Survival of Taro: Agronomic and Pathological Research For Sustainable Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1999: $146,700.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $42,600.00
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Janice Uchida
Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of Hawaii

Annual Reports


  • Animals: shellfish


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, cover crops, fallow, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers, application rate management, tissue analysis
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, cooperatives, feasibility study, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: indicators, wetlands, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, competition, cultural control, field monitoring/scouting, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, prevention, sanitation
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, community services, employment opportunities, social capital, social networks, sustainability measures


    Morphologic characteristics were determined for the Phytophthora species causing pocket rots. The fallow test with Sunn hemp cover crop to reduce disease levels is continuing, with the yield similar for both the control and cover cropped plot. Ammonium and nitrates were tracked in a taro plot amended with fish-bone meal as the N source. Good ammonium production and plant growth was found with almost no movement of nitrates into the water in the plot and leaving the plot after 15 weeks. After two week the highest nitrate level in the water was recorded at 3.7 ppm for the plot receiving 200 lbs of fish-bone meal per 1000 sq ft (or 10.4 tons/ha). Taro growth was best at the 200 lbs level, although nutrient levels in the taro tissue were similar for all treatments. In laboratory tests, several sources of organic fertilizer and sunn hemp were identified as good sources of ammonium. On Kauai a high quality compost, has been located. Growers are using new research knowledge to employ and create disease control methods, a strong indication of project success.

    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.