Integrated Pest Management for the Waialua Farmers Cooperative
The agricultural complexion of Hawaii's landscape has shifted dramatically in the last six years. Thousands of acres formerly used by the sugarcane industry are now available for diversified agriculture. The Waialua Farmers Cooperative administers land set aside in 1995 by Dole Food Company for former sugar workers to cultivate fruits and vegetables. Total acreage in three separate areas adds up to about 215 acres farmed by 75 full time or part time growers. Over 40 different crops are grown by mostly beginning farmers. The majority of growers rely on two pesticides, Malathion and Sevin, to control insects because these pesticides don't require a pesticide application license to apply. The Food Quality Protection Act may restrict or ban the use of these pesticides in the future. The project cooperators plan to 1) train the growers in proper pest identification and IPM monitoring techniques; 2) substitute low risk pesticides (e.g. Admire, Provado and Success) for those pesticides currently being used; and 3) provide other control options so the coop can remain in business. Their performance targets include reducing Malathion and Sevin use by 50 percent; achieving a total reduction in pesticide load of 25 percent; and converting 50 percent of Waialua Farmers Cooperative members to IPM by the end of the project.
Project goals and objectives
1. Train the growers in proper pest identification and monitoring techniques used in IPM.
2. Substitute effective pesticides with low environmental risk for those pesticides currently being used.
3. Provide options to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides so that there is a measure of sustainability to the cooperative's farming efforts.
: The project cooperators were able to reach and train 28 farmers in IPM in the Waialua Farmers cooperative. Their performance goal was 40 farmers but they had not allowed themselves enough time to reach this target. Demand for the Field Guide to Identification of Common Pests Found in the Waialua Farmers Cooperative was quite high. The cooperators worked with Drs. Barry Brennan and Sabina Swift, another EPA funded project, to provide translations for non-English proficient farmers (a Tagalog translation for Filipino farmers was completed and a Laotian translation is underway). In conjunction with the guidebook, many farmers also asked for specific IPM recommendations for their pest problems. The cooperators held one "in-house" field day for the cooperative members and two community field days.
By the end of the second year, the cooperators had helped 53 growers reduce their use of Malathion and Sevin. Along the way, 31 growers examined their current pesticide use, 88 growers began using the guide to properly identify crop pests, 43 growers began scouting their fields on a regular basis, 18 growers began using pesticides that were effective replacements to Malathion and Sevin, 23 growers began adopting IPM practices and 39 growers continued adopting IPM practices.
In addition, the cooperators took the inititative to petition the U.S. EPA for a Section 18, Specific Exemption Permit, to allow for the use of Agi-mek 0.15EC for use on basil to control leafminers. The Section 18 was received and the licensing period was from September 3, 2002 through July 15, 2003. Additionally, the cooperators were in close contact with the manufacturer of Success (spinosad) regarding registration of Success for caterpillar and lafminer control on basil. Approval of the Success label by EPA was received and the cooperators were awaiting the licensing of this product in the state of Hawaii. Registration of these two insecticides on basil eliminates the potential for the illegal use of organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides by providing the basil growers (mostly immigrant farmers) with effective, safe tools for control of major insect pests.