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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: UHH-Collaborative Effort for Evaluationg Regionally Based Feedstock and Co-Products for Aquaculture and Livestock

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2009 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The goal of this agreement is to carry out a collaborative research effort among PBARC, The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH), and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) that addresses important agriculture problems in Hawaii. The specific problem to address is determined through consultation and agreement among the agriculture college deans of CAFNRM and CTAHR and the director of PBARC. The main objective of this SCA is to evaluate the usefulness of regionally grown feedstock for aquaculture and livestock.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
In 2002, congress provided a set amount of funds to PBARC with the mandate that the funds should be split three ways among CAFNRM, CTAHR, and PBARC. The intent is to develop a mutually beneficial collaborative research effort that is formulated by the deans and the director of PBARC. The deans of CAFNRM and CTAHR, and the director of PBARC met and agreed to develop a research effort to evaluate the usefulness of regionally grown feedstock and co-products for aquaculture and livestock. Each institute would focus on research areas in which they have strengths and which would move the institutions closer to achieving the stated objective. To carryout the research plan, each dean will put out a call for proposals to their respective colleges for grant proposals to address the objective over a five year period. The proposals will be reviewed and selected by the deans and the director of PBARC, and any advisors that they may choose. To ensure that the research is focused on the objective and to assess progress, the investigators of the selected grants, the deans, and the director will meet annually to evaluate the work. Following the annual meeting, changes in the research personnel or focus may take place if needed. PBARC will have a research effort towards this objective but it will not have a call for proposals since the funds originally allocated to PBARC became part of their base budget. To maintain a degree of flexibility, the deans may use a small part of the funds to support other projects that may not be directly related to the main objective. These small projects may take no more than 49% of the total available for this SCA, must aid PBARC in meeting its mandated research objectives, must meet the requirements outlined in this Approach, must meet its internal milestones as described by the principal investigator(s) and must be developed as a partnership between a PBARC scientist and a CAFNRM scientist whenever possible although they can include scientists from other institutions or organizations for purposes of leveraging intellectual or fiduciary capital.

3. Progress Report
Site preparation at the UH Hilo Farm to plant 8 one acre pastures of mulatograss (Brachiaria ruzizensis x Brachiaria brizantha) half with and half without a perennial forage peanut (Arachis pintoi) mixture is nearly complete. A Mulatograss study using pH 5.6 Paauhau silty clay loam soil (Andic Dystrupepts) in the greenhouse to evaluate the relative contribution of surface-applied dairy lagoon solids (DLS) to forage dry matter yield and N status over four harvests as compared to urea N fertilizer when all other nutrients are at adequate levels. designed as a replacement series to determine if the urea N rate (300 kg N/ha/season in four split applications) can be reduced by 12.5, 25, 50, 75, or 100% through use of DLS. A second experiment was also established to compare the effects of pH 4.6 and 5.6 Honolua silty clay soil (Ustic Palehumults) on mulatograss growth. Microtiter marker analysis was used to identify 61 Hawaiian varieties, 3 Palauan varieties, 11 Hawaiian hybrids. While these markers are unable to resolve all Hawaiian taro varieties and hybrids, we are able to resolve at least 22 groups. Composting systems are under study to determine the best sustainable method to use. Two different types of compost have been created to be used as feed for earthworms (Perionyx excavates) in the vermicomposting set-up with some of it stored for plant growth and disease trials. Kept at room temperature, after two weeks two inches of vermicomposts are ready for harvesting. A shed is being constructed to house alternative vermicomposting systems such as windrow, stackable batch, wedge and continuous flow reactor systems. Modification of the hot water spray unit into a portable unit with a dedicated power supply is completed and can be used anywhere a water source is available. An experiment to control infestation of coqui frogs in potted plants on the greenhouse bench with hot water is on-going. Initial data collected from two of the sites at the end of the 4 months are mixed. One site showed about 70% reduction however, in a second site where the plants were much larger and rather overcrowded, only a 20% reduction in coqui frogs was observed. No heat injury was observed in the plants or flowers. A diversity of marketable items for producers has been developed from honey bee related products like bees wax, honey, propolis and pollen. The first line of products is marketed under the logo Lava Bee Products and include special packaging of honey, hunk honey, foaming soap and lip balms. These products are currently available in brochure form at /academics/cafnrm/faculty/arita-tsutsumi.php. The balm is presently in preproduction for commercial sales through the UH. Collaborative efforts to develop control methods for Little Fire Ant (LFA) with the UH Manoa at the UH Hilo farm are underway. A brochure on how to build moat stands for honey bee hives as a physical barrier to LFA has been created and has been made available to the Big Island Beekeepers Association. ADODR monitored project through meetings, progress report, and communications via email and telephone.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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