries. Harvesting is expected to begin soon. Orchards on Kauai were in good condition with active harvesting anticipated to continue. Sunny days and moderate trade winds kept fields in good condition for harvesting. Beneficial rains in the upper elevations increased the water levels of reservoirs used for irrigation.

Hawaii Weekly Crop Weather Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *September 23, 2007*.

current_hi092307.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights

Fruits

Bananas
Orchards in eastern sections of the Big Island were in generally good condition. Favorable showers provided good moisture. Spraying and leaf trimming helped to minimize Black Leaf Streak disease incidences. Bunchy Top incidences remained localized in the Puna and Kona districts. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Leeward and central Oahu fields were in good condition with heavy to moderate supplies for the market. Heavy irrigation continued as the fields remained dry. Windward fields were in fair to good condition with light to moderate supplies. Overall harvesting on Oahu was expected to be at moderate to heavy levels as the shorter day length and slightly cooler temperatures have slowed ripening. Kauai?s orchards were in fair to good condition. Spraying for insect infestation was on a regular schedule.

Papayas
Orchards in the lower Puna area of Hawaii County were in good to fair condition. Ample soil moisture and sunny periods helped to boost flowering and fruit development. Field activities such as spraying for disease control and fertilizing were active. Young and new orchards made steady progress. On Oahu, some orchards were re-worked for future harvest after being damaged by a wildfire. In other areas, fruit development and ripening were fair to good with the high temperatures slowing crop progress. Ring spot virus and wild pig damage in some fields lowered yields. Orchards on Kauai continued to make good to fair progress during the week. Pickings were at moderate levels from several fields in harvest with some new fields in active harvest boosting available supplies.

Vegetables

Head Cabbage
The Big Island?s Waimea crop made good progress with heavy irrigation. Young plantings made steady growth. Light production was expected from Volcano fields. Supplies were mainly for the local markets. On Maui, insect pressure in most of the major growing areas has decreased and damage also declined. Weather conditions have cooled and producers noted that this was beneficial for the crop. Relief from the hot daytime temperatures and the cool evening temperatures allowed some improvement in the quality of the crop. Growth and development was steady, but may soon begin to show signs of slowing down as day length begins to shorten. Planting has been steady and production was expected to stay at current levels. The head cabbage crop was in fair to good condition.

Sweet corn
Windward and central Oahu fields continued to make good progress with the sunny, dry weather and heavy irrigation. Areas affected by water use restrictions have cut back on planting activities and have experienced decreased yields. The Big Island?s young corn crop continued to make good progress. Harvesting was active and supplies were for local sales.

Other Crops

Coffee
On Kauai, orchards were in good condition with active harvesting anticipated to continue. Sunny days and moderate trade winds kept fields in good condition for harvesting. Rainfall has been light and reservoir levels continued to decrease causing some concern.

Ginger root
The Big Island?s crop made good growth during the week. Very damp conditions, however, slowed fieldwork.

Persimmon
Maui?s persimmon crop was in good condition. There were some reports of deer entering the field, but so far damage has been minimal. Insect pressure has also been minimal. At the current rate of development, the crop is expected to reach maturity in October with harvesting to begin shortly there after.

HAWAII FRUITS ANNUAL SUMMARY

Here is the PDF file for the HAWAII FRUITS ANNUAL SUMMARY Report.

fruit102007.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

————————————————————-
Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909
————————————————————-

2006 HAWAII FRUIT OUTPUT AND VALUE DECLINE

Hawaii fruit growers harvested 435.2 million pounds of fruit for fresh and processed utilization in 2006, an 11 percent decline from the previous year, according to the USDA, NASS, Hawaii Field Office. Total value fell 3 percent to $101.7 million, with guava, lemon, papaya, pineapple, and the tropical specialty group recording declines in value of sales. Fruit acreage totaled 19,740 acres, a 2 percent decrease from 2005. Harvested area decreased 6 percent to 4,090 acres. Almost continuous rainfall from late February through March contributed to losses in some crops due to soil erosion, flooding, disease outbreaks, and fruit and tree losses. The lengthy rainy period slowed fruit maturation in some crops.

Pineapple, still Hawaii?s largest fruit commodity, represented 70 percent of total fruit acreage and 74 percent of the total fruit value. Total utilized pineapple production fell 11 percent to 376 million pounds. Since records were kept by the Hawaii Field Office, 2006 was the first year fresh market utilization outweighed processed utilization. Also establishing a record was the average farm price. In late 2006, operations ended prematurely for one major company which had previously announced their phase-out of pineapple production.

The state?s papaya producers devoted 2,095 acres toward papaya production, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous year. Harvested area totaled 1,530 acres, 3 percent more than 2005. Papaya output declined 13 percent to 28.7 million pounds while value of sales dropped 2 percent to $11.0 million.

Total banana acreage rose 5 percent in 2006 while harvested acreage increased 2 percent to 1,000 acres. Utilized production was pegged at 20.0 million pounds, 4 percent less than 2005. However, higher average prices helped push total value of sales to $9.8 million, 7 percent higher than the previous year.

Total guava production area declined 14 percent to 575 acres in 2006 while area harvested declined 41 percent to 365 acres. Value of sales declined 7 percent to $1.1 million. Hawaii?s guavas, which are mainly for the processed market, recorded a 2 percent increase in price. However, this was not enough to offset the 9 percent lower output.

Area devoted to tropical specialty fruit totaled 1,240 acres in 2006, 2 percent less than 2005. Area harvested totaled 690 acres, 5 percent lower than the previous year. Hawaii?s growers of tropical specialty fruit produced and sold an estimated 1.45 million pounds of fruit in 2006, relatively unchanged from 2005. Compared with 2005, higher output was registered for longan, lychee, mango, and persimmon. Value of sales was pegged at $2.6 million in 2006, 4 percent lower than 2005.