The next month, one of the state’s most active volcanoes spewed ash and lava throughout the eastern end of the Big Island, decimating more than 50 percent of the state’s papaya production and tropical flower industry.
Then came Hurricane Lane.
As Hawaii begins to recover from the tropical cyclone that dumped more than three feet of rain onto the Big Island last week, farmers here are just starting to assess the damage to their crops. Lane landed yet another blow to Hawaii’s agriculture industry after an already difficult year of reckoning with Mother Nature. Flooding, excess moisture and pounding rains could hurt macadamia nut, coffee and flower harvests for farmers on the east side of the island, which bore the brunt of the storm.
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