HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that macadamia nuts are among the top five highest grossing agricultural commodities in Hawaii. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Hawaii harvested an estimated forty-four million pounds of macadamia nut crop for the 2012-2013 crop year. The estimated farm value of macadamia nuts for that same year is $35,200,000.
In March 2005, the macadamia felted coccid, Eriococcus ironsidei, was discovered on macadamia nut trees in South Kona. Originally from Australia, this insect can cause severe damage to macadamia nut trees when uncontrolled. Initially, insecticidal oils researched and recommended by the University of Hawaii's college of tropical agriculture and human resources were thought to be effective at controlling the spread of these insects. However, infestations of macadamia felted coccids have now spread to orchards in the Pahala area. Although insecticidal oil treatment has been effective in controlling the insect in young macadamia trees, this treatment has proven ineffective on older macadamia nut trees due to their large size and heavy canopy. Because insecticidal oil is proving to be ineffective, farmers must develop new methods to control the coccid.
Research is currently being done by the department of agriculture and the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources to develop new methods to control the macadamia felted coccid. The following research work is currently being conducted or planned:
(1) Determining the role of tree canopy modification and understory plants to encourage the presence of natural enemies to the macadamia felted coccid;
(2) Analyzing the potential of alternative pesticides;
(3) Determining the impact of macadamia felted coccid on plant health and yield;
(4) Determining action thresholds for macadamia felted coccid management;
(5) Determining the phenology of macadamia felted coccid in the field; and
(6) Identifying and testing biological control agents in Australia that could be introduced in Hawaii to control the macadamia felted coccid.
The legislature anticipates that the macadamia felted coccid, if uncontrolled, will continue to spread to other regions and counties of Hawaii and may devastate the macadamia nut industry.
The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds for research to develop new methods of preventing and treating macadamia felted coccid infestations.
SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2015-2016 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2016-2017 for the department of agriculture, in cooperation with the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources, to research and develop methods for the prevention and treatment of macadamia felted coccid.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on January 20, 2050.
Macadamia Nut Trees; Macadamia Felted Coccid; Agriculture; Appropriation
Appropriates funds to the Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with UH CTAHR, to research and develop methods for the prevention and treatment of macadamia felted coccid. (HB507 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.