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  • 01 Apr 2021 2:15 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    We invite you to join USDA’s Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux for a stakeholder forum on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which is part of the broader USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, on Monday, April 5, 2021, at 1:00 pm EST. 

    How to Participate: 

    The Stakeholder Call will be conducted virtually using Microsoft Teams Live Event. 

    Click here to join the meeting on Monday, April 5: JOIN THE MEETING!

    We suggest joining a few minutes early to ensure you are able to connect. (Please note that Teams Live events are limited to a maximum of 10,000 participants)

    Tips to prepare for the Live Event using Microsoft Teams: 

    • There will be an anticipated delay from broadcast of the event to the live stream attendees will be viewing on Teams. 
    • Teams Live Event provides a one-direction broadcast. Attendees will not be able to present their own video or utilize their microphones during the Live Event. 
    • There will be a Q&A opportunity during the event, time permitting. You may submit a question at any point. 
      • Click on the chat icon in the center menu bar to open a sidebar chat window that will allow you to type your question or comment. 
      • Please identify yourself when you ask a question to help us best address your inquiry. 
    • This Live Event will be recorded. The link for the recording will be accessible from the calendar invite a few hours after the Live Event ends. 
    • Teams Live Event offers closed captioning. To turn on closed captions, click the event menu ellipses and then click “Turn on live captions (Preview).” 
    • Teams Live Event offers ability to pause the meeting. If you would like to pause, click the pause button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. To resume the meeting, click the button again to play. If you would like to jump to real-time, click on “Live” which is located next to the play/pause button. 

    To learn more about how to apply, a complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on www.farmers.gov/cfap.

    Jessica Carlton

    Legislative Affairs Specialist 

    Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Engagement 

    Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC)- Business Center

    United States Department of Agriculture 

    Cell: 202-880-2591

    Jessica.Carlton@usda.gov

  • 26 Mar 2021 2:58 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Dr. Susan Miyasaka has announced that USDA- Agricultural Research Service and University of Hawai‘i-CTAHR will be presenting a Zoom conference on Coffee Berry Borer and Coffee Leaf Rust on April 16 and 17, 2021. This is a free event that is open to all who are interested. Follow this link for more info or to register.


  • 26 Mar 2021 2:49 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)
    Click here to see the Emergency Declaration letter.
  • 24 Mar 2021 12:20 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    After Identifying Gaps in Previous Aid, USDA Announces ‘Pandemic Assistance for Producers’ to Distribute Resources More Equitably

    USDA Reopens Program Sign-Up to a Larger Share of Producers with Plans to Expand Outreach and New Programming

    WASHINGTON, March 24, 2021—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.

    USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers was needed, said Vilsack, after a review of previous COVID-19 assistance programs targeting farmers identified a number of gaps and disparities in how assistance was distributed as well as inadequate outreach to underserved producers and smaller and medium operations.

    “The pandemic affected all of agriculture, but many farmers did not benefit from previous rounds of pandemic-related assistance. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to helping as many producers as possible, as equitably as possible,” said Vilsack. “Our new USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative will help get financial assistance to a broader set of producers, including to socially disadvantaged communities, small and medium sized producers, and farmers and producers of less traditional crops.”

    USDA will reopen sign-up for CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has committed at least $2.5 million to improve outreach for CFAP 2 and will establish partnerships with organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities to ensure they are informed and aware of the application process.

    The payments announced today (under Part 3, below) will go out under the existing CFAP rules; however, future opportunities for USDA Pandemic Assistance will be reviewed for verified need and during the rulemaking process, USDA will look to make eligibility more consistent with the Farm Bill. Moving forward, USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers will utilize existing programs, such as the Local Agricultural Marketing Program, Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach, and Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, and others to enhance educational and market opportunities for agricultural producers.

    USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers – 4 Parts Announced Today

    Part 1: Investing $6 Billion to Expand Help & Assistance to More Producers

    USDA will dedicate at least $6 billion to develop a number of new programs or modify existing proposals using discretionary funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act and other coronavirus funding that went unspent by the previous administration. Where rulemaking is required, it will commence this spring. These efforts will include assistance for:

    • Dairy farmers through the Dairy Donation Program or other means:
    • Euthanized livestock and poultry;
    • Biofuels;
    • Specialty crops, beginning farmers, local, urban and organic farms;
    • Costs for organic certification or to continue or add conservation activities
    • Other possible expansion and corrections to CFAP that were not part of today’s

    announcement such as to support dairy or other livestock producers;
    • Timber harvesting and hauling;
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other protective measures for food and farm

    workers and specialty crop and seafood producers, processors and distributors;
    • Improving the resilience of the food supply chain, including assistance to meat and

    poultry operations to facilitate interstate shipment;
    • Developing infrastructure to support donation and distribution of perishable commodities,

    including food donation and distribution through farm-to-school, restaurants or other

    community organizations; and • Reducing food waste.

    Part 2: Adding $500 Million of New Funding to Existing Programs

    USDA expects to begin investing approximately $500 million in expedited assistance through several existing programs this spring, with most by April 30. This new assistance includes:

    • $100 million in additional funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which enhances the competitiveness of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.

    • $75 million in additional funding for the Farmers Opportunities Training and Outreach program, administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, which encourages and assists socially disadvantaged, veteran, and beginning farmers and ranchers in the ownership and operation of farms and ranches.

    • $100 million in additional funding for the Local Agricultural Marketing Program, administered by the AMS and Rural Development, which supports the development, coordination and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises and value-added agricultural products.

    • $75 million in additional funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, administered by the NIFA, which provides funding opportunities to conduct and evaluate projects providing incentives to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low- income consumers

    • $20 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to improve and maintain animal disease prevention and response capacity, including the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.

    • $20 million for the Agricultural Research Service to work collaboratively with Texas A&M on the critical intersection between responsive agriculture, food production, and human nutrition and health.

    • $28 million for NIFA to provide grants to state departments of agriculture to expand or sustain existing farm stress assistance programs.

    • Approximately $80 million in additional payments to domestic users of upland and extra- long staple cotton based on a formula set in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that USDA plans to deliver through the Economic Adjustment Assistance for Textile Mills program.

      Part 3: Carrying Out Formula Payments under CFAP 1, CFAP 2, CFAP AA

      The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enacted December 2020 requires FSA to make certain payments to producers according to a mandated formula. USDA is now expediting these provisions because there is no discretion involved in interpreting such directives, they are self- enacting.

    • An increase in CFAP 1 payment rates for cattle. Cattle producers with approved CFAP 1 applications will automatically receive these payments beginning in April. Information on the additional payment rates for cattle can be found on farmers.gov/cfap. Eligible producers do not need to submit new applications, since payments are based on previously approved CFAP 1 applications. USDA estimates additional payments of more than $1.1 billion to more than 410,000 producers, according to the mandated formula.

    • Additional CFAP assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible crops identified as CFAP 2 flat-rate or price-trigger crops beginning in April. This includes alfalfa, corn, cotton, hemp, peanuts, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets and wheat, among other crops. FSA will automatically issue payments to eligible price trigger and flat-rate crop producers based on the eligible acres included on their CFAP 2 applications. Eligible producers do not need to submit a new CFAP 2 application. For a list of all eligible row- crops, visit farmers.gov/cfap. USDA estimates additional payments of more than $4.5 billion to more than 560,000 producers, according to the mandated formula.

    • USDA will finalize routine decisions and minor formula adjustments on applications and begin processing payments for certain applications filed as part of the CFAP Additional Assistance program in the following categories:

      Applications filed for pullets and turfgrass sod;
      A formula correction for row-crop producer applications to allow producers with

      a non-Actual Production History (APH) insurance policy to use 100% of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield in the calculation;

      Sales commodity applications revised to include insurance indemnities, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program payments, and Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus payments, as required by statute; and

      Additional payments for swine producers and contract growers under CFAP Additional Assistance remain on hold and are likely to require modifications to

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    the regulation as part of the broader evaluation and future assistance; however, FSA will continue to accept applications from interested producers.

    Part 4: Reopening CFAP 2 Sign-Up to Improve Access & Outreach to Underserved Producers

    As noted above, USDA will re-open sign-up for of CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021.

    • FSA has committed at least $2.5 million to establish partnerships and direct outreach efforts intended to improve outreach for CFAP 2 and will cooperate with grassroots organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities to ensure they are informed and aware of the application process.

    Please stay tuned for additional information and announcements under the USDA Pandemic Assistance to Producers initiative, which will help to expand and more equitably distribute financial assistance to producers and farming operations during the COVID-19 national emergency. Please visit www.farmers.gov for more information on the details of today’s announcement.

    USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

  • 23 Mar 2021 3:55 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Priaxor® Xemium brand fungicide is a translaminar (localized leaf systemic) fungicide that is being sought by the Hawaii Coffee Growers Association for approval of use on coffee grown in Hawaii from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), BASF (manufacturer), and EPA under a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 18  Emergency Exemption. If approved and used properly, Priaxor has the ability to kill coffee leaf rust within coffee plant leaves, unlike currently approved contact fungicides that kill CLR spores on the outside of the leaf.

    ​In anticipation of a Section 18 approval for Priaxor, outreach and educational opportunities have been prepared for producers. During these webinars, HDOA staff will explain about Priaxor and its use requirements and answer any  questions. These events are free, hosted by the HDOA and University of Hawaii CTAHR, and open to all. We encourage you to join us.

    REGISTER HERE
  • 11 Mar 2021 7:15 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Published by Hawaii Farm Bureau.

    Per the Hawaii State Department of Health, agricultural producers (farmers and ranchers) are frontline essential workers. If you are an agricultural producer, you will be eligible to receive a vaccine in Phase 1B as part of the Department of Health's Vaccine Distribution Plan. 

    Please note that due to the limited supply of vaccines, the Department of Health is prioritizing vaccinating kupuna (individuals aged 75 and older) that sign-up. As the state receives more vaccines, the Department of Health will offer more opportunities for other individuals to receive the vaccine. 

    For the most up-to-date information, please visit the state's Department of Health's COVID-19 Vaccine Page.

    For more information please read this email from the Hawaii Farm Bureau, or check the County of Hawaii vaccine page.
  • 09 Mar 2021 3:57 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    Aloha all! As part of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s ongoing efforts to facilitate the purchase of locally produced food by State institutions, HDOA invites local agricultural producers to share product availability information with HDOA and our and our state-operated institutional partners (i.e. schools, hospitals, prisons). CLICK HERE or use the link below to update information on your current and upcoming stocks of local agricultural products. Feel free to share the link with any local agricultural producers who might be interested in sharing information. Thank you for your responses!  

    HDOA Agricultural Producer Inquiry Form: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/f2sform/

    Responses to the inquiry are optional. Use the linked form to provide information to State institutions on available products, upcoming harvests, and any existing surpluses that need to be brought to market quickly. Responses will be sent to food procurement personnel in the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE), the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD), and within the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), and Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) to inform those institutions’ menu and purchase planning decisions.     

    Hawaii Department of Agriculture will only voluntarily share this information with personnel at our institutional partners. However, HDOA has no control over this information once it has been transmitted to our institutional partners (who often purchase through distributors and may share this information with distributors). PLEASE DO NOT SHARE INFORMATION THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE GENERALLY AVAILABLE.

    Thank you!!

    D. Heath Williams
    Special Assistant to the Chairperson
    Hawaii Department of Agriculture

  • 09 Feb 2021 8:21 PM | Alla Kostenko (Administrator)

    What’s at Stake: The Loss of Hawaii’s Coffee Industry, A Major Economic Driver

    As growers of the #2 crop in the State, we are just under 1,500 strong who tend more than 10,000 (i) acres. The value of our coffee is second only to Hawaii’s seed crops . For the 2019-2020 season, Hawaii’s unroasted coffee was valued at $102.91 million (ii), while its roasted value was more than (iii) $148.48 million .

    Now, we’re facing the most destructive coffee disease in the world: Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR), a fungus that can kill an entire farm in a matter of weeks. Annually, CLR causes $3 billion in damage and lost income around the world.

    In Hawaii, the stakes are higher than elsewhere. While most other coffee-growing regions have planted rust-resistant varieties, all of the ones commercially grown in Hawaii are not resistant. And the best fungicides used to fight this disease have not been approved here.

    CLR has been found and is spreading rapidly on Hawaii Island, Maui, Oahu and Lanai. Its spores are spread by wind, workers, rain, equipment and tourists. As a result, farmers are facing defoliation and a loss of yield up to 70% or more.

    To help save our industry, as well as the communities and families that depend on it, we need State, Federal and private support and we need it NOW.

    Without action, we stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in Hawaii’s economy – a contribution that far exceeds the value of the beans themselves. To grow our coffee, we hire thousands of workers and buy from local industries such as transportation and vendors of agricultural supplies. This so-called “downstream economic impact” is valued at about $211 (iv) million.

    Then there is the “upstream economic impact” of Hawaiian coffee, which is unquantified. Compared to most other crops grown here, coffee offers two advantages: 1) Its worldwide popularity boosts the tourism potential of events such as the Kona Coffee Festival. 2) It is shelf stable. That makes Hawaiian coffee a major attraction for the souvenir market, drawing tourists to shops, cafes and agritourism operations statewide. In turn, these visitors create more worldwide demand for Hawaiian coffee once they return home. For example, foreign exports of coffee from Hawaii, valued at $9.20 million (v) in 2019, are an ongoing international advertisement for the Hawaii islands.

    The economic losses from CLR would have an outsized impact in rural areas, where few other industries exist. Remember the collapse of the local sugar industry? We can expect similar results: dramatically increasing unemployment – especially of historically underserved and minority populations – accompanied by increasing crime and drug use. Not to mention the harm to almost 200 years of coffee-growing history and the cultural heritage of our islands.

    What We Need:

    • Statewide approval of the most effective CLR fungicides, and subsidies for famers to purchase them.

    • Support for development of the best CLR-management strategies in Hawaii, as well as support to educate farmers of them.

    • Support for research of the best CLR resistant varieties that will maintain the quality of Hawaii coffees. Also support for the importation, propagation and distribution of CLR- resistant varieties, including expanded plant-quarantine facilities. (This is a 5-10 year project.)

    • Support for farmers to replace their existing fields with rust-resistant varieties.

    • Support for other ways to build capacity and resilience within farm communities.

    Contact:

    • Chris Manfredi, President, Hawaii Coffee Association president@hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

    • Suzanne Shriner, Administrator, Synergistic Hawaii Ag Council suzanne@shachawaii.org

    _______________________

    i $54.3 million for Coffee vs $109.5 million for Seed Crops (including seed corn), in 2019. Source: State of HI, HDOA Market Analysis and News Branch “Top 20 Agricultural Commodities Produced: State of Hawaii, 2019.”

    ii 2019-2020 season, pounds of utilized production (green beans) x price per pound: 5,120,000 pounds x $20.10/pound = $102.91 million. Source: USDA-NASS. Jan 2021. “Coffee”. https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Hawaii/Publications/Fruits_and_Nuts/Coffee -01-26-2021.pdf

    iii This is a wholesale roasted estimate of the value of the 2019-2020 season crop, priced at $29.00 per pound: 5,120,000 pounds x $29.00/pound = $148.48 million. The $29.00/pound is an average statewide value that takes into account the lower wholesale prices of mechanically harvested coffee (Kauai, Oahu and Maui beans) and the higher prices of hand-harvested beans (Kona, Ka‘u).

    iv Using multiplier of 2.05, applied to the 2019-2020 season value of the State’s green beans: $102.91 million x 2.05 = $210.97 million. Multiplier from correspondence between HDOA chair P. Shimabuku and USDA Secretary S. Perdue, dated November 19, 2020.

    v $5.33 million in roasted coffee from Hawaii + $3.87 million in unroasted coffee from Hawaii. Source: USDA Global Agricultural Trade System. 2019 data.

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