Deploying SOAP’s Hot Shot Team to Identified Hot Spot Locations to Advance Susatinable and Organic Agriculture Practices in Hawaii

Project Overview

MW16-005
Project Type: Enhanced State Grants
Funds awarded in 2016: $24,750.00
Projected End Date: 05/31/2018
Grant Recipient: University of Hawaii
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Jari Sugano
University of Hawaii, TPSS

Information Products

Commodities

  • Fruits: bananas, citrus, figs, grapes, papaya
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, cabbages, cauliflower, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces), peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet potatoes, taro
  • Additional Plants: coffee

Practices

  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, cover crops, crop rotation, fertilizers, high tunnels or hoop houses, municipal wastes, nutrient management, organic fertilizers, season extension types and construction
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop
  • Pest Management: biofumigation, biological control, botanical pesticides, chemical control, compost extracts, integrated pest management, mulches - general, row covers (for pests), soil solarization, trap crops, traps
  • Production Systems: aquaponics, organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: composting, green manures, nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    Awareness and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices is increasing within the State of Hawaii. The 2014 Organic Production Survey conducted by the USDA NASS provides additional evidence of grower adoption of sustainable agricultural production practices such as organic mulch/compost, green/animal manures, no-till or minimum till, maintained buffer strips, water management practices, biological pest management, maintaining beneficial insect or vertebrate habitat, selecting planting locations to avoid pests, releasing beneficial organisms, choosing pest resistant varieties, and planning plantings to avoid cross-contamination. Hawaii organic fruit and vegetable production is increasing in acreage and valued over $12.1 million dollars compared to $7.6 million in 2008. Hawaii’s organic crop values are now higher than 14 other states in the continental USA. (Honolulu Star Advertiser, October 26, 2015).

    The Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH CTAHR) remains committed to conducting annual professional development educational opportunities for agricultural professionals (AG PRO) in cooperation with WSARE. We anticipate expanding our annual AG PRO educational events by organizing a ‘hot shot’ team consisting of UH CTAHR members who are highly respected for their work in advancing sustainable agriculture. We anticipate taking the university out to rural ‘hot spot’ areas across Hawaii. Priority areas for 2015 include, but are not limited to climate change; improving soil health; cover crops; local fertilizer alternatives; irrigation  management;  reduced risk pest management alternatives;  variety selection, etc. Priority topics will be modified based on stakeholder involvement and site identification.

    Project objectives:

    Hawaii. Development and radiation of ‘hot spot’ teams in identified rural areas such as Hawaii, Molokai, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu in combination with educational programs on responsible farming, high-quality, reduced risk edible commodities, environmental stewardship, agricultural competitiveness, and food self-sufficiency will strengthen partnerships with local teams of extension agents and NRCS staff and allow SOAP to reach more stakeholders in 2016. Design and delivery of the in-depth training on priority sustainable agricultural topics will be based on the needs of those who service and farm in these agricultural communities.

    We will identify SOAP topic leaders and support speakers’ travel expenses. Support of inter-island travel for neighbor island agents who wish to attend ‘hot spot’ workshops outside of their areas will be provided as funding permits. We will  partner with the host agent,  local producers and established  statewide program such as the Go Farm Program at UH CTAHR to generate easy to read/understand educational workshop materials, handouts, and execute field demonstrations based on stakeholders” identified needs and information delivery preferences.

    Through offering this yearlong educational training across the state, SOAP anticipates reducing reliance on imported crop inputs and improving soil health; advocating for reduced risk agricultural practices that are mindful of our natural resources and worker health; improving dissemination of the latest research based information  directly to agricultural  professionals  and producers; advancing agricultural  professionals’ skills and competencies;  and improving our capacity in taking the university out to rural areas to service existing, new, and beginning producers  in Hawaii.

    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.