|This United States Geological Survey photo of a cinder cone and fountain in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park|
was used by the artist to create the America the Beautiful quarter. Photo from USGS
|The coffee berry borer gets into the berry and lays up to 300|
eggs. Photo by Peggy Greb/USDA Ag Research Service
According to a report by Carol Lucas-Zent in this morning’s West Hawai`i Today, instead of renewing the quarantine, which expired in December, some farmers “urged the department to fine-tune management and mitigation efforts.” The story quoted farmer Colehour Bondera, who is president of the Kona Coffee Farmers Association and owner of Kanalani `Ohana Farm, saying, “Coffee berry borer doesn’t stay put. It moves naturally, including with the wind. It's here and it’s not going away.”
The proposed new rules would designate all of the Big Island as “coffee borer infested” for the purposes of shipping coffee to other islands. Within the county, the new rules would also give the Plant Quarantine Branch chief the responsibility for deciding which areas should be restricted from shipping coffee to other clean areas on-island. The chief would issue permits for treating plants, coffee bags, equipment and unroasted coffee being transferred from an infested area to a clean area. Another responsibility would be to quickly expand quarantine areas when coffee berry borers are found. The quarantine chief would be in charge of approving emerging treatments for the borer in the coffee field. Approved treatments in the coffee orchards are currently limited to pesticides with a fungus that controls the borer. Treatments of the harvested coffee itself include fumigation and heating the beans to 315 F for at least five minutes.
During the meeting, some farmers suggested approving such coffee bean treatments as high-pressure power washing, freezing for at least 48 hours, treating with ozone, and shipping the coffee in impermeable bags.
Farmers also suggested a self-certification process by affidavit since the Big Island is short of ag inspectors. The issue of abandoned coffee that may be an incubator for the coffee berry borer was also brought up by farmers who asked the state to provide an entomologist to be stationed in Kona to help with the coffee berry borer problem.
Farmers and the public can still submit testimony to the Plant Quarantine Branch in Honolulu. See proposed new rules at http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/Info/proposedrules/
|The U.S. Mint quarter depicts Kilauea Volcano to|
represent Hawai`i in the America the Beautiful series.
The artist is U.S. Mint sculptor and engraver Charles L. Vickers. The coin, clad in Cupro-Nickel, is engraved with the words “Hawai`i Volcanoes,” “Hawaii 2012” and “E Pluribus Unum.” The flip side shows the familiar portrait of Pres. George Washington.
Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park superintendent Cindy Orlando said the park staff is “very honored to be selected,” particularly with the iconic and straightforward image of the volcano on the coin.
WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE opening in two weeks, the state Council on Revenues has adjusted its forecast to give lawmakers an idea of projected state income. The council predicted yesterday that Hawai`i’s revenue would grow 11.5 percent. This is a lower rate than predicted last September, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the state is in solid financial position to fund his proposed $11.1 billion operating budget for the next fiscal year. He said he will keep close watch over the Council’s projections as the Legislature proceeds.
|Catherine Robbins' Heart to Heart|
PLASTICS IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN is the topic of a new book and a presentation by Captain Robert Moore and Megan Lamson at 5 p.m. today at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus. Moore is the man who discovered the Pacific Garbage Patch when sailing his 50-foot catamaran from Hawai`i to California. He has studied the plastics washing up on the Ka`u Coast and has researched the damage discarded plastics are doing to the marine food chain as well as becoming a hazard to ocean life. Lamson organizes volunteer clean-up parties to scour the Ka`u Coast, under the auspices of the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund.