Hawaii Agriculture Posts

CAUSE OF WAIPIO VALLEY HORSE DEATHS UNDETERMINED

HONOLULU – After extensive tests and observations, an ensemble of veterinarians were not able to determine the specific cause of the deaths of about 13 wild horses from Waipio Valley on Hawaii Island that occurred during June and July 2018. It was noted that infectious diseases were not the cause of the deaths and that the incident may be attributed to possible exposure to a toxicological event.

Veterinarians from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), University of Hawaii Manoa-College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, local practicing veterinarians, researchers from the University of Hawaii Hilo–College of Pharmacy and a cadre of veterinarians, veterinary toxicologists and pathologists across the nation were involved in the attempt to determine why the horses exhibited neurological problems and eventually died.

CLICK to view the complete article

Repeated natural disasters pummel Hawaii’s farms, affecting macadamia nuts, taro, papaya, flower harvests


KONA, Hawaii — Historic, torrential April rains on the island of Kauai wiped out much of Hawaii’s taro crops — the main ingredient in poi and a staple carb of the island diet.

The next month, one of the state’s most active volcanoes spewed ash and lava throughout the eastern end of the Big Island, decimating more than 50 percent of the state’s papaya production and tropical flower industry.

Then came Hurricane Lane.

As Hawaii begins to recover from the tropical cyclone that dumped more than three feet of rain onto the Big Island last week, farmers here are just starting to assess the damage to their crops. Lane landed yet another blow to Hawaii’s agriculture industry after an already difficult year of reckoning with Mother Nature. Flooding, excess moisture and pounding rains could hurt macadamia nut, coffee and flower harvests for farmers on the east side of the island, which bore the brunt of the storm.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/repeated-natural-disasters-pummel-hawaiis-farms-affecting-macadamia-nuts-taro-papaya-flower-harvests/2018/08/28/53e015fa-a97d-11e8-b1da-ff7faa680710_story.html

Usable Tips to Correcting Electrical Problems in Irrigation Systems — SiteOne Landscape School

This class is complimentary and sponsored by SiteOne Landscape Supply

This 3 hour class is designed to give the attendee the knowledge on how to
quickly diagnose electrical problems in irrigations systems.

3 LICT CEU’s
Thursday August 30, 2018
4:30pm to 7:30pm
SiteOne Landscape Supply Maui
215 South Wakea Avenue, Kahului Maui
Food and refreshments provided
REGISTER TODAY, SO WE CAN PREPARE FOR YOU!!!
Cynthia Nazario-Leary
UH Maui Cooperative Extension
(808)244-3242 ext.229 Cnazario@hawaii.edu
Kenny Pichay - SiteOne Landscape Maui
(808)868-5555 Kpichay@siteone.com

This is a FREE class!

Saving Hawaii’s Pig Farms

This once-fading island industry is coming to life again thanks to local tastes and strong cultural demand.

By Natanya Friedheim

David Wong is vegan, but he admits to occasionally tasting pork from the roughly 1,000 hogs he raises on his piggery in Waianae.

A bout with cancer transformed the way Wong thinks about the industrial farming that supplies most of the meat found in Hawaii’s grocery stores.

“The bottom line from what I learned is you are what you eat and what it eats,” he said. “The point is commercial pork is loaded with antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, growth promoters. That’s how you can get the pig to grow so fast and so lean.”

Read the complete Article:

Saving Hawaii’s Pig Farms

Hawaii hopes to fend off invasion by coconut rhinoceros beetle

Visitors flock to the Hawaiian Islands for sun-soaked holidays filled with silky beaches, turquoise water, lush green hillsides — and naked palm trees missing their leafy crowns?

That possibility has state officials worried because Hawaii’s iconic swaying palm trees are under attack. Their nemesis is the latest in a long line of invasive species to arrive here: the coconut rhinoceros beetle.

Much as the Asian long-horned beetle attacked maple and elm trees on the East Coast, the coconut rhinoceros beetle could devastate Hawaii’s palm trees and move on to bananas, papayas, sugar cane and other crops afterward. Adult beetles burrow into the crowns of palm trees to feed on their sap, damaging developing leaves and eventually killing the trees.

At this point, eradication is still possible. It’s going to take a long time, but it’s still possible.- Rob Curtiss, incident commander for Hawaii’s coconut rhinoceros beetle eradication program

Concerns that the thumb-sized pest, named for its curved horn, could hitch a ride to California or Florida and attack thriving palm oil and date industries there have prompted federal and state officials to declare the beetle’s discovery in Honolulu a pest emergency.

One year into the fight — Dec. 23, 2014, was the anniversary of the beetle’s discovery on coconut palms at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam — state officials are cautiously optimistic.

“At this point, eradication is still possible. It’s going to take a long time, but it’s still possible,”

"Eco-Warrior" Vandana Shiva, at $40,000 a Speech, Rejoins Hawaii Anti-GMO Crusade, But Truth Is the Victim

hawaii

She’s baaack, and it’s not good news for science literacy, farmers and food-minded Hawaiians.

I’m referring to Vandana Shiva, the Indian anti-GMO crusader who kicked off a five-day blitz through Hawaii with a talk-and-music fest at the Capitol Building on Wednesday.

It’s a grand tour, marked by private fund-raising pitches to wealthy locals and wannabees from the mainland who view the limited role of biotechnological research in modern agriculture as an anathema–Hawaii is a world center because of its favorable climate.

Campaigns like this tour aimed at shutting down nursery centers, most based in Maui, could send the seed giants fleeing to Puerto Rico or the Philippines, costing Hawaii hundreds of millions of dollars and hurting the cause for sustainability in the process.

Shiva’s tour caps off with a Sunday afternoon rally at the Seabury Theatre on Maui with headlined demands for what the prime organizer–Washington, DC-based Center for Food Safety (CFS)–calls “home rule.” While polls show a majority of Maui farmers and residents oppose the effort to shut down the seed nurseries and research labs, anyone but diehard opponents of modern agriculture will be personae non grata at this rally.

Shiva is reprising her 2013 tour, also led by CFS, which oversees scheduling of her $40,000-a-pop promotional speeches. A Brahmin who professes to stand with women and the poor, Shiva maintains her goal is “giving voice to those who want their agriculture free of poison and GMOs.”

On her arrival two years ago, Shiva was an exotic unknown–an “eco warrior goddess” and a “rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds,” in the words of journalist Bill Moyers. Here in Hawaii, she was treated as a foreign dignitary. No one dared criticize her.

Now, two years later, as more details of her philosophy and background have emerged, a darker picture has emerged. She leverages her claim as an expert at every stop. “I am scientist… a Quantum Physicist,” she claimed, until recently on her website and in many books, a claim repeated by journalists, even prominent. But she’s not. Her degree was in humanities–she’s a philosopher of science, but has no professional hard science background or writings.

To her followers? Details, Details.

Maui farms brace for destructive coffee beetles to arrive

WAILUKU >>  Coffee growers on Maui are bracing for a destructive beetle to eventually make its way to the island.

The coffee berry borer has been wreaking havoc on the Big Island for years. The pest made its way to Oahu in December.

“I’ve been a farmer forever, and I know the reality of these kinds of things, so I expect that at some point it will show up here,” said MauiGrown Coffee President Kimo Falconer. “But we’re ready.”

Preventative measures include some farmers restricting access to their orchards, the Maui News reported Tuesday.

“We’ve had to put signs up trying to reduce the amount of people walking through our fields, but really they can just walk right up there, and maybe they were in Kona yesterday doing a farm tour, and there’s dirt on their shoes,” Falconer said.

Falconer said his farm checks traps regularly and has trimmed back trees that are close to roads.

Some farms that used to offer educational tours no longer do so, said Sydney Smith, president of the Maui Coffee Association and owner of Maliko Estate Coffee. “The beetle is so tiny it gets spread by people coming from the Big Island from dirt on their shoes or their clothes,” Smith said.

The tiny beetle bores into the coffee cherry, and its larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing its yield and quality. Farmers may not discover them until after harvest.

It’s unknown how the beetle, native to Central Africa, arrived in Hawaii.

“We’re the last coffee growing region on Earth to finally get it,” Falconer said.

The state Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine order that requires a permit to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from Hawaii Island to other islands that are not infested with the coffee berry borer.

The coffee berry borer can cause yield losses of 30 to 35 percent with 100 percent of berries infested at harvest time, according to the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Deadly pig virus jumps to Hawaii, animal feed tested

fox

Hawaii has identified its first outbreak of a deadly pig virus that emerged in the continental United States last year, confounding officials who are uncertain how the disease arrived over thousands of miles of ocean.

The state confirmed Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) on a farm on Oahu, the most populous Hawaiian island, on Nov. 20, according to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Farmers and the federal government have been working to contain PEDv since it was first detected in the United States in the spring of 2013. The virus has killed at least 8 million pigs, roughly 10 percent of the U.S. hog population. PEDv was previously found in parts of Asia and Europe. It is unknown how it came to the United States.

Hawaii had toughened import requirements for live pigs in July in a bid to prevent the spread of PEDv, banning infected hogs and requiring tests for PEDv prior to shipping.

State officials do not know how PEDv arrived on their shores and are testing animal feed from the infected farm to try to determine whether it may have transmitted the virus, acting State Veterinarian Isaac Maeda said in a telephone interview Monday.

“We live out in the ocean,” Maeda said. “A lot of things you see on the continental U.S., we don’t see out here.”

Chances of determining how PEDv arrived in Hawaii are “not looking very promising,” he added.

The outbreak occurred on a farm with about 150 pigs, and about 25 percent died, according to Hawaii’s agriculture department. Veterinarians sent samples from the farm to the Kansas State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which confirmed the PEDv infection.

“It was surprising because it was a long distance from your traditional swine channels,” Tom Burkgren, executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, said about the outbreak.

The farm did not use feed containing porcine plasma, which has been suspected of spreading PEDv, Maeda said.

Pumpkin aplenty

KAPAA — If you want a pumpkin, Kauai has them. Grows them, even. Plenty, too, despite the whacky weather.

“People didn’t know we could grow pumpkins,” said Earl Kashiwagi, owner and operator of Esaki’s Produce. He delivered 4,500 pounds of pumpkins to the Kauai Fall Festival on Sunday and still has more.

Harry Yamamoto, a Kapahi resident, grew a crop of pumpkins this year. The seed companies, including Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta Seeds, also joined the lineup of those growing pumpkins for Halloween.

“We had people growing, everywhere,” Kashiwagi said, after learning of the seed companies’ intent. “But the weather came into play.”

It was hot. Then it rained.

“Pumpkins were exploding in the field,” Kashiwagi said. “Harry lost 75 percent of his crop in the field, and salvaged the rest of the crop by bringing it to us. But with all the water the pumpkins absorbed from the rain, we lost a lot of what came here.”

But there’s still no pumpkin shortage on Kauai.

“Everybody can get a pumpkin for Halloween at either very reasonable prices, or at one of the free events,” Kashiwagi said.

Peter Wiederoder, Kauai site leader for Dow, said they got some 90-day pumpkins to plant, but no one accounted for the Westside heat, which forced the pumpkins to mature in a little more than 60 days.

“We had to harvest early, and store them for Halloween,” he said. “We had about a thousand pumpkins in storage.”

Despite the challenges, both natural and manmade, Kashiwagi said the wholesale produce business is fun.

“We took a hit for Halloween,” Kashiwagi said. “But this is just some first-year challenges. People should be glad to know we can grow pumpkins here in Hawaii, and on Kauai. It’s all for the kids.”

Pumpkin aplenty – Thegardenisland.com: Local