Integrated Pest Management for Pineapple Production in Hawaii

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Pineapple IPM Program Authors:

J. DeFrank (UH Horticulture: Weed Science), C. Evensen (UH Agronomy: Water Quality), H. Fleisch (Maui Pineapple Company: Research Director), M. Johnson (UH Entomology), J. Hu (UH Plant Pathology), S. Nelson (UH Plant Pathology), and B. Sipes (UH Plant Pathology: Nematology).

Project Goal:

IPM implementation on 75% of Hawaii’s active crop lands.

Our highest priority is implementation to meet President Clinton’s goal for IPM implementation on 75 percent of crop acres. Four crops were selected for the Hawaii 1998-2001 performance plan.  The crops are pineapple, macadamia, banana, and sugarcane.  Program implementation for all of the crops will utilize the certification model used by extension programs in northeastern states.  University and industry experts will assemble IPM programs for each crop.  Each of the practices in the program will be given application points.  Certification will be given if the grower has met 80% of total possible points.

Targeted acres under a minimum set of IPM practices 9,500
Total acreage in-crop (1997) 19,900

Many of the recent changes in Hawaii’s pineapple industry relate to changes outside the State. The 1990’s decline in pineapple acreage has leveled off, with approximately 20,000 acres remaining in production.  The 1997 total value of fresh market and processed pineapple stood at 97.7 million dollars.  Pineapple remains a significant player in Hawaiian agriculture, but pest and disease bottlenecks to satisfactory production must be relieved in a cost effective manner in order to maintain the economic viability of the industry.

 Control of parasitic nematodes is a top IPM priority identified by the industry.  Tolerant varieties and genetically resistant varieties, whether traditional or engineered, are possible approaches to the problem.  New nematicides and improved application methods of existing chemicals have the potential to reduce the environmental impact of pesticide use and improve worker safety.  Even greater progress toward these goals can be realized if control can be achieved through biological and cultural methods that can be demonstrated to be economically feasible.

 The ant, mealybug insect complex on pineapple is involved in spread of pineapple closterovirus (PCV), the causal agent of mealybug wilt disease.  Since ant populations are associated with maintenance of mealybug populations, ant control is important to minimizing disease losses. Treatment decisions are made based on ant monitoring data and crop age.

 As with most crops in Hawaii, pineapple is subject to a number of fungal diseases.  Root rots and fruit rots are the most problematic. Monitoring programs for root rot pathogens are used to predict the need for postplant fungicide applications.

 Pineapple fields are subject to invasion by both broad leaf and grassy weeds, some of which are difficult to control.  Weed management protocols use field history and monitoring data.


In June 1997, UH IPM assembled a pineapple research and extension interdisciplinary group with the goal of preparing a comprehensive IPM certification program. This program was specifically designed to establish the best management approach for the production of pineapples in the State of Hawaii. The IPM certification program enables growers to maintain flexibility and profitability, while demonstrating its concern for consumers and environmentally sound management practices. Practices and guidelines established for the 1998 pineapple growing season are subject to change with new IPM developments.

After completion of a 3-month pilot program, the pineapple IPM certification program was finalized and implemented at Maui Land and Pineapple Company.

Maui Land and Pineapple Company successfully met the Pineapple IPM certification requirements for the 1998 growing season.

More Information on Pineapple Production
The Pineapple Page
PGAH Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) Strategy
Pineapple Certification Evaluation Worksheets (Pdf)