Cabbage IPM Adoption Through Producer Training and Verification Program
The project focuses on cabbage growers in the Kamuela district on the big island of Hawaii but will eventually extend the IPM concepts to other cabbage growers on Maui and Oahu through their respective county extension agents. The Kamuela district is the "bread basket" of the big island and accounts for over a third of the vegetable and herb production in Hawaii. Statewide, cabbage production totals about 1,190 acres and the 17 Kamuela growers account for about 40 percent (480 acres). The project focuses on insect control due to resistance problems with the diamondback moth and on crop fertilization. At least three producers will agree to incorporate IPM skills into their current cultural practices. The subsequent adopters will be targeted with one-on-one assistance. The ultimate goal is to develop an IPM verification program and label for the Kamuela district IPM producers.
Project goals and objectives
1. Of the 17 Kamuela cabbage farmers who currently do not monitor for pest threshold levels on caterpillar damage, 15 percent will consistently monitor their fields throughout the entire growing season to reduce pesticide applications.
2. Of the 17 Kamuela cabbage farmers who currently do not monitor crop fertility levels, 15 percent will conduct an annual soil analysis and a leaf tissue analysies for every other crop to have more effective use of crop fertilizers.
3. Of the 17 Kamuela cabbage farmers who are currently not IPm verified, 15 percent will participate in this program and market their product as such to inform consumers about the safety of their product.
Three growers agreed to consistently monitor their fields to reduce pesticide applications and conduct annual soil and leaf tissue analysis to improve the use of fertilizers. These growers intend to eventually market their cabbage as IPM cabbage. The project sponsored education workshops to demonstrate monitoring, record keeping and threshold spraying and developed a pest control/best management guide. Six of the major cabbage growers in the Kamuela district implemented a diamondback moth IPM program but the IPM verification program has been delayed until a crop fertility management plan can be added. The project sponsored three in-store promotional events in Honolulu, at the Hawaii State Farm Fair and at the Taste of the Hawaiian Range Food Show. Actually tasting the cabbage appeared to convince more people than a simple brochure and poster about IPM. Future market promotions will incorporate information about IPM along with the health benefits of cabbage, the price and the quality.