|Coffee Leaf Rust, which recently came to this island, can devastate farms. The EPA|
has given permission to use a fungicide to fight back. Photo from state Department of Agriculture
THE LONG AWAITED APPROVAL OF A FUNGICIDE TO manage and control Coffee Leaf Rust has come to Kaʻū Coffee farmers and their colleagues in other regions of Hawaiʻi. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the emergency request from the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture to allow the use of Priaxor® Xemium, to fight CLR, the devastating plant pathogen, which has reached Kona but not yet Kaʻū Coffee farms, according to a recent round of testing. The fungicide is not currently labeled by the EPA for specific use on coffee plants, but it is allowed for use to control fungi on leafy vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, soybeans, wheat and many other crops.
In March 2021, the state Department of Agriculture filed a request for a specific exemption with the EPA to allow the use of the fungicide on coffee plants. Notification of approval of the emergency exemption came yesterday which allows the fungicide to be used for up to one year or until use on coffee
plants is added to the product label by EPA and the product's producer.
"Hawaiʻi coffee growers now have an added method to combat the coffee leaf rust which is extremely difficult to manage," said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chair of the state Board of Agriculture. "Other efforts to minimize the damage and spread of coffee leaf rust include quarantines on the movement of coffee plants and associated material, the import of disease-resistant coffee plants and the development of integrated pest management strategies."
|Coffee Leaf Rust defoliates and reduces production,|
and can lead to death of the coffee tree.
Photo from state Department of Agriculture
Growers must inform the Pesticides Branch at least seven days prior to using the product by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Personal protective equipment must be worn as required by the label.
All directions on both the container label, as well as the dealer provided Section 18 label, must be followed. All use/application must be reported to HDOA's Pesticides Branch within 10 days of application.
Growers with questions on the proper use of the fungicide may contact Pesticides Branch to reach Cal Westergard at (808) 974-4143.
In anticipation of EPA's approval, the Dept. of Ag and University of Hawaiʻi's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources held two webinars for coffee growers in April on the use of Priaxor® Xemium. Two additional webinars are being planned in June.
CLR was first discovered in Sri Lanka in 1869 and can cause severe defoliation of coffee plants resulting in greatly reduced photosynthetic capacity. Depending on CLR prevalence in a given year, both vegetative and berry growth are greatly reduced. There are multiple long-term impacts of CLR, including dieback, resulting in an impact to the following year's crop, with estimated losses ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent.
Since the first detection of CLR in Hawaiʻi in October 2020, a multi-agency effort involving HDOA, UH-CTAHR, the USDA Daniel K. Inouye Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and the Hawaiʻi coffee industry has been working to protect Hawaiʻi's $56-million coffee industry.
For more on CLR and the Hawaiʻi coffee industry, go to the Coffee Education Website - UH-CTAHR at https://www.hawaiicoffeeed.com/; HDOA Coffee Leaf Rust Advisory at https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2021/01/NPA-20-03-Coffee-leaf-rust1-21.pdf; CLR Field Guide at https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2020/12/CLR-Public-field-guide-with-form11-20.pdf, and
2020-2021 Hawaiʻi Coffee Season Statistics (National Agricultural Agricultural Statistics Service: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Hawaii/Publications/Fruits_and_Nuts/Coffee-01-26-2021.pdf.
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Under the reinstated requirement, claimants must make at least three job search contacts per week. This includes registering for work on HireNet Hawaiʻi, applying for jobs by submitting a resume, or attending a job fair. Individuals must keep a written log of job contacts and must be ready to submit the log to the UI Division upon request. Failure to do so could result in ineligibility for UI benefits.
The reinstated job search requirement applies to individuals who have lost their full-time jobs and are on regular unemployment or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Individuals who are still attached to their regular full-time employer, are members of a union that provides job placement services, or are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA ) benefits are not mandated by law to meet the job search requirement.
|Department of Labor chief Anne Perreira-Eustaquio|
Photo from hawaii.gov
State Labor & Industrial Relations Director Anne Perreira-Eustquio said, "Our goal is to reemploy the unemployed and it is our hope that by reinstating the work search requirement, it will help more unemployed workers connect with available job openings. Whenever there is a change to Hawaii's unemployment insurance process, questions arise from both claimants and employers. We're pleased to announce we have created a new website to answer frequently asked questions as well as to provide updates."
Claimants can find additional information on specific programs such as PUA, and alerts related to fraud protection and security. Employers can find information on how to report individuals who refuse to return to work or accept an offer of suitable work, which is grounds for UI ineligibility. See hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Vice President Kamala Harris, Rep. Judy Chu, President Joe Biden,
Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Don Beyer, and Sen. Mazie Hirono afterthe signing of the Hate Crimes Act. Photo from Hirono's office
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO'S HATE CRIMES ACT WAS SIGNED INTO LAW today by Pres. Joe Biden. Hirono issued the following regarding the Asian American Pacific Islander community:
“After a year in which the AAPI community experienced a horrifying rise in hate crimes and
incidents driven by racist and inflammatory language during the pandemic, I was proud to stand beside President Biden and Vice President Harris as the President signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. This bipartisan piece of legislation sends a clear and unmistakable message of solidarity to our community at this crucial moment and will help federal, state, and local governments confront anti-Asian hate across our country. Over the coming weeks and months, I will work closely with Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice to implement this legislation as quickly and comprehensively as possible."
GRADUATION AT KAʻŪ HIGH SCHOOL ON FRIDAY will be a limited attendance event at the gym. Free yearbooks will be passed out to graduating seniors. Ceremonies will be live broadcast, on YouTube, going live at 11:50 a.m.
Call 808-731-5122 or stop by the Clubhouse during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 94-1581 Kaulua Circle. Email email@example.com.
See The Club at Discovery Harbour Facebook page.