Reducing Pacific Island Growers' Reliance on Off-island Fertilizer Sources Through Improved Awareness and Efficient Use of Local

2011 Annual Report for SW11-055

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2011: $284,070.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Theodore Radovich
University of Hawaii, Manoa

Reducing Pacific Island Growers' Reliance on Off-island Fertilizer Sources Through Improved Awareness and Efficient Use of Local


Progress report from September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2012

Replacing imported fertilizers with local resources is the highest priority identified by the participants of the Western SARE Hawai’i Subregional conference held in Hawaii. Lab and greenhouse experiments were conducted to screen locally-produced composts and fertilizers for their N release and plant growth response (Please see results section for more details). Periodically, samples from Island Commodities have been collected to quantify their nutrient content and measure stability of the product over time. Samples of major algae invasive species were collected periodically and analyzed for their potassium content. Research is on going on other objectives/activities of this proposal

Objectives/Performance Targets

1. Enhance the capacity of at least 300 growers, compost producers and other agricultural professionals in Hawaii, American Samoa and elsewhere to evaluate compost quality.

2. Identify the most important variables influencing the effect of rendered meat products (tankage) on plant growth and mineral nutrition in Hawaii and American Samoa.

3. Quantify the independent and interactive effect of species, collection location and simple processing on nutrient content and availability of three algae species collected from multiple sites on Oahu, Molokai and Hawaii islands.

4. Ensure dissemination of information from this project to producers and agricultural professionals throughout the Pacific region beyond the project duration.


*Completed analyses of two lab mineralization experiments.

*Three greenhouse experiments were completed. These were to examine Chinese cabbage growth response to the application of different composts and rates of application under different soils.

*Validation of the Oregon State University organic fertilizer and covercrop calculator using mineralization data from local fertilizers has been initiated.

*On-going lab experiments are evaluating a solution fertilizer with high nutrient content using tankage compost and algae, to be used for fertigation purposes.

*Evaluation of local tankage for product stability and maturity is on-going.

*In collaboration with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), samples of invasive algae species been collected to evaluate the invasive species potassium content.

*A graduate student has joined our crew to obtain a PhD degree. This student is developing his research proposal based on the project theme.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

1. Local fertilizer producers report improved knowledge of product quality.

2. Utilizers of algae, tankage and compost are incorporating project recommendations into their operations.

3. Biosecurity protocols have reduced concerns of algae spread to other areas.



Amjad Ahmad, N. Hue and T. Radovich. 2012. Screening Hawaii’s Locally Produced Composts for Their Nitrogen Release and Plant Growth Response Under Different Soils. American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) Annual Meeting, July 31 to August 3. Miami, FL, USA.

Project Modifications:

Due to the risk of spreading out invasive algae species into shores where they do not exist at right now, different methods of heating and drying been used to reduce their viability prior to conducting experiments to evaluate their nutrient release and plant growth response.

Target Audience:

1. Local farmers and producers on Hawaiian and the Pacific Islands.

2. Local extension agents on different Hawaiian and the Pacific Islands.

3. Professionals at universities and community colleges.

4. USDA and NRCS agents.


Mark Hamamoto

[email protected]
Collaborator, Producer
Mohala Farms
P. O. Box 204
Waialua, HI 96791
Office Phone: 8084788469
Jari Sugano

[email protected]
Cooperative Extenion Agent, Co-PI
45-260 Waikalua Road, Suite 101
Kaneohe, HI 96744-3134
Office Phone: 8082470421
Alton Arakaki

[email protected]
Extension Agent- CO-PI
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Molokai Extension Office
P.O.Box 394
Hoolehua, HI 96729
Office Phone: 8085676934
Dr. Nguyen Hue

[email protected]
Professor- Principal Investigator
University of Hawaii at Manoa
3190 Maile Way, St. John 102
Honolulu, HI 96822
Office Phone: 8089567247
Mark Cummings

[email protected]
Hawaiian Earth Products
91-400 Malakole Street
Kapolei, HI 96707
Office Phone: 8086825895
Al Santoro

[email protected]
Collaborator, producer
Poamoho Produce
PO Box 728
Waialua, HI 96791
Office Phone: 8086374555
Dr. Amjad Ahmad

[email protected]
University of Hawaii at Manoa
3190 Maile Way, St. John 102
Honolulu, HI 96822
Office Phone: 8089562156
Leland Nishek

[email protected]
Kauai Nursery and Landscapping
3-1550 Kaumualii Hwy
Lihue, HI 96766
Office Phone: 8082457747
Kimo Franklin

[email protected]
Malama Maunalua
PO Box 240752
Honolulu, HI 96824-0752
Office Phone: 8083957809
Russell Chamberlain

[email protected]
Collaborator, Producer
Ulupono Sustainable Agriculture Development
P.O. Box 880431
Pukalani, HI 96781
Office Phone: 8088702786