Plants and agriculture

Agricultural crops and other plants are subject to injury by exposure to the pollutants that emerge from Kīlauea, especially when they are present in high concentrations. Farmers and gardeners in the path of the pollutants (SO2 and acid rain) have reported significant damage to plants caused by the northeasterly and southeasterly winds bringing SO2 fumes from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and Halema‘uma‘u to downwind areas, such as those immediately surrounding Kīlauea, Pāhala, and Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. The University of Hawaii publication, below, discusses the effects of the volcanic emissions on foliar injury to plants in Hawai‘i, what can be done to moderate it, and what the state and federal agencies have done to help minimize damage to Hawai‘i’s forests and agriculture.

The USDA Farm Service Agency provides financial assistance to qualifying commercial agricultural producers of non-insurable crops who are negatively impacted by vog, through the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). The program requires advance sign-up and a fee to be paid; however, limited resource and minority producers are eligible for a waiver of the fees. The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is also available to provide financial assistance when natural disasters cause the death of livestock to exceed normal mortality rates. For more information visit:

1. Volcanic Emissions - Potential Problems & Solutions

University of Hawaii at Manoa
Description of immediate threats to livestock production on the southern side of Hawai'i island due to recent volcanic activity.


2. Volcanic emissions injury to plant foliage

University of Hawaii at Manoa
Description of damage to ornamental, agricultural and native plants due to volcanic emissions



3. The effect of vog on livestock operations in the Ka'u District

Dr Mark S. Thorne; University of Hawaii
Report to the House Committee on ranches, pasture conditions and damage to forage resources and infrastructure due to vog.




4.  Volcanic air pollution on plants 

Kratky, B.A.
Abstract for University of Hawaii CSAV Vog and Laze Seminar Series (1997)



5.  Fish culture in catchment water 

Hopkins, K. et al.
Paper on suitability of catchment water for fish culture. Link no longer working! We are trying to find a new one!