Proceedings of Taking Taro into the 1990s: A Taro Conference

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    A Hawaiian Perspective on Taro Growing
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Kahumoku, George Jr.
    A Native Hawaiian perspective on the origin of kalo (taro) and of taro cultivation in South Kona.
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    Preliminary Results of Dryland Taro Spacing and Fertilizer Timing
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Sato, Dwight ; Silva, James A.
    Five plant spacing treatments and four fertilizer timing treatments were applied to Chinese taro grown for 9 months on land previously cropped to edible ginger. From our preliminary interpretation of the results, a 1 x 3 or 1 x 4 plant spacing appears to be the most appropriate. There were no differences between the fertilizer timing treatments, indicating that total fertilizer requirements can be applied early in the growth cycle of taro.
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    Taro Diseases
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Ooka, Jeri J.
    Although taro is susceptible to attack by at least twenty-three pathogens, only a few cause serious reduction in growth and production. Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora colocasiae) and Pythium root and corm rot (Pythium spp.) are the most serious fungal diseases of taro. Phytophthora blight is not yet found in Samoa, the Marquesas, the Society and Cook Islands. Dithane-M45 is available for control of Phytophthora blight. Pythium root and corm rot is found where ever taro is grown. Five Pythium spp. have been implicated as causal agents of the disease. Captan provides good control of the disease. Data to apply for metalaxyl registration on taro for control of Pythium root and corm rots are being collected. Phyllosticta leaf spot (Phyllosticta colocasiophila), Sclerotium blight (Sclerotium rolfsii), Black rot(Ceratocystis fimbriata), Rhizopus rot (Rhizopus stolonifer), Phytophthora root rot (P. palmivora) and Fusarium dry rot (Fusarium solani) are other fungal diseases which may be locally important. Hard rot (unknown etiology) is a major problem in wetland taro culture where it can cause substantial losses. Erwinia spp. may cause bacterial soft rots. Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) cause root galls and corm malformations.
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    Taro Root Aphid
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Sato, Dwight ; Beardsley, Jack ; Hara, Arnold
    The taro root aphid, Patchiella reaumuri, is one of the most destructive insect pests in dryland taro. Crop damage up to 75% has been known to occur with Chinese taro and up to 100% with dasheen. The taro root aphid is host specific and apparently, it infests only taro and closely related plants of the family Araceae. In Hawaii, this species does not produce winged sexual forms, and reproduction is without fertilization by males. Taro root aphids have been observed to be associated with numerous attending ants, which probably moves the aphids around, enabling them to develop damaging populations. No effective insecticide is available for use against root aphids on taro. Spread of this insect occurs mainly by planting infested "seed pieces" (hulis).
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    Potential for Production of Alocasia, Giant Taro, on the Hamakua Coast of the Island of Hawaii
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Foliaki, Sione ; Sakai, William S. ; Tongatule, Sauni T. ; Tungata, Unlucky ; Ka'ipo, Ron ; Furutani, Sheldon C. ; Tsang, Marcel M.C. ; Nielson, Gregory ; Short, Richard
    Production of six cultivars of Alocasia macrorrhiza (L.) G. Don. in the Piihonua area near Hilo on the Island of Hawaii ranged from a high of over 70,000 pounds per production acre for the cultivar Tonga to a low of 14,000 pounds for the cultivar Niu Kini. 'Tonga' and 'Niu Kini' are the most popular cultivars in the South Pacific. Production for other cultivars were: 'Fiasega'- 19,000 pounds, 'Laufola'- 22,000, 'Faitama' - 18,000, and' Accession 18'- 64,000. 'Niu Kini' has purple coloring and 'Fiasega' has yellow coloring, the other cultivars have white fleshed stems. Production of Alocasia on the Hamakua Coast and marketing for human consumption has potential if the markets can be found on Oahu and the West Coast. Because production of stems alone in terms of starch for 'Tonga' is near 13,000 pounds per acre per year, there is a definite potential for production of Alocasia for use as feed for cattle, swine, and poultry. If a method can be developed to process the leaves and stems into palatable food it would decrease the dependency of these industries on imported grains.
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    Determination of Herbicide Residues in Edible Taro Parts and Wetland Flood Waters
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) DeFrank, Joseph ; Easton-Smith, Virginia A. ; Leong, Gladys
    A preliminary experiment with seven preemergence herbicides identified oxyfluorfen as a promising herbicide for commercial taro (Colocasia esculenta) production in Hawaii. Oxyfluorfen was applied twice at 0.38, 0.56 and 1.11 kg/ha to taro grown under wetland flooded and upland conditions. No oxyfluorfen residues were found in plant tissues (limit of detection 0.02 ppm). Oxyfluorfen levels in water from treated lowland plots was determined. Trace levels present in flood waters immediately after treatment dissipated to undetectable levels (limit of detection, 0.001 ppm) within 24 hours.
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    Taro Corm Quality and Postharvest Handling for Processing
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Paull, Robert E. ; Coltman, Robert
    Objectives to study the relationships between physiological age of corms, storage capabilities, and final snack food chip quality of dryland taro are outlined. Background information is to be developed that will assist in the development of the snack food chip market. The first problem is to define quality and attempt to focus on those aspects which are most important for fried chip manufacture.
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    Response of Chinese Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott var. 'Bun Long') to Nitrogen and Potassium Fertilization
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Silva, James A. ; Sato, Dwight ; Leung, PingSun ; Santos, George ; Kuniyoshi, James
    The response of Chinese Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott variety 'Bun Long') to 12 treatment combinations of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) was determined on a crop grown for 9 months. Nitrogen had the greatest effect on weight of number 1 corms while K had relatively little effect. The highest yields were obtained with the higher rates of N (>320 lb N/acre) at all rates of K. A predicted net revenue of $16/200 to $17/000 may be achieved with applications of 460 and 600 lb N (1000 and 1305 lb Urea) per acre at all rates of K and also with 320 lb N and 600 lb K (695 lb urea and 1185 lb muriate of potash) per acre. A tentative fertilizer recommendation for the highest net revenue is 460 lb N (1000 lb urea) and 600 lb K (1185 lb muriate of potash) per acre. A tentative adequate range for leaf N at 3 months is 4.3 to 4.5 per cent and for leaf K is 4.1 to 4.3 per cent.
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    Cost and Return of Chinese Taro Production in the Hilo Area
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Leung, PingSun ; Sato, Dwight
    This study provides an update of the cost and return of Chinese taro production in the Hilo area. Return to management is estimated to be $5,575 per acre per crop. Total fixed costs and variable costs are $1,573 and $4,602 respectively. Estimated breakeven price is 20.6 cents (per Ib of taro corm) to cover total costs. For a newly established operation which has to purchase hulis, return to management is reduced by the cost of hulis of $1,245 to $4,219, and breakeven price to cover total costs is estimated to be 25.1 cents. Using an optimal fertilization schedule as derived from a recent experiment, return to management can be increased by $2,500 per acre per crop and breakeven price to cover total costs is estimated to be 19.2 cents.
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    Welcoming Address: Taking Taro into the 1990s: A Taro Conference
    (University of Hawaii, 1990-01) Ching, Chauncey T.K.