Isle seed crop value jumps 26 percent

Last year marked a sixth consecutive year of dramatic growth for Hawaii seed crop producers, according to a recent government estimate, though the industry dominated by seed corn may be nearing maturity.

The Hawaii office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported the value of the local seed crop industry rose 26 percent to $223 million in 2009 from $177 million the year before.

The gain further ingrains seeds as Hawaii’s largest crop by value, a spot seeds have held since pineapple was dethroned in 2006, though other crops contribute more to the local food supply and commercial sales.

Industry observers expect the strong pace of expansion, which began five years ago after hovering around $50 million for several years before that, will begin to cool as the industry matures.

Last season’s big jump reflected expansion of operations by some producers after large land acquisitions in recent years that allowed the companies to build up research and farming, according to Fred Perlak, president of the industry’s trade group, the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.

“I think what you’re seeing here is the maturing of the acquisitions in the last two or three years,” said Perlak, who is also vice president of research and business operations for Monsanto in Hawaii.

Seed industry is key component of Hawaii agriculture

By Alicia Maluafiti

Since the demise of pineapple and sugarcane, the seed industry has helped diversify Hawaii’s economy and kept important ag lands in agricultural production by investing millions of dollars into failing infrastructure such as roads, buildings and irrigation.

Not only does this ensure that those farmlands remain productive for future generations, but the investment has saved small farmers and the state from having to pay for those improvements.

While we applaud the Sierra Club for turning its attention to food security (Name in the News, Star-Advertiser, Oct. 22), the comment by Robert Harris that farmers are having difficulty finding land to farm “because it’s all being used for seed corn” is a gross misstatement.

The agricultural biotech industry, which includes seed corn research companies, operates on only 5 percent of the available prime agricultural lands in the state. Of those acres, approximately 8,000 are actively used for crop production, which conserves water and results in a smaller environmental footprint.

Recognizing the difficulty of farmers to secure land, many seed companies now collaborate with farmers to put new and displaced farmers back on agricultural land at affordable prices. Farmers large and small are growing a variety of crops side by side, and many now even supplement their income by growing seed crops. In addition, seed companies lease land to cattle ranchers, who are another important part of Hawaii’s food security picture.

Syngenta to lay off 34 seasonal workers in Kunia

A group of 34 seasonal contract employees who work in the fields at Syngenta’s Kunia seed farm will be laid off Thursday, the company said.

The workers will join 49 other Syngenta “field technicians” who were laid off on July 9. The workers were employed by Akamai Employment Services, which provided them to Syngenta on a contract basis.

Syngenta farms corn and soybean as seed crops on more than 1,000 acres in Central Oahu.

Some of the workers may be rehired in October when Syngenta’s planting season begins, a company spokesman said.

Syngenta to lay off 34 seasonal workers in Kunia – Hawaii News – Staradvertiser.com

Economic Strength of Hawaii Seed Crop Industry Confirmed by Recent Reports

Economic Strength of Hawaii Seed Crop Industry Confirmed by Recent Reports

The seed industry’s significant contributions to the state’s economy were confirmed by two recent economic reports issued by the Hawaii Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and well-known Hawaii economist Dr. Leroy Laney.

When I think about an industry that is providing stable jobs for state residents and continuing to grow during this recession, the only one that comes to mind is the seed crop industry

Seed companies are weathering the recession well and contributing real value to Hawaii’s economy

Economic Forecast/Kauai Edition 2009-2010

Honolulu, HI (Vocus/PRWEB ) September 22, 2009 — The seed industry’s significant contributions to the state’s economy were confirmed by two recent economic reports issued by the Hawaii Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and well-known Hawaii economist Dr. Leroy Laney.

Most U.S. Stocks Advance as Retail Sales Beat Forecasts – Bloomberg.com

Commodities Gain

A group of mining companies, seed producers and chemical makers increased 1 percent as raw-material prices jumped. Gold advanced to a six-month high, reaching $999.50 an ounce, while copper rose for a second day. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities climbed 0.2 percent.

Most U.S. Stocks Advance as Retail Sales Beat Forecasts – Bloomberg.com

Seed crops take root in Hawaii’s ag industry – Pacific Business News (Honolulu):

 

As Hawaii’s agricultural industry continues to decline, a sub-industry is growing in size and work force.

The state’s seed crop industry hit $146 million in value for the 2007-2008 season, surpassing pineapple and sugar, crops that were once Hawaii’s agricultural staples.

The seed crop industry’s value has grown at an average annual rate of 33 percent over the past five years. It makes up about 30 percent of the total value of all crops produced in Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.

The trade group commissioned a study earlier this month to gauge the economic impact of Hawaii’s seed crop industry. The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation performed the study using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Seed crops take root in Hawaii’s ag industry – Pacific Business News (Honolulu):

Hawaii’s Seed Crop Industry: Current and Potential Economic and Fiscal Contributions

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii’s Seed Crop Industry: Current and Potential Economic and Fiscal Contributions report.
Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

Hawaii’s Seed Crop Industry
————————————————————-
Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909

The research objective of this study is to update our 2006 study of the Hawaii seed crop industry’s economic and fiscal contributions to the State of Hawaii. To this end we have provided:
• Background information about the technology used by the industry locally and internationally,
• Details of Hawaii’s seed crop industry with comparisons to other Hawaii sectors and subsectors,
• The economic contributions of the seed crop industry.

Our primary research conclusion is that Hawaii’s seed crop industry makes significant ever increasing economic and fiscal contributions to the state’s economy generally, and most particularly simultaneous contributions to the agriculture, life sciences and high technology subsectors. In so doing, the Hawaii seed crop industry generates various positive externalities to the state, the value of which has not been assessed in this study. Seed crop industry economic contributions to the state should continue to increase given anticipated industry investments in Hawaii, which will assist achievement not only of economic policy objectives but other objectives as well, the various positive side effects of this industry operating in Hawaii.

Hawaii Seed Crops

Here is the PDF file for the Hawaii Seed Crops report.

seed.pdf

Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/

————————————————————-
Contact Information:
Mark E. Hudson, Director
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512

Office: (808) 973-9588 / (800) 804-9514
Fax: (808) 973-2909
————————————————————-

The Hawaii Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates the value of Hawaii=s seed industry at a record high $97.6 million for the 2006/07 season. This preliminary estimate represents a 26-percent increase from 2005/06?s revised estimate of $77.3 million. Seed corn is expected to account for $94.0 million, or 96 percent, of the total value in 2006/07. A variety of other seed crops will account for the remaining 4 percent. Outshipments of seed are anticipated to total a record high 9.0 million pounds during the 2006/07 season, up 19 percent from the 7.6 million pounds shipped during the 2005/06 season. Acreage harvested for all seed crops is expected to total a record high 4,820 acres during the 2006/07 season, up 16 percent from the 2005/06 season.

Hawaii Seed Crops

The Hawaii Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates the value of Hawaii=s seed industry at a record high $70.4 million for the 2005/06 season. This preliminary estimate represents a 12-percent increase from 2004/05?s revised estimate of $62.6 million. Seed corn is expected to account for $68.1 million, or 97 percent, of the total value in 2005/06. A variety of other seed crops will account for the remaining 3 percent.

Outshipments of seed are anticipated to total a record high 8 million pounds during the 2005/06 season, up 16 percent from the previous record of 6.9 million pounds shipped during the 2004/05 season.

Acreage harvested for all seed crops is expected to total a record high 4,220 acres during the 2005/06 season, up 15 percent from the 2004/05 season.

http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/speccrop/seed.pdf

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