Livestock producers in lower Puna on Hawaiʻi Island have felt the stinging triple punch of hurricane, lava, and now, a pandemic. To better support and protect these businesses during trying times, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has created a structure that is effective, practical, in compliance with new Environmental Protection Agency laws—and provides cost-effective pollution prevention.
Mike DuPonte, an extension agent in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, believes a new deep-litter piggery would facilitate a production program supporting four sows and one boar. The newly designed structure would produce 100 market wean off at 100 pounds average per year.
The piggery measures about 16’ x 48’, which fits within the County of Hawaiʻi Agricultural Building Exemption. Its lower containment walls are composed of concrete blocks on a slab floor, with steel posts supporting a timber-framed metal roof.
“Piggeries can help these families work toward creating a Puna community where the people are self-reliant, resource-conserving, equitable and ecologically restorative, while providing a good quality of life, today and for future generations,” said DuPonte. “Hog farms start small and expand gradually, so having a pool of small farms is important to long-term sustainability.”
Technical assistance and reimbursement payments may be available for eligible producers through the USDA–NCRS Environmental Quality Incentives Program. For more information, contact DuPonte at firstname.lastname@example.org.