Redefining the Ranch’s Water Transfer Agreement


Wednesday 7-11-07

In the 1960?s the largest rubber-lined reservoir in the world was built on Molokai supplying Hawaiian Homestead farmers with irrigation water. The massive project tunneled through the island?s main mountain range to brining water from Molokai?s wet north side to the arid plains of Ho`olehua. The project is known as the Molokai Irrigation System (MIS).

In 1975 a water use agreement was formed between the State and developers of the Kaluakoi Hotel. The agreement, still in effect today, allows Molokai Ranch to transport well water from Central Molokai to West Molokai using the MIS.

The current agreement is under scrutiny as a new amendment has been proposed. An upcoming public meeting on Wednesday, July 18 will provide a forum for the details which allow Molokai Ranch the lease of MIS facilities.

The following is an overview of the original agreement and its proposed amendment. Also discussed are concerns of the Molokai Homesteaders and Farmers Alliance, who are advocating a return of the MIS to its intended purpose ? agricultural use.

*The Original Agreement*

In order to supply their development, Kaluakoi planners proposed to lease MIS pipelines. The State believed that by leasing MIS lines to the developers, the people of Molokai would receive profits and revenue beneficial to the island?s economy.

A contract was created that allowed Kaluakoi developers to lease a portion of the MIS for an annual rate of $45,000 during the first 10 years. After that, the amount was to be adjusted in accordance to any increases in the County?s domestic water rates.

In compliance with state regulations, Kaluakoi developers constructed two service connections: one for injecting water into the system, and one for drawing it out.

The developers were permitted to withdraw the equivalent amount of the water they injected. Overall amounts withdrawn could not exceed two million gallons per day.

While the State did agree to provide reasonable maintenance of the system, it also stated that it would not be held ?liable for any interruption, shortage of any loss or damage occasioned thereby.?

In the case of a drought or other emergency conditions, the State reserved the right to prioritize service to MIS consumers over Kaluakoi users. The State also reserved the right to terminate its agreement with Kaluakoi at any time (with a two year notice) if it was determined that ?the capacity of the system is not sufficient to meet the needs of the public for agricultural purposes.?

During the course of the contract, MIS authority was transferred from the Board of Land and Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture (DOA) (July 1, 1989).

The 20-year contract expired on Dec. 31, 1995 and has since been renewed. When Molokai Ranch acquired the Kaluakoi Resort?s 4,100-acre property in 2001 it also inherited the MIS lease.

Between 1995 and 2006 the contract was extended four times.

*The Current Amendment*

In early 2007 Molokai Ranch and DOA drafted a major amendment to the existing MIS use agreement. The amendment is being discussed and reviewed by community members including: Molokai Homesteaders and Farmers Alliance (MHFA), Molokai Ranch, the MIS board and the Department of Agriculture.

Homesteaders are arguing that the amount withdrawn by MPL be lowered by nearly half. Right now there is a two million gallons per day withdrawal limit which was based on what was thought to be the capacity of the Ranch?s water sources. MHFA points out that this estimate is no longer accurate.

Homesteaders are concerned that the Ranch could use MIS pipelines to transfer water to future developments. The original agreement limited water supply to the Kaluakoi area. The proposed amendment no longer identifies specific locations. Homesteaders want to continue regulating transmitted water to Kaluakoi.

The amendment also suggests that if MIS water should become scarce, the system would have the option of purchasing water from the Ranch?s Well No. 17 supply. But homesteaders disagree. They say purchasing water from the Ranch should never be an option. ?If you need water from [the Ranch], you are mismanaging the MIS,? states a MHFA proposal.

According to the proposed amendment, the Ranch could build its own pipeline from Well No. 17 to the Mahana Pump Station on the west end bypassing MIS facilities altogether. If the Ranch fails to construct the pipeline by 2011, it is stipulated that the current agreement could be extended until 2016.

Homesteaders want the agreement terminated without renewal at the end of the contract. This would force the Ranch off the system within five years. It would allow for the MIS to return to its intended use, servicing Hawaiian homesteaders and farmers.


CLICK to read the original article

Hawaii Crop Weather Weekly Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *July 1, 2007*


Please visit the website for more information:

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Agricultural Highlights


Big Island orchards made generally good progress. Soil moisture was adequate. Sunny and warm periods benefited fruit development. Young and newly planted orchards in Pepeekeo made steady progress. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Fields in windward areas remained in fair condition. Leeward and central Oahu fields made good progress. Irrigation levels were at heavy levels during the week due to a lack of rain and gusty winds. Kauai?s orchards were in good to fair condition.

Conditions in the lower Puna area of the Big Island were ideal for orchard progress. Daily showers provided sufficient soil moisture. Sunny and warm periods provided a boost to flowering and fruit set. Field activities such as spraying for disease and weed control were active. On Oahu, fruit development and ripening were good with the increased day length and dry weather conditions. Mealy bugs and Ring Spot virus lowered production in some fields. Orchards on Kauai continued to make fair to good progress during the week. Spraying to contain insect populations was stepped up to contain an increase in infestation.


Head Cabbage
The Big Island?s Waimea crop was in fair to good condition. Heavy irrigation was required especially in the Lalamilo area. Routine spraying was controlling insect and disease losses. New plantings made good progress. The Volcano crop was in fair condition. Plantings have increased, but made slower progress due to the dry conditions. New plants were in good condition on Oahu. Insect infestation was at light to moderate levels. Maui?s crop remained in fair to good condition. Insect pressure was higher in the major growing areas, but farmers were closely monitoring conditions to ensure timely spraying.

Dry Onions
Most fields on Maui were developing at a slower rate due to hot and dry conditions. Average bulb size has decreased. Overall, Maui?s crop was in fair condition.

Sweet Corn
On Oahu, favorable weather conditions allowed the plants to make good progress. Some reports of light worm damage were reported during the week. Isolated windward fields experienced some growing problems. Big Island fields were in fair condition. Soil moisture was adequate and resulted in improved growth.

Other Crops

The Big Island?s Kona coffee orchards made good progress due to adequate soil moisture levels. Coffee cherries were in the green stage of development. On Kauai, Isolated rains during the week benefited some fields. Showers at the upper elevations kept reservoir levels stable which allowed for good irrigation of all fields. Gusty trade winds were unfavorable for most fields and offset some of the benefits of irrigation.

Ginger Root
Plantings in the windward areas of Hawaii Island made good progress as daily showers raised low soil moisture levels. Sunny periods also helped to boost crop growth.

Harvesting, planting, and milling activities were active on Kauai during the week. The summer showers which are typically at the upper elevations kept reservoir levels steady and allowed irrigation levels to keep up with the plant?s needs. Some insect infestation was reported with increased vigilance for control.

Harvesting on Oahu was active and supplies for the Fourth of July holiday are anticipated to be heavy.

Drought hits Maui, worsens on Big Island

Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – 9:28 AM HAST Wednesday, June 13, 2007
by Howard Dicus

The Maui Department of Water Supply has declared a drought in Upcountry Maui, imposing mandatory water restrictions, while dry conditions are getting worse on the Big Island.

Maui officials Tuesday imposed 10 percent water restrictions on nonagricultural users in Haiku, Haliimaile, Kanaio, Keokea, Kula, Makawao, Olinda, Omaopio, Pukalani, Pulehu, Ulupalakua, and Waiohuli, but gave farmers 30 days grace.

Read Complete Article

Hawaii Weekly Crop Weather Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Crop Weather* (crop progress and condition) Report for the week ending *June 10, 2007*


Please visit for more information.

USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
1-800- 804-9514

Weather Review

Weather conditions had a variable effect on agriculture during the week ending Sunday, June 10. High pressure to the north and low pressure to the south resulted in a week of light to moderate trade winds with mostly light, passing showers. Most of the shower activity was limited to the northern islands during the first half of the week and shifted to the southern half of the State during the weekend. These passing showers occurred in windward areas and the higher elevations with some lighter amounts being blown over to the leeward side of the islands. Conditions were particularly dry on the Big Island where temperatures reached new daily highs on Monday and Wednesday. The Mayor of the County of Hawaii declared a State of Emergency on June 5 due to the continuing dry weather. A voluntary 10-percent reduction in water usage was in effect for the districts of North and South Kohala, Hamakua, and Ka`u. A mandatory 25-percent reduction in water usage was in effect for the following specific areas of the Big Island: Waimea Town to Kawaihae, Upper Pa`auilo, and Ahualoa. In addition, the State Department of Agriculture continued to place users of the Honokaa-Paauilo irrigation system under a mandatory 30-percent water conservation notice due to damage sustained from the October 15, 2006 earthquake. Users of the Waimea irrigation system were asked to voluntarily cutback irrigation water usage by 10 percent. Overall, recent weather conditions have had a variable effect on agriculture. Non-irrigated crops, those dependent on natural rainfall, were in fair to poor condition. Crops located in windward areas were faring better than those in the drier leeward areas of the island. Irrigated crops were in fair to good condition. Abundant sunshine and adequate irrigation was ensuring normal growth. Spraying for insects and disease continued on a regular schedule.

Agricultural Highlights


Orchards in eastern sections of the island of Hawaii were in fair to good condition. Mostly sunny days facilitate field operations, but soil moisture was declining. Banana Bunchy Top virus incidences remain isolated in the Puna and Kona areas. Oahu orchards were in fair to good condition. Fields in windward areas remained in fair condition. Banana Bunchy Top virus continued to affect fields. Leeward and central Oahu fields made good progress, but were also slowed by light Banana Bunchy Top virus damage. Irrigation remained at moderate to heavy levels during the week due to the dry days.


Big Island orchards were in fair to good condition. Soil moisture decreased and additional rain is needed to raise soil moisture to more satisfactory levels. Mostly sunny days dominated the week, but some light showers were beneficial. Fruit development and ripening were good on Oahu. However, mealy bugs and ring spot virus in some fields kept production lower than anticipated. Orchards on Kauai continued to make fair to good progress during the week. Spraying to contain the insect population was stepped up to contain the increased infestation.


Head Cabbage

The crop in the Big Island?s Waimea area was in generally good condition. Light insect damage on outer leaves was noticed. Irrigation ensured normal crop progress. The Volcano crop was experiencing slow progress due to dry conditions. Maui?s crop continued to make good progress. Warm temperatures stressed some lower elevation fields, but generally those fields were in good condition. Insect pressure and damage was light, but elevated in some fields. Head size was large. On Oahu, insect infestation was at light levels and mostly under control. New plants were in good condition.

Sweet Corn

Young planting in eastern sections of Hawaii County made slow progress. Newly seeded beds have gaps in the rows due to seedlings dying for lack of moisture. Light showers during the week provided some relief. Beneficial weather conditions allowed the plants to make good progress in central Oahu fields. Windward fields made good progress during the week and are expected to be harvested at moderate to heavy levels.


Pickings from most Oahu fields were at moderate to heavy levels and anticipated to continue increasing as plants were in active harvest. Melon fly infestation and light pickle worm damage has affected crop yields in some areas during the week. Irrigation levels remained heavy as the dry weather continued in most crop growing areas.

Dry Onions

Maui?s crop benefited from the dry weather and regular irrigation. Growth and development was good in most fields, although the warm temperatures have started to detrimentally affect some fields by slowing growth. Quality of harvested bulbs has reportedly been very good.

Biofuels News

May 21, 2007
Hawaii: a return to the land, for fuel
By Matt Villano
LAHAINA, Hawaii – Here on the West Side of Maui, where lush mountainsides and the warm waters of the Alalakeiki Channel juxtapose increasingly crowded roadways and a spate of new luxury hotels, the push for renewable energy has found an unlikely advocate: the chief executive of one of the most aggressive developers on the island.
The real estate maven, David Cole, has used his position as head of Maui Land and Pineapple, a land holding and operating company, to promote sustainable development. The effort harks back to Hawaii?s past, with plans to return some farmland to production ? this time for energy rather than food ? after so many years in which the state turned its back on its agricultural history in a headlong rush into tourism and real estate.

Perhaps the most notable effort is Hawaii BioEnergy, an international consortium that includes two other local landowners, Tarpon Investimentos, an investment company in Bermuda, and Brasil Bioenergia, an energy company in S?o Paulo.

The consortium, which also involves the co-founder of America Online, Stephen M. Case, and the venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, took form last July with the goal to make Hawaii, which has long had to pay high prices for imported fuel, largely energy-independent.

?As islanders, we?ve had to provide for our own survival for hundreds and hundreds of years,? said Mr. Cole, 55, who was raised on Oahu but spent most of his adult life on the mainland before coming to Maui in 2003.

?Now that the technology exists to turn some of our natural resources into energy, there?s no reason we should be getting energy from anywhere else,? he said.

While companies on the mainland are subsidized to produce ethanol from corn, Hawaiian companies and Hawaii BioEnergy are turning to other materials, particularly sugar cane, which are potentially far more efficient sources of ethanol per input of energy and raw material than corn.

Statistics from the Department of Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association in Washington and evidence from Brazil?s experience indicate that ethanol from sugar cane is considerably cheaper to produce than ethanol from corn, a savings that potentially could trickle down to consumers in the form of lower energy bills.

Even without these numbers, the business case for investing in alternative energy in Hawaii is compelling. The Hawaiian archipelago relies on imported oil for nearly 90 percent of its energy needs, making it one of the most expensive places in the nation to buy gasoline and pay for electricity and heat.

In May 2006, Hawaii passed a bill requiring that 20 percent of all highway fuel demand by 2020 must be provided by renewable fuels like ethanol, biodiesel or hydrogen. Another bill under consideration in the State Legislature would allow biofuel processing centers to be permitted in agriculture districts and would develop a baseline percentage of energy feedstock to be grown in the state.

Charmaine Tavares, mayor of Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe, said the goals were ?admirable,? but noted that more immediate changes were necessary as well.

?Every time we pay our energy bills, we?re all aware of the need for renewable energy,? Ms. Tavares said. ?The year 2020 just seems pretty far away.?

Mr. Cole, whose company is one of the largest landowners on Maui, agreed. Last summer, after an eye-opening trip to Brazil, he took matters into his own hands.

With the help of Mr. Case, whom he met during a stint at America Online in the 1990s, Mr. Cole signed up Hawaiian landowners like Kamehameha Schools, an independent school system and the largest landowner in the state, and the Grove Farm Company, a 22,000-acre sugar cane plantation in eastern Kauai that is owned by Mr. Case.

The pair also enlisted help from companies overseas, and recruited Mr. Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems in 1982 who has become one of the biggest backers of renewable energy in the world. Hawaii BioEnergy was born.

Since then, these founding partners and Maui Land and Pineapple have invested nearly $1 million in cash and put a number of full-time employees to work running the business. They expect other investors to help raise an additional $50 million to $80 million to get the operation off the ground.

?When you consider the tropical weather and all the sun Hawaii gets, it is a perfect place to prove that fuels made from biomass can be cost-competitive,? Mr. Khosla said of the project.

Still, the real heart of this consortium is land. The three landowners own about 10 percent of the arable soil in the state: 450,000 acres in all.

Though most of this soil is fallow today, Mr. Case wrote in a recent e-mail exchange that the partners plan to combine contiguous parcels, coordinate planting, harvesting and processing operations, and maximize economies of scale.

?These efforts are not without risk, but anything important has risks,? he wrote of the Hawaii BioEnergy plan. ?Hawaii?s first act was agriculture, and the second act was tourism. Now it is time for the third act, Hawaii 3.0.?

By some accounts, this new era is already under way. From a conference room at the understated Maui Land and Pineapple headquarters in Kahalui, Mr. Cole recently reviewed a new Hawaii BioEnergy feasibility study for producing ethanol from sugar cane on Maui, noting that the consortium could begin plant construction as soon as 2010.

Ultimately, he said, the plant would produce 27 million to 28 million gallons of ethanol a year, and would use the fuel to defray its own energy costs and to sell elsewhere in the state. He added that the group has explored other potential sources for ethanol, including soybeans, switch grass and a type of elephant grass called miscanthus.

Mr. Cole noted that the consortium also looked into producing ethanol from potential ?co-products? of the fuel-making process, including electricity from bagasse (the residue produced after crushing sugar cane), biodiesel from algae nourished by carbon dioxide off-take in the distillation process and animal feeds from the residual algae stream. All together, burning this additional ethanol could add another 25 to 30 megawatts of sustainable power capacity, Mr. Cole said.

?Part of our conception is that we get the most out of the project by making all waste streams into food streams for something else,? Mr. Cole explained. ?Before we invest in a particular technology, we want to be sure we?re investing in the technology that will give us the biggest and broadest return.?

To be sure, Hawaii BioEnergy is not the only partnership interested in renewable energy; elsewhere, the state?s two remaining sugar cane companies are exploring renewable energy efforts of their own.

On Kauai, for example, the cane producer Gay & Robinson recently received a state permit to build a $36 million ethanol plant in the town of Pakala as part of a joint venture with a local energy company. The other concern, the Maui-based Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar, is also investigating renewable fuels.

Because these companies currently combine to harvest 270,000 tons of sugar cane each year, they may be closer to actually producing renewable energy than Hawaii BioEnergy is. Alan Kennett, president and general manager of Gay & Robinson, suggested that his company could begin ethanol production as early as next year.

David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agricultural sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., said the fact that there would soon be various options for renewable energy in Hawaii was a step in the right direction.

?Any investment in renewable energy is a good investment,? he said. ?Beyond that, Hawaii should be practicing general conservation with smaller cars, less air-conditioning and decreased consumption over all.?

If anybody understands the need for conservation in Hawaii, Mr. Cole does. A stocky man with a graying goatee, he grew up in Kailua, a suburb of Honolulu, hiking through tropical forests and hanging out on beaches with friends. His first job on the island was delivering copies of The Honolulu Advertiser. He attended the University of Hawaii as an undergraduate.

Mr. Cole left Maui for law school on the mainland in the 1970s. Though he spent almost 30 years there before returning to head Maui Land and Pineapple in 2003, his love for the local environment still runs deep; he regularly rhapsodizes about the beauty of dawn, the sweet sounds of birds and the annual migration of humpback whales.

He also serves as chairman of the Hawaii Nature Conservancy.

Mr. Cole has extended these pro-environment ideals to many of his business decisions. This year, when construction crews dismantled the former Kapalua Bay Hotel, which is owned by a subsidiary of Maui Land and Pineapple, Mr. Cole required them to reuse 97 percent of the material in the company?s new offices.

Instead of recycling, he called the process ?upcycling,? and noted that his desk was a door in its former life.

Planning the next development ? an upscale neighborhood on the slopes of Mount Haleakala called Haliimaile (pronounced hah-lee-ee-my-lee) ? Mr. Cole has commissioned architects to design the enclave to minimize vehicle use, create a natural water filtration system, and incorporate solar and wind energy so residents generate more power than they consume.

Though the neighborhood is still in the permitting process and probably years away, Mr. Cole said he hoped this kind of forward thinking, together with the efforts of Hawaii BioEnergy, would eventually inspire outsiders to look to Hawaii for ideas about responsible and sustainable development.

?The whole world is looking for models,? he said. ?Years from now, when people think about renewable energy, I want them to look here and say, ?If it worked for Hawaii, it can work for us.? ?

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Source: New York Times


Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Monthly Livestock Review *Report.


Please visit the website for more information:

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

“HAWAII MONTHLY LIVESTOCK REVIEW” reports are available on our website and also PRINTED monthly. Subscriptions for PRINTED copies are free to those persons who report agricultural data to NASS (upon request) and available for $4 per year to all others.

February Egg Production Down 19 Percent From A Year Ago

Hawaii egg production totaled 6.4 million (17,778 cases) in February 2007, down 19 percent from February 2006. The average number of layers on hand during February 2007 was estimated at 395,000, down 2 percent from January and down 17 percent from February 2006.

The average rate of lay during February 2007 was 1,620 per 100 layers (57.9 percent rate of lay), down 3 percent from February 2006.

February Cattle Marketings Down 32 Percent From 2006

Total cattle marketings for February 2007 is estimated at 2,300 head, down 32 percent from February 2006. Cumulative cattle marketings for the first two months of 2007 totaled 8,100 head, down 15 percent from a year ago.

February exports down 42 percent from year ago

Exports of steers and heifers totaled 1,500 head in February 2007, down 42 percent from a year ago. During the first two months of 2007, 6,400 head have been exported, down 19 percent from the same period a year ago. A breakdown of February 2007 exports shows that both categories of cattle experienced a decline. At 700 head, February 2007 exports of steers were down 42 percent from February 2006. Exports of heifers also totaled 700 head in February 2007, down 50 percent from last February. Exports of other classes of cattle were not included.

Average live weight up 4 percent

The average live weight of steers and heifers exported from Hawaii in February 2007 was 446 pounds, up 16 percent or 61 pounds from a year ago. Commercial Beef Production Up 7 Percent Hawaii commercial beef production (local slaughter) during February 2007 totaled 478,000 pounds, up 7 percent from February 2006. Cumulative beef production (local slaughter) for the first two months of 2007 totaled 1.0 million pounds, up 13 percent from a year ago. Commercial kill totaled 800 head in February, unchanged from the February 2006?s total of 800 head. Average live weight per head increased to 1,093 pounds in February 2007, 3 percent heavier than in February 2006.

Commercial Beef Production

Up 7 Percent Hawaii commercial beef production (local slaughter) during February 2007 totaled 478,000 pounds, up 7 percent from February 2006. Cumulative beef production (local slaughter) for the first two months of 2007 totaled 1.0 million pounds, up 13 percent from a year ago. Commercial kill totaled 800 head in February, unchanged from the February 2006?s total of 800 head. Average live weight per head increased to 1,093 pounds in February 2007, 3 percent heavier than in February 2006.

Commercial Pork Production Down 8 Percent

Hawaii commercial pork production during February 2007 totaled 254,000 pounds, down 8 percent from February 2006. Cumulative pork production during the first two months of 2007 totaled 535,000 pounds, down 8 percent from a year ago. Total hog kill was 1,500 head in February 2007, down 12 percent from a year ago. Average live weight per head was 219 pounds in February 2007, down 2 percent from the 224-pound average a year ago.

Hawaii County

Hilo and Puna districts saw an increase in new grass growth as temperatures slowly began to rise and days lengthen. Ranchers reported adequate water supplies in streams as well as in stock ponds. Cattle and calves were in good condition with no unusual losses being reported.

Ka`u district pastures were in fair to good condition as soil moisture was adequate. Lower elevation pastures were fairly green, but growth was slow. Pahala pastures were beginning to show stress from low moisture. Further south, rainfall was more plentiful and grass growth was evident in the Kahuku and South Point areas.

North and South Kona districts received good showers early in the month, but new grass growth could not be sustained due to the rapid decrease in soil moisture due to dry weather. Pastures in the upper slopes experienced cloudy skies, cool afternoons, and showers which helped to spur re-growth. Coastal and low elevation pastures were very dry with only dry feed available for grazing. Prospects for new grass growth were poor. Stock water supplies were low.

North and South Kohala districts experienced heavy showers in isolated areas at the start of the month. The Puukapu and Mana areas had new grass growth and available feed supplies were good. Cooler temperatures had a slight slowing effect on grass growth. Increased soil moisture in thenormally dry Lalamilo pastures boosted new grass growth. Leeward Kohala mountain pastures, that were brown from a lack of rain, were observed with new grass growth. Adequate soil moisture in the Kapaau and Hawi pastures helped to produce adequate feed supplies. South Kohala coastal areas had only dry standing feed and were in poor condition. Pastures below Waikii received good showers and had fair new grass growth. Upper Waikii and Kilohana pastures remained very dry. A brush fire blackened about 50 acres of dry rangeland in the Kilohana area.

Hamakua district pastures were in generally good condition. Warmer temperatures and increasingly longer days have spurred grass growth. Stock water supplies are mostly adequate as streams were flowing at near normal levels.

Maui County

Maui Island:

Pastures on the east side of Maui received beneficial showers, but cool temperatures prevented optimal growth. Some pastures have been re-seeded to increase the quality of forage. Overall, these pastures were in fair to good condition. Lower pastures in Ulupalakua were drying out and mice have become a concern. Upper elevation pastures were in fair condition, but rainfall is needed. Pastures in Keokea were still able to provide feed, although there is a greater percentage of dry forage. Lower elevation pastures in Kulawere drying out. There was still a good amount of dry forage available, but green forage was of inferior quality. Haiku pastures were in fair condition. Previously irrigated pastures in the central area of the Maui were drying out and did not appear to be receiving irrigation. Pastures in Kahakuloa were able to maintain steady re-growth due to occasional showers and decreased grazing pressure.

Honolulu County

Except for some interior sections, rainfall was below normal on Oahu. Pastures were in fair condition with some supplemental feeding being supplied.

Kauai County

Windward areas record near or above normal rainfall while leeward sections were below normal. Pastures were in fair to good conditions with lots of weeds in some areas. Livestock conditions were generally good.

1/ Rainfall stations were selected from the National Weather Service?s Hydronet system of automated rain gages. Featured stations may vary each month. All rainfall data has not been quality controlled, and therefore is not certified by the National Weather Service. A complete listing of Hydronet stations, rainfall gage location maps, and other rainfall data may be found at the National Weather Service?s hydrology homepage:

February Milk Production Down 23 Percent From Year Ago

Hawaii?s dairy cows produced 3.7 million pounds of milk in February 2007, down 23 percent from a year ago. Cumulative milk production for the first two months of 2007 totaled 8.1 million pounds, down 20 percent from the same period in 2006.

February?s Cow Herd

Down 16 Percent From Year Ago Hawaii?s cow herd, both dry and milking, numbered 3,700 head in February 2007, down 3 percent from January 2007 and down 16 percent from February 2006. Average milk per cow is estimated at 1,000 pounds for February 2007, down 8 percent from last February?s average of 1,090 pounds per cow.

Livestock Prices Higher Than Year-ago

Steers and heifers

The average dress weight farm price for steers and heifers is estimated at 99.0 cents per pound for February 2007, unchanged from January. Compared to a year ago, the February 2007 average dress weight farm price was 2 cents higher.


The average dress weight farm price for cows is estimated at 54.0 cents per pound in February 2007, unchanged from January. Compared to a year ago, the average dress weight farm price for cows was 2 cents per pound higher in February 2007.

Market hogs

The average dress weight farm price for market hogs is estimated at $1.30 per pound for February 2007, unchanged from January. Compared to a year ago, the dressed weight for market hogs was up 15 cents per pound this February.


The average farm price for milk was $26.90 per hundredweight during February 2007, up 10 cents per hundredweight from January. February 2007?s farm price for milk was 3 percent higher than a year ago.


The average farm price for a dozen eggs was $1.05 in February 2007, unchanged from January. Compared to a year ago, the farm price for a dozen eggs was 7 percent higher in February 2007.

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.62 billion pounds in February, up 4 percent from the 3.49 billion pounds produced in February 2006.

Beef production, at 1.95 billion pounds, was 7 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.56 million head, up 9 percent from February 2006. The average live weight was down 10 pounds from the previous year, at 1,274 pounds.

Veal production totaled 12.2 million pounds, 7 percent above February a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 66,900 head, up 27 percent from February 2006. The average live weight was down 50 pounds from last year, at 307 pounds.

Pork production totaled 1.64 billion pounds, down slightly from the previous year. Hog kill totaled 8.12 million head, down slightly February 2006. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from the previous year, at 269 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 14.4 million pounds, was down 2 percent from February 2006. Sheepslaughter totaled 204,400 head, 1 percent above last year. The average live weight was 140 pounds, down 4 pounds from February a year ago.

U.S. egg production totaled 6.91 billion during February 2007, down 1 percent from last year. Production included 5.92 billion table eggs, and 998 million hatching eggs, of which 937 million were broilertype and 61 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during February 2007 averaged 347 million, down 1 percent from last year. February egg production per 100 layers was 1,992 eggs, down slightly from February 2006.

All layers in the U.S. on March 1, 2007 totaled 347 million, down 1 percent from last year. The 347 million layers consisted of 288 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 56.5 million layers producing broilertype hatching eggs, and 2.82 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on March 1, 2007, averaged 71.6 eggs per 100 layers, unchanged from March 1, 2006.

Excerpts from Livestock Slaughter (March 23, 2007) and Chickens and Eggs (March 23, 2007) releases.

Cattle/Beef: Low forage reserves continue to result in heavy cow and calf slaughter. Weekly year-to-date total calf slaughter is almost 28 percent above last year?s cumulative year-to-date total for the same period, while production is up only 6 percent. Farm-to-retail price spreads are increasing seasonally, along with increasing fed cattle and retail prices, and byproduct values are nearing record levels. Forecast beef exports for 2007, while up from the 2006 total, were reduced somewhat due to slow growth in shipments to major Asian markets.

Hogs/Pork: The USDA forecast for first-quarter 2007 commercial pork production was lowered 50 million pounds, to 5.325 billion pounds, due to slightly lower than expected slaughter and lower average dressed weights. First-quarter prices of live-equivalent 51-52 percent lean hogs are expected to range between $46 and $47 per hundredweight (cwt), more than 9 percent above first quarter a year ago. Hog prices will likely belower in the second half of this year as pork production accelerates seasonally and broiler production expands. U.S. packers and hog finishers are expected to import 9.35 million head of hogs from Canada this year, an increase of almost 7 percent over last year.

Dairy: Rapidly rising feed prices have limited production increases. The smaller production expansion in light of strong demand should boost prices for milk and dairy products in 2007. Exports of dry products continue to sharply raise prices in that segment of the market.

Poultry: With a decline in broiler meat production in January 2007, the estimate for first-quarter 2007 meat production was lowered by 75 million pounds to 8.75 billion pounds and the estimate for the second quarter was lowered by 50 million pounds, bringing the 2007 estimate to 35.9 billion pounds. Prices for almost all broiler products have strengthened considerably and are much higher than in the first 2 months of 2006. Turkey meat production in first-quarter 2007 isestimated at 1.41 billion pounds, up 4 percent from a year earlier. Even with the higher production and increased stock levels, prices for many turkey products were higher than at the start of 2006.

Poultry Trade: U.S. broiler exports finished strong in 2006, while turkey exports fell short. Broiler shipments were down, while turkey shipments were up, for January 2007. Broiler exports in January totaled 396 million pounds, a decline of 7 percent, while turkey exports totaled 42 million pounds, an increase of 13.3 percent from a year ago.

Sheep/Lamb: Typically, lamb demand exhibits some seasonality and is highest during the Passover/Easter holidays. As a result, production increases are expected in the weeks leading up to the holiday season. However, production for the first quarter 2007 is forecast 2 percent lower than for the same period last year. Choice Slaughter lamb prices at San Angelo have not seen significant increases despite lower production. Imports of lamb and mutton are expected to continue to increase, offsetting U.S. production declines.