Aina Mo Soil Amendment Project
Apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata), a highly invasive pest affecting wetland crops in 18 countries including the U.S., is listed as one of the 100 Worst Global Invaders. One study showed that due to its voracious appetite, present value damage from the snail could cost Philippine rice production as much as 2.3 billion dollars annually. In Hawai`i, the apple snail invasion has reduced taro harvests for the small and mid-sized farms that comprise the local taro industry by 18% to 25% annually. This project will research a unique control for apple snail on Hawai`i's wetland taro production using the unrefined glycerin co-product from biodiesel production as an agricultural amendment. The research will identify potential active compounds in the glycerin co-product, establish the LC-50 for the amendment, provide an initial assessment of water quality based on residual compounds, and identify the range of variability in the glycerin co-product from different sources of biodiesel feedstock. Results will be used to establish protocols for field testing the product on wetland taro in Hawai`i. The end goal will be to develop a marketable product that provides environmentally safe control of apple snail on taro and enhances the efficiency and profitability of small taro farms. Locally manufacturing an agricultural amendment for use in Hawaiian taro production saves energy through import substitution. Developing value-added co-products from biodiesel refining will improve profitability for the renewable fuels industry. Sustaining and increasing wetland taro production will revitalize rural areas and preserve wetland habitat. Developing a natural organic compound that effectively controls this invasive pest will preserve water quality in streams and coastal waters and has potential applications for wetland rice production and preservation of wetlands globally.
Small Business Information at Submission:
PACIFIC BIODIESEL, INC.
40 HOBRON AVE Kahului, HI 96732
Number of Employees: