PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS
/ September 14, 2016 /
The Hawaii seed industry has become the state’s leading agricultural activity and agricultural export, according to a new economic report titled Fifty Years of Corn Seed in the Fiftieth State.
The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association commissioned the report from economist Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics to summarize the state of the seed industry in Hawaii based on historical analysis.
The report, released this week, said the state’s seed industry reached its peak in terms of economic impact between 2010 and 2012 when its value topped $240 million. Since then, the decline in global commodity prices in general has pushed that figure down to about $150 million for the crop year ending in 2016. Central to that decline was the fall of corn prices from $7 a bushel to $3.50 a bushel from 2012 to the present.
“The drop in corn prices is part of a longer-term economic supercycle that has affected the rise and fall of overall commodities prices for decades,” Brewbaker said in a statement. “This latest supercycle began in the 1980s and encompassed the rise of transgenic food products such as corn in the mid-1990s as well as the demand for fuel in the early 2000s that caused corn prices to skyrocket due to the need for ethanol.”
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