Regenerating Hawaii's Soils - A Battalion of Hawaii's Indigenous Microbes – Optimization and timeline to microbially regenerate our degraded soil.

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2021: $25,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/01/2023
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Regina Enea


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, nutrient management
  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: compost extracts
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, soil quality/health

    Proposal summary:

    The problem addressed by this project is the lack of a Hawaii specific timeline and application guidelines in utilizing microbial activity to sustainably resuscitate Hawaii’s dead soil into healthy, productive, high crop yielding soil.  The research question inquires how long it will take inidgeous microbial inoculations to rejuvenate low productive native clay soils of Hawaii. This project research will create a practical timeline for local farmers of Hawaii to follow in sustainably preparing poor soils for agriculture with the help of indigenous microbial battalions. Sustainable soil preparation and management timelines are critical to crop planning and profit creation. These timelines will help farmers regenerate poor soils, which increases profits in the short and long term, and creates more usable farmland in Hawaii. Through nutrient and microbial soil analysis, monitoring erosion and tree growth between a control and research site, blueprint timelines will be obtained. Potential impact could: influence food resilience in Hawaii - regenerating soil health of degraded lands provides for more local agriculture, restore Hawaii’s fragile ecosystems, protect watersheds from erosion pollution, increase carbon sequestration, and preserve marine habitats from decreased fertilizer and erosion runoff from farms. Expected outcomes include a timeline to rehabilitate native clay soil with indigenous microorganisms, a practical application guide, a recorded webinar, and an online presentation. This project will be disseminated through our local agricultural stakeholder networks of Hawaii including the agriculture extension of University of Hawaii's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Hawaii Farm Bureau, and Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Track timeline of reviving dead soil on site.
    2. Locate indigenous microorganisms on site. 
    3. Inoculate the indigenous microorganisms.
    4. Spread inoculations on site. 
    5. Record observations, methods, soil analysis, and timelines until soil is back to health. 
    6. Share findings with Hawai'i agriculture networks to encourage regenerative agriculture into the crop planning and soil preparation process. 
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.