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Hirono Joins Hawaii Delegation in Introducing Bill to Support Macadamia Tree Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) joined Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representatives Jill Tokuda (D-HI) and Ed Case (D-HI) in introducing the Macadamia Tree Health Initiative Amendments Act.

“This legislation will build on the Hawaii’s delegation’s work to strengthen research initiatives into threats to our state’s macadamia nut production,” said Senator Hirono. “Macadamia nuts are an important agricultural product, providing local jobs and bolstering our state’s economy. It is critical that we invest in macadamia nut-related research to ensure we can keep the plants and the industry healthy. I’ll continue to work with my delegation colleagues to push for the inclusion of this legislation in the 2023 Farm Bill.”

The Macadamia Tree Health Initiative Amendments Act would amend the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act by expanding high-priority research and extension grants to:

  • Develop and disseminate 15 science-based tools and treatments to combat plant pests and noxious weeds that impact macadamia trees;
  • Establish an areawide integrated pest management program in areas affected by, or areas at risk of being affected by, invasive plant pests or noxious weeds;
  • Survey and collect data on macadamia tree production and health;
  • Investigate macadamia tree biology, immunology, ecology, genomics, and bioinformatics; and
  • Conduct research on various factors that may contribute to or be associated with macadamia tree immune systems, and other serious threats to macadamia trees, including—
    • the sublethal effects of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides on beneficial insects and plants to macadamia tree growth; and
    • the development of mitigative and preventative measures to improve habitat conservation and best management practices in macadamia tree growing regions.