- Agronomic: corn
- Fruits: melons
- Vegetables: eggplant
- Additional Plants: herbs
- Crop Production: cover crops, double cropping, multiple cropping, organic fertilizers, strip tillage
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
- Pest Management: biological control, cultural control, integrated pest management, mulches - living, mulching - vegetative
- Production Systems: agroecosystems, integrated crop and livestock systems
- Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil quality/health
- Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures
Even though cover crops rarely provide direct cash returns,
they're rapidly proving their worth as off-season crops for
helping to control insect pests, plant pathogens and weeds.
They also reduce soil erosion, improve soil structure and
nutrients and increase soil organic matter. This project is
intended to demonstrate
the value of sunn hemp as a cover crop in cucumbers. Field
trials of sunn hemp helped determine its impact on soil and its
effectiveness at helping to manage nematodes, insects and
The main cash crop of the farmer producer is cucumber. However, he was suffering a significant loss in marketable yields in this crop due to plant-parasitic nematodes. Additionally, the farmer producer had discontinued growing bitter melon a high value
crop because of continued crop failure. Subsequently, prior to initiation of this project it was determined that plant -parasitic nematodes were responsible for crop failure. The main goal of this project was to teach him and his laborers how to improve the economic viability of their farm by using the cover crop, sunn hemp as part of an integrated pest management system. Our main goals were to demonstrate how sunn hemp could be incorporated into his current production practices to concurrently improve soil health and
nutrient level, and help suppress weed and nematode pests.
1. Determine the impact of sunn hemp on soil and plant nutrient status.
2. Determine the effect of sunn hemp on key nematode, weed, and insect pest populations.
3. Quantify the impact of sunn hemp on vegetable productivity and marketable yields.
4. Encourage Hawaiian growers to produce their own sunn hemp seedsource.
5. Deliver an integrated, sustainable, and economically viable cover crop system to growers and educators.