HONOLULU STAR ADVERTISER
/ September 13, 2016 /
A global corn price decline is behind the four-year contraction of Hawaii’s seed farming industry, according to a report commissioned by the industry’s trade association.
The report from the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association released Monday said a collapse in corn prices reduced farmer demand for corn seeds that in turn curtailed spending on seed research, development and production in Hawaii, where five companies make up the industry.
“The seed industry has scaled down to reflect the reality of corn and other price declines in recent years,” said the report produced by local economist Paul Brewbaker for the trade association. “Hawaii’s five modern seed industry companies are now repositioning in the new global commodity pricing reality.”
Much of the report is based on data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which issued its own report last month that said the value of Hawaii’s seed crop industry ticked up 7 percent to $151 million in the recently ended 2015-16 season from $141 million in the prior season. Still, the recent value remained 38 percent below a $242 million peak in the 2011-12 season.
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