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.
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 Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit State of Hawai‘i, Department of Agriculture website.
University of Hawai‘i 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, email@example.com or the UH Hilo Analytical Laboratory at (808) 932-7590, firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions? Please contact Darren Park, ADSC Manager, at email@example.com or (808) 956-6706. ADCS apologizes for the temporary limited availability of services. The ADSC in Hawai‘i 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.
Basics of Butchery Course - CULN1001-001
Students will learn about the meats and livestock industries and the science behind meat color, tenderness and flavor, along with gaining valuable hands-on experience cutting and processing meats. For course information, please see UH Community College website.
Animal Disease Control
The Animal Disease Control Branch, formerly known as the Livestock Disease Control Branch, prevents, detects, diagnoses, control sand eradicates livestock diseases in order to promote the health and economic well-being of the livestock industries in Hawai‘i. For more information, visit State of Hawai‘i Animal Industry Division.
African Swine Fever
African Swine Fever (ASF) is caused by a virus that is not present in Hawai‘i 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.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grant to Help Rural Businesses Market Value-Added Products
USDA is accepting applications for technical assistance grants to help rural businesses market valued-added agricultural products. The grants must be used to establish and operate Agriculture Innovation Centers.
Deadline to apply is March 20, 2020.
For more information, visit USDA Rural Development.
State Department of Agriculture Compost Reimbursement Program
The Hawai‘i 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.
State Department of Agriculture Emergency Loans
The Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i Farmer Training
GoFarm Hawai‘i is now offering farmer training workshops at The Kohala Center Farm in Honoka‘a. 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
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
Rat Lungworm (RLW) Rainwater Catchment Filters Information
Households in areas lacking county water must use rainwater catchment as their primary domestic water supply, for which there are no federal, state, or county guidelines or regulations. Live, infective-stage RLW larvae were able to traverse rainwater catchment polypropylene sediment filters of 20 μm (micrometer), 10 μm, 5 μm, and 1 μm filtration rating, but not a 5 μm carbon block filter. Therefore, a sediment filter and the 5 μm carbon block filter should be used in tandem. For more information, please the attached report.
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
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
- NEW: 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 - Hawaii 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 Hawaii Survey
- Ag Theft: The Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i’s agriculture.
CTAHR Farm Food Safety: Good Agricultural Practices
Hawai‘i Island Food Producers Fund: a peer-to-peer online lending program for Hawai‘i Island farmers and Hawai‘i Island food processors utilizing at least one Hawai‘i 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