The Agriculture Program provides facilitative leadership to both the public and private sectors to support the sustainable development of agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, and other natural resources. Activities include financial support and coordination of agricultural research, education, and marketing programs; data collection, compilation and dissemination to County policymakers and other interested parties; management of collaborative research and development projects; advocacy for local farmers and commodity groups at State and Federal levels.
See R&Dʻs COVID-19 Relief for Businesses web page for funding resources, business best practices, and economic data.
Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau: Hawaiʻi Island Farm Product Purchase Program
In collaboration with the Department of Research and Development, The Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau has implemented a program to purchase local farm products to supply the Food Basket and other food distribution centers on Hawaiʻi Island.
Local producers have seen their markets dwindle and sales reduced. This project will help help local producers stay in business and keep their workers employed while supplying food insecure residents with fresh local farm products free of charge.
Farmers and ranchers can go to the Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau's Hawaiʻi island Farm Product Purchase Program website for more information and to participate.
Statewide Survey of Hawaiʻi's Avocado Industry
The Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United (HFUU) and Hawaiʻi Avocado Association (HAA) are conduction a survey as part of their Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant for Fiscal Year 2020.
The prupose of the survey is to estimate the current supply of avocados grown commercially in Hawaii, including the types of cultivars (varieties) and growing elevations on each island. This information will be used to develop strategies to bolster Hawaiʻiʻs avocado industry.
Results will be shared publicly, but individual farmers and farm names will be kept anonymous.
- Take the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Hawaiiavosurvey2020
- Request a hard copy of the survey: email@example.com
Organic Foods Production Tax Credit
Section 235-110.94, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS), authorize a tax credit for producers, handlers, and handling operations that sell organic agricultural products, and have applied for organic certification, and whose gross income from the sales of organic agricultural products for the most recently reported fiscal year is no more than $500,000. Taxpayers applying for this tax credit must print the application form on company letterhead and send the signed form along with accompanying documents to Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Agriculture website.
University of Hawaiʻi Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center
The Agricultural Diagnostic Service Center (ADSC) is open for business! Currently, ADSC can perform all analyses except total protein, nitrogen or carbon. (We are working to procure, obtain, and install new equipment that will enable these services.) Analysis for total protein, nitrogen and carbon may be obtained from Peter Bunn of Crop Nutrient Solutions at (808) 386-4120, firstname.lastname@example.org or the UH Hilo Analytical Laboratory at (808) 932-7590, email@example.com. Questions? Please contact Darren Park, ADSC Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 956-6706. ADCS apologizes for the temporary limited availability of services. The ADSC in Hawaiʻi County is located at 875 Komohana Street, Hilo, HI 96720. The phone number is (808) 981-5199 and the list of services and their cost is at UH ADSC website.
Animal Disease Control
African Swine Fever
African Swine Fever (ASF) is caused by a virus that is not present in Hawaiʻi or North America. The ASF can cause death losses in pigs as high as 100%. Originating in Africa in the 1920s the ASF has spread to Europe, Asia, Brazil, and the Caribbean and recently has rapidly spread to and through China, Vietnam, Korea and the Philippines. The virus that causes ASF is very hardy and can remain viable in carrier pigs, pork products, pig carcasses, contaminated feed products, vehicles, equipment, foot wear and clothing that become contaminated. China's National Bureau of Statistics reported at least 129 outbreaks, and has estimated about one million exposed animals have been exterminated. The interruption in production has reduced the China's overall hog population by 40 million. Symptoms in animals include high fever, weakness, skin lesions, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty breathing. Death can occur within a week of infection. ASF does not infect or cause disease in humans.
State Department of Agriculture Compost Reimbursement Program
The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture has established a compost reimbursement program for producers. Act 89 which was enacted in 2018, allocated $650,000 over a two-year period for the reimbursement of 50 percent of compost cost incurred by agricultural producers during fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) and a portion of fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to March 30, 2020) not to exceed $50,000 per applicant per year. For more information including contact information and for application forms, visit the Department of Agriculture's compost program website.
*The program has extended the application process to May 15, 2020 (acceptable invoices up to April 30, 2020)
State Department of Agriculture Emergency Loans
The Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture has announced the availability of disaster-related emergency low-interest agricultural loans until June 2020, for farmers suffering damage due to the current volcanic activity. The Hawaiʻi Department of of Agriculture’s Agricultural Loan Division will process loan applications based on past farm production, projected cash flow and disaster recovery plans. For additional information on this disaster loan program and microloan opportunities, please see the announcement and the Agricultural Loan Division website or call Gareth Mendonsa at (808) 933-9977.
GoFarm Hawaiʻi Farmer Training
GoFarm Hawaiʻi is now offering farmer training workshops at The Kohala Center Farm in Honokaʻa. This series of workshops led by expert and specialist instructors and local farmers covers topics which includes:
- Soil nutrients and plant health management
- Variety selection
- Farm equipment
- Pest control (pathogens, insects, nematodes, and weeds)
- Post-harvest storage and handling
- Food safety
Ant Management Clinic
Hawaiʻi Ant Lab works with residents, agriculture, the green industry and plant nurseries to provide solutions for the many impacts caused by invasive ants. For more information, please visit Hawaiʻi Ant Lab's website or call (808) 315-5656 East Hawaiʻi or (808) 209-9014 West Hawaiʻi.
Rat Lungworm Disease
Rat lungworm is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It’s caused by a parasitic nematode that only found in rodents. Rodents pass the larvae on in their feces, and other animals (including slugs or snails) can become infected. For more information, see the following website.
- State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Agriculture Rat Lungworm Disease Information
- State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Health Disease Outbreak Control Division
- University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Rat Lungworm Information
- University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Rat Lungworm Video
Be Vigilant! Avocado Lace Bug
A new pest of avocado has been identified on Oahu, Hawaiʻi. Pseudacysta perseae (Hemiptera: Tingidae), avocado lace bug was recently recorded by the State after being first detected in Pearl City in December 2019. It has also been found in the Waialua Area. See the quick facts and field survey photos.
Symptoms and Damage to look for:
- Yellow blotching and chlorosis, scorching on leaves.
- Early leaf drop.
- Undersides of leaves with black feces and eggs.
- Adults and nymphs on the undersides of leaves.
Links for more information on avocado lace bugs:
Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus Fact Sheet
Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) is a virus of the tomatoes and peppers. The virus is easily spread when infected material makes contact with equipment, people, and other host plants. Symptoms are similar to those caused by other tobamoviruses including Tobacco mosaic virus and Tomato mosaic virus. On pepper, it causes bubbling and mosaic patterns on leaves, while on tomato foliage it causes mosaic patterns and a "fern leaf" symptom. Infected fruits of both hosts are smaller, discolored, and may have rough, dead patches on the surface. To see photos and for more information, please attached fact sheet.
Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) Pesticide Subsidy Program
The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HDOA) established the CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program to assist Hawaiʻi coffee farmers with the cost of pesticides containing the fungus known to control CBB. Applications are accepted until 6/30/2020 for purchases made from 7/1/2018 through 6/30/2019. Reimbursement is available for up to 50% of out-of-pocket costs for Beauveria bassiana products and depending on number of applicants and available funds, up to a maximum of $600 per acre and $6,000 per farm. Any applications received or postmarked after 6/30/2020 will not be eligible for reimbursement. To apply and for more information, please see the following website.
- State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Agriculture CBB Pesticide Subsidy Program
- State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Agriculture Coffee Berry Borer Information
Little Fire Ant Management Clinics
Each month Hawaiʻi Ant Lab conducts a full-day clinic for residents and other interested persons. This workshop covers ant management basics from theory to practice and includes sessions on pesticides safety, mixing and using gel baits. Space is limited to twenty (20) participants each workshop. For more information and to register, go to Hawaiʻi Ant Lab
Big Island Invasive Species Committee Little Fire Ant Community Support Program
The Big Island Invasive Species Committee Little Fire Ant community support program is intended to help community members work together to address the impacts of the little fire ants on our island. To join or for more information, please visit Big Island Invasive Species Committee website.
Coqui Frog Control
The Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council is offering discounted Citric Acid to help control coqui frogs in our community. Get a voucher for a 50 lb. bag of Citric Acid for $60.00 by mail or in person at: HCEOC, 47 Rainbow Drive, Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96720 (808) 961-2681, Ext. 211. See attached flyer for more information. Redeem vouchers at:
- Nutrient Ag Solutions formerly Crop Production Services, 900 Leilani Street, Hilo, (808) 935-7191
Kohala Coqui Coalition
Help Keep Kohala Coqui Free! The Kohala residents has banded together to eradicate the coqui from their community. Please kōkua and see how to rid the coqui from around your house from the attached video.
Pest Advisory from the Department of Agriculture Bagrada hilaris
Food Insecurity in Hawaiʻi Using a Population-Based Sample: Data Brief, a June 2020 study by the University of Hawaiʻi Office of Public Health Studies, funded by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health.
- UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) By-Product used as Animal Feed
- USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture
- USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture - Hawaiʻi County Profile
- USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture - Volume 1. Chapter 2: County Level Data
- USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture - County Summary Highlights
- USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture - Census of Aquaculture (2013)
- USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture - Census of Horticultural Specialties (2014)
- USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture - Certified Organic Survey (2016)
- Certified Organic Survey - State of Hawaiʻi Survey
- Ag Theft: The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture advises, “Proof of ownership is the first step in establishing a paper trail to help deter agricultural theft.” Please review and utilize the following documents to protect your business, reduce the market for stolen items and to support Hawaiʻi’s agriculture.
CTAHR Farm Food Safety: Good Agricultural Practices
Hawaiʻi Island Food Producers Fund: a peer-to-peer online lending program for Hawaiʻi Island farmers and Hawai‘i Island food processors utilizing at least one Hawaiʻi Island-grown ingredient. This microloan program established by The Kohala Center uses the Kiva Zip platform. For more information please visit The Kohala Center’s Kiva Zip Loan website