Hawaii Agriculture Posts

Puakea Ranch expansion approved

West Hawaii Today
By Nancy Cook Lauer

A special permit to expand the uses of a historical ranch near Hawi was approved Thursday on a 6-0 vote by the Leeward Planning Commission.

The commission approved the special permit for Lot #1 at Puakea Ranch after hearing from a couple dozen testifiers about evenly split between neighbors concerned about light and noise pollution, traffic and water allocations; and local businesses, ranch employees, and others who see the project as an economic boon to a hard-hit area and a way to pay for the preservation of a cherished historical site.

The commission adopted the Planning Department’s recommendation to approve the project, but added a requirement that before new construction commences, the applicant must give both the State Historic Preservation Division and the county Cultural Resources Commission an opportunity to comment on an architectural inventory survey provided by the applicant.

The Planning Department recommendation includes 20 conditions that must be followed and retained the right to revoke the special permit if they’re not.

Applicant Christine Cash, who purchased the 32-acre parcel in the state agriculture district in 2006, plans to expand the property beyond the four plantation-era buildings she previously used as vacation rentals to include seven guest ranch guesthouses housing 38 overnight guests. In addition, she plans to construct a new pavilion and parking lot and cater to events of up to 100 people, with two community events annually of up to 350 people as well as growing crops, horseback riding, equine therapy, cooking, art and yoga classes.

Planning Director Michael Yee, answering testifiers’ concerns and questions from commissioners, said action by the commission should go forward even though the county is currently in litigation with applicant on the project. He said a judge put a stay on the litigation until the planning commission acts.

The county filed suit in 3rd Circuit Court in late 2018, seeking more than $197,500 in back fines, attorneys’ fees and costs, an injunction to prohibit unauthorized activities and the demolition of an open recreational pavilion that was apparently built without a county permit.

Yee said Cash is working to get the property into compliance.

“Throwing the hammer of fines and fees is not always the most successful approach,” Yee said. “If we find a resolution, we will settle that violation in some form or fashion.”

Cash said creating a tourist destination is the highest and best use of the land. She’s put a lot of money and effort into getting the property listed on the historic register and she wants to share the history with visitors and the community.

“Who am I preserving it for, if not the community?” Cash said. “Unfortunately, small farms don’t make it in Hawaii without this added tourism mechanism.”

Puakea Ranch neighbors in the nine-lot subdivision testifying Thursday said Cash has been using much more than her property’s allotted share of the 5,550 gallons per day of water coming through the master meter that all properties share. Expansion will only put more stain on the water supply, they said.

Neighbors also said late-night parties with loud music and lights disturb their peace and tranquility and interfere with stargazing.

“The applicant is blatantly operating an illegal hotel. … This is an agriculture, residential area, not a party zone,” said neighbor Sandra Huntley. “This was our retirement dream and the applicant has spent the last decade ruining it.”

Others said Cash received her first notice of violation on the permitting issues in 2008, and she still hasn’t addressed them.

“This applicant clearly violates these procedures,” said neighbor Robert Morrison. “Anything but denial sets a very dangerous precedent for the island of Hawaii.”

Honolulu attorney Doug Chin, representing Cash, said he didn’t understand neighbors’ issues with his client, who he said has been working to restore the ranch, “long before any of the McMansions that have been built in that community.”

“Sure seems like there is a very profound disconnect between what people think is happening and what is going on … drunken hot tub brawls, rock music past 1 a.m.,” Chin said. “(This) pilikia is so hard to listen to. “

VIDEO: Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces new ‘Farm to Food’ program for Oahu residents

Star Advertiser

A new program aimed at using $4.3 million in federal CARES Act funds to help Oahu farmers and disadvantaged families was announced today by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Caldwell is holding a press conference to discuss the new Farm to Food program, which provides funds for the island’s nonprofits to purchase and distribute locally grown meats and produce for an estimated 100,000 meals to families in need through the end of the year.

The city is partnering on the program with the Hawaii Farm Bureau, the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, food distributor Aloha Harvest, service provider Lanakila, and community health clinics Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services and the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

The city has until Dec. 31 to spend roughly $387 million in CARES funds.

For more information, go to oneoahu.org or call 768-CITY.

Caldwell is scheduled be joined at the press conference by Kualoa Ranch’s Taylor Kellerman and Ho Farms’ Justin Ridgely. Watch the press conference via the video above, or go to Mayor Caldwell’s Facebook page.

Par Pacific Holdings Announces Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Release and Conference Call Schedule


Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PARR) (“Par Pacific”) today announced that it will release its third quarter 2020 results before the New York Stock Exchange opens on Monday, November 2, 2020. This release will be followed by a conference call for investors at 9:30 a.m. Central Time (10:30 a.m. Eastern) on the same morning. The full text of the release will be available on Par Pacific’s website at http://www.parpacific.com.

Par Pacific Holdings Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference CallMonday, November 2, 20209:30 a.m. Central time (10:30 a.m. Eastern)Dial-in number: 1-877-407-3982 (toll-free) or 1-201-493-6780 (toll)

Individuals who would like to participate should dial the applicable dial-in number at least 10 minutes before the scheduled conference call time.

To access the live audio webcast and related presentation materials, please visit the investor relations section of Par Pacific’s website at http://www.parpacific.com.

A replay will be available shortly after the call and can be accessed by dialing 1-844-512-2921 (toll-free) or 1-412-317-6671 (toll). The passcode for the replay is 13711849. The replay will be available until November 16, 2020.

About Par Pacific

Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PARR), headquartered in Houston, Texas, owns and operates market-leading energy, infrastructure and retail businesses. Par Pacific’s strategy is to acquire and develop businesses in logistically complex markets. Par Pacific owns and operates one of the largest energy networks in Hawaii with 148,000 bpd of combined refining capacity, a logistics system supplying the major islands of the state and 91 retail locations. In the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies, Par Pacific owns and operates 60,000 bpd of combined refining capacity, related multimodal logistics systems and 33 retail locations. Par Pacific also owns 46% of Laramie Energy, LLC, a natural gas production company with operations and assets concentrated in Western Colorado. More information is available at www.parpacific.com.

Investor Contact:Ashimi PatelManager, Investor Relations(832) 916-3355apatel@parpacific.com

Mahi Pono to host festival with sales of first fall harvest – All pumpkin sale proceeds to benefit Imua Family Services

The Maui News

Mahi Pono will celebrate its first fall harvest with a drive-thru festival and sales of farm-fresh produce, the company announced.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Yokouchi Family Estate in Wailuku, at the entrance from the lower gate on Koele Street.

“The past seven months have been an extremely challenging time for our community, especially the keiki, and we wanted to create a fun activity for families to participate in fall traditions like picking out a pumpkin to carve and trick-or-treating,” Shan Tsutsui, senior vice president of operations for Mahi Pono, said in a news release. “We also wanted to make this event a benefit for Imua Family Services in recognition of the outstanding work they continue to do each and every day.”

The drive-thru festival will feature the following stops:

• Station 1: Drive-thru trick-or-treat stations. Keiki are encouraged to come dressed in costume and will be able to receive candy directly from their vehicle.

• Station 2: Pickup of preordered pumpkins to take home and carve for Halloween. The first 200 people who purchase pumpkins will receive a free carving kit. Pumpkins will cost $10 with net proceeds benefiting Imua Family Services.

• Station 3: Pickup of preordered product boxes featuring farm-fresh produce. Additional products available at this station will include Maui Cattle Company’s 5-pound ground beef, 5-pound papaya box, potato chips and farm-sourced honey.

Participants are encouraged to order pumpkins, produce, beef and other products online at PulehunuiFarmMarket.com. A limited supply of these items will also be available for purchase at the event.

Net proceeds from all pumpkin sales will benefit Imua Family Services and its community-based program that assists keiki with overcoming developmental learning challenges.

“In difficult times like this when businesses and nonprofits join together, we create a symbiotic relationship that enhances community and cultivates stronger interconnectedness,” said Dean Wong, executive director for Imua Family Services.

For more information on Mahi Pono’s Fall Harvest, pricing and to preorder, visit PulehunuiFarmMarket.com.

The Mango Loa Project – Improving Hawaii’s Mango Industry By Using Ultra High Density Plantation (UHDP)

Techniques And The Open Tatura Trellis System.

High Density Mango Farming for the 21st Century: Orchard Installation and Management Years One to Three

Thursday October 29, 2020 12p.m.- 1p.m.

Zoom online
Register online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mango-loa-projecthigh-density-mango-farming-in-the-21st-century-tickets-124657781781

We will discuss:
– Orchard layout, orientation, and management
– Pruning and training
– Pest control
– Nutrients

If you have any questions about the event or the Mango Loa project: umisfarm@gmail.com

Kubota’s 2020 Geared to Give program honors 5 farmer veterans


Kubota Tractor Corp. has a long history of supporting veterans who have made their way into agriculture, including through discounts and an annual tractor giveaway. Kubota has selected five farmer veterans to receive Kubota equipment as part of the 2020 Geared to Give program, in partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. To further recognize the current and past military service of these recipients, country musician Brantley Gilbert helped Kubota and FVC honor each veteran, inviting those near to his farm to bestow Kubota’s gift, one in which the company hopes will help them achieve self-sufficiency and take their farming operation to the next level.

Kubota’s Geared to Give program has provided equipment and grants to 36 farmer veterans since 2015 through FVC’s Fellowship Fund, which matches veterans’ needs with donated resources to help them further their agriculture careers.

Gilbert wanted to get involved and invited this year’s honorees to his farm in Alabama for a special ceremony and private performance in celebration of National Farmer’s Day.

“We wouldn’t have the abundance, or variety of food we have today without our nation’s farmers,” said Gilbert. “I’m honored to be able to share in this effort with Kubota and FVC, and to pay tribute to all our active military and especially to these five veterans who have served our country once in the armed forces and who continue serving their communities today through farming.”

The 2020 recipients were carefully selected from each one of Kubota’s five operating divisions:

Midwest Division: Cody Miller of Thayer, Iowa, is a U.S. Army veteran who served more than 16 years with one deployment to Afghanistan from 2009-2010, and was raised on his grandmother’s family farm, the same one he is currently operating. Cody farmed up until the day he joined the Army and resumed once he separated from service, tending to 40 acres of row crops, raising ducks and chickens, and learning about horses. He also rents another 200 acres for raising cattle, hay and row crops, mostly soybeans, and sells his products to local co-ops and plans to sell his calves at local livestock market. Cody plans to finish his Ag Business degree, purchase his grandmother’s farm to keep it in the family, and purchase more cattle. Kubota will award Cody with a 250-hour lease on a Kubota M7 Ag tractor with a loader and baler to handle virtually every agricultural job for his row crop, hay and cattle operation. To learn more about Cody Miller and Full Moon Farms, visit his www.facebook.com/Full-Moon-Farms-107260121126562/.

Northern Division: Joshua Nelson, of Ripley, West Virginia, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and currently serving as a pilot in the West Virginia Air National Guard with deployments to Kuwait flying combat missions into Iraq and Syria. Josh is a first-generation farmer who turned a hobby farm start up in 2015 to an approximately 300-acre owned and leased organic grass-based ranch and farm, raising poultry, cattle, pork, bees and other livestock following regenerative ranching practices. The Nelsons sell their products through a store he co-owns called Farm House Naturals as well as through direct farm sales. To help him achieve his future plans to build ponds for irrigation and water sources for his cattle, as well as develop a full line of grocery and local goods to sell at their farm store, Josh will receive a Kubota MX mid-size tractor, with a cab and loader, and versatile enough to handle almost any application. To learn more about Joshua and Nelson Family Farms, please visit www.instagram.com/theflyingrancher/.

Southeast Division: Kara Rutter of Aiken, South Carolina, retired from the U.S. Army this year after more than 23 years of service. She last served as the Army Central Food Service Sergeant Major overseeing subsistence operations in the Middle East. Her husband, Matt, also retired this year as a Command Sergeant Major after 22 years of service and now serves as president of the FVC South Carolina chapter. Together, they own Project Victory Gardens, a 20-acre farm with chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, pigs, beehives, fruit trees, berry bushes, a 1,000-foot greenhouse, raised bed and traditional vegetable gardens. Kara has plans to be fully operational in the next 12 months with an aquaponics facility and training lab and teaching kitchen. Her future goals include improving veterans’ mental health and helping them gain employment in agriculture. Kubota will award Kara with an LX Series compact tractor with a cab and loader designed to easily tackle any needed job on the farm. To learn more about Kara and Project Victory Gardens, please visit www.projectvictorygardens.org.

Western Division: Bodhi Anderson of Honomu, Hawaii, is a U.S. Navy veteran who served five years on active duty as a Corpsman for the Marines with deployments to the Adriatic Sea during the Bosnian War and the Middle East. Bodhi was also commissioned as a Navy Reserves MSC Officer (Physician Assistant) providing medical support to the 4th Force Recon Battalion in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Bodhi grew up on an organic vegetable farm and now he and his wife, Brittany, own Sugar Hill Farmstead, a15-acre farm that specializes in sustainably raised regenerative meats, sold direct-to-consumer for Hawaii Island families. Cattle, sheep, pigs, rabbits, and meat chickens are all processed on-farm and sold as part of a meat CSA. Bodhi will be awarded a Kubota Sidekick RTV-XG850 utility vehicle, built for durability to move up to 1,000 lbs. in its cargo bed, to more easily distribute feed and spent produce currently hand-carried across the farm. He will also receive a $10,000 grant to assist in the expansion of his pastured poultry production to reach his goal of feeding 100 families each month. To learn more about Bodhi and Sugar Hill Farmstead, please visit www.sugarhillfarmstead.com.

Central Division: Andrew Edelen of Alice, Texas, served five and a half years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an aviation equipment mechanic. As a second-generation farmer, he has taken over his family’s 350-acre farm, Edelen Farms, where he produces grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, free range eggs and vegetables to sell at local farmers’ markets. Andrew has future goals, which include starting an additional farmers’ market, building new greenhouses, and expanding his products to include pork and goats. To assist in these efforts, Andrew will be awarded a Kubota L Series tractor to replace his ailing 40-year-old tractor to meet his most pressing needs on the farm. To learn more about Andrew and Edelen Farms, please visit www.edelenfarms.com.

Each year, farmer veterans can apply to the FVC Fellowship Fund in order to be considered for donated Kubota equipment through the Geared to Give program. For more information on FVC’s 2020 application process, visit www.farmvetco.org.

Trump Administration Invests $566K for Solar Energy in Hawai‘i/Western Pacific

By Big Island Now

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $566,000 to improve local business energy efficiency while benefiting the environment in rural Hawai‘i and Western Pacific.

These investments will help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy costs, Hawai‘i/Western Pacific State Director Brenda Iokepa-Moses said in a press release Friday.

“Improving energy efficiency to assist farmers, the agricultural industry and rural businesses is a way to help our environment and our producers,” Iokepa-Moses stated.

Iokepa-Moses added that renewable energy is a win-win for Hawai‘i and Western Pacific communities and businesses and now it’s more important than ever.

“With the real-time adaptions in dealing with the (COVID-19) pandemic, programs like this are no longer just luxuries for the communities, they have become essential,” she added.

Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy systems such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower and solar. The funding can also be used to increase energy efficiency by making improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.

“Businesses grow and create more jobs when their energy costs are lower,” Deputy Under Secretary Bette Brand said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural businesses, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

REAP funding has already been awarded to the following companies:

Kawamata Farms, LLC. – $20,000 RES REAP Grant: Funds will be used to purchase and install a 10.27 kW solar photovoltaic system for Kawamata Farms tomato farm in Waimea, Hawai‘i. Project will generate 15,079 kWh or 99% of their energy needs per year.

Hawai‘i Ulu Producers Cooperative – $37,732 RES REAP Grant: Funds will be used to purchase and install a 60-kW photovoltaic system for a commercial food processing operation. Project is projecting to provide 79,701 kWh or $19,367 savings per year.

Hawai‘i Ulu Producers Cooperative – $60,382 EEI REAP Grant: Funds will be used to finance energy efficiency improvements with the purchase and installation of an energy efficient freezer/refrigeration system that will replace 80,070 kwh/year or $24,278 savings for their food processing facility.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Get ready for blowout Q3 results in container shipping

American Shipper
by Greg Miller

Preliminary Matson numbers point to big gains for larger carriers

“We knew it was going to be good, but dadgum …,” exclaimed Stifel analyst Ben Nolan upon seeing the preliminary third-quarter 2020 results from Matson (NYSE: MATX).

Matson’s disclosures offer the first signals of how solid Q3 2020 earnings will be for container lines across the board. Container-line profits exceeded expectations in Q2 2020, a period when volumes were weak. In the third quarter, volumes and rates surged — and not just in the trans-Pacific trade.

“The stars are aligning for container shipping: historic consolidation, rational capacity management and now a fast bounce-back in demand post-lockdown,” wrote Jefferies analyst David Kerstens in report published this week.

Matson’s upside surprise

Matson is primarily in the Hawaii and Alaska Jones Act trades, but also runs China-U.S. services called CLX and CLX+. After market close on Thursday, Matson said it expected Q3 2020 earnings of $1.55-$1.60 per share, far exceeding the Wall Street consensus for 96 cents. Expected ocean transport operating income of $84.5 million-$86.5 million is double last year’s number.

Matson’s China volumes spiked 125% year-on-year, which the company attributed to a shift from air freight to premium ocean service, e-commerce demand and tight U.S. inventories.

“While rates may not be able to hold their current levels … volumes remain very high. Thus, we are expecting continued strength in the fourth quarter,” said Nolan.

Matson’s shares jumped 15% on Friday. The stock price has doubled since mid-May.

Exposure to trans-Pacific upside

Matson’s exposure to the trans-Pacific route was around 5,800 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per week in Q3 2020. This pales in comparison to the larger carriers.

Alphaliner analyzed the top carriers’ capacity on the trans-Pacific route as of Sept. 30. It found that the COSCO Group ranked highest in terms of volume, with an average weekly capacity of 89,050 TEUs. The group includes COSCO Shipping and OOCL, both listed in Hong Kong.

France’s CMA CGM — which has publicly traded U.S.-dollar-denominated bonds — came in second, with 74,200 TEUs. Japan’s ONE took third with 61,200 TEUs. And Denmark-listed giant Maersk — which has American depository receipts trading in the U.S. (OTC: AMKBY) — had the fourth-highest exposure, 59,000 TEUs per week.

Interestingly, when looking at the top 10 carriers in terms of volume, Israel’s ZIM, the company that ranked 10th, had the highest exposure as a percentage of total deployments. It deploys 52% of its global fleet in the trans-Pacific.

ZIM is planning an IPO and is in the midst of buying back outstanding bond debt, according to Alphaliner. “ZIM may not find a better time in the cycle to attempt an IPO,” said Alphaliner, which noted that ZIM failed at three previous IPO attempts in 2008, 2011 and 2016, respectively.

Q3 customs data: bullish

Inbound volumes to the U.S. West Coast were exceptionally strong in the third quarter. According to investment bank Jefferies, the upside from a historic inventory restocking phase has just begun.

FreightWaves’ SONAR platform features data collected from U.S. Customs on the number of maritime import shipment customs filings per day (regardless of volume), calculated as a seven-day moving average.

The countrywide data (SONAR: CSTM.USA) shows the number of filings exceeded levels seen in the past two years for about two-thirds of Q3 2020. In contrast, the number of customs filings in Q2 2020 exceeded the prior two years’ levels for only about a quarter of that reporting period.

Q3 rate data: even more bullish

Asia-West Coast spot rates remain near record highs, despite the recent Golden Week holiday in China.

The Freightos Baltic Daily Index assessed Thursday’s rate from China to the West Coast (SONAR: FBXD.CNAW) at $3,841 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU), very close to the high. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) puts this week’s Shanghai-Los Angeles rate at $3,848 per FEU, essentially flat week-on-week (down 0.3%).

SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen pointed out in an online post that if one takes normal Golden Week seasonality into account, “the spot market actually strengthened slightly.”

Looking at the third-quarter rates as a whole, the data shows that spot China-West Coast rates were roughly double Q2 2020 levels and almost triple rates in Q3 2019. Furthermore, rate strength is not limited Asia-U.S. trade.

“The trans-Pacific is not the only trade that witnessed hefty rate increases,” said Alphaliner. “The evolution is even more spectacular between Shanghai and Santos [Brazil]. Unexpectedly high cargo demand has also pushed up spot rates on other North-South routes” including Shanghai to Durban, South Africa, and to Lagos, Nigeria, it added.

According to the SCFI, rates from Shanghai to Santos were $3,952 per TEU this week, seven times the rate in late August. Last week, Shanghai-Durban hit a record high of $1,737 per TEU and Shanghai-Lagos hit a record high of $3,293 per TEU.

Loans offered to businesses who lost money in drought – Deadline to apply for loans is Nov. 7

The Maui News

Small nonfarm businesses in Maui and Hawaii counties that have lost revenue due to drought have until Nov. 7 to apply for a federal disaster loan, the U.S. Small Business Administration reminded residents on Wednesday.

The low-interest loans aim to offset economic losses caused by drought in both counties that began Jan. 1.

Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.

Tanya Garfield, director of the SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West, said that the loans “may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact.”

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield added. “Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage.”

The interest rate is 3.875 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster, which the secretary did on March 7.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. However, nurseries are eligible for assistance in drought disasters.

Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the secretary’s declaration.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. They may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.