Here is the PDF file for the HAWAII FRUITS ANNUAL SUMMARY Report.


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


Hawaii fruit growers harvested 435.2 million pounds of fruit for fresh and processed utilization in 2006, an 11 percent decline from the previous year, according to the USDA, NASS, Hawaii Field Office. Total value fell 3 percent to $101.7 million, with guava, lemon, papaya, pineapple, and the tropical specialty group recording declines in value of sales. Fruit acreage totaled 19,740 acres, a 2 percent decrease from 2005. Harvested area decreased 6 percent to 4,090 acres. Almost continuous rainfall from late February through March contributed to losses in some crops due to soil erosion, flooding, disease outbreaks, and fruit and tree losses. The lengthy rainy period slowed fruit maturation in some crops.

Pineapple, still Hawaii?s largest fruit commodity, represented 70 percent of total fruit acreage and 74 percent of the total fruit value. Total utilized pineapple production fell 11 percent to 376 million pounds. Since records were kept by the Hawaii Field Office, 2006 was the first year fresh market utilization outweighed processed utilization. Also establishing a record was the average farm price. In late 2006, operations ended prematurely for one major company which had previously announced their phase-out of pineapple production.

The state?s papaya producers devoted 2,095 acres toward papaya production, a decrease of 13 percent from the previous year. Harvested area totaled 1,530 acres, 3 percent more than 2005. Papaya output declined 13 percent to 28.7 million pounds while value of sales dropped 2 percent to $11.0 million.

Total banana acreage rose 5 percent in 2006 while harvested acreage increased 2 percent to 1,000 acres. Utilized production was pegged at 20.0 million pounds, 4 percent less than 2005. However, higher average prices helped push total value of sales to $9.8 million, 7 percent higher than the previous year.

Total guava production area declined 14 percent to 575 acres in 2006 while area harvested declined 41 percent to 365 acres. Value of sales declined 7 percent to $1.1 million. Hawaii?s guavas, which are mainly for the processed market, recorded a 2 percent increase in price. However, this was not enough to offset the 9 percent lower output.

Area devoted to tropical specialty fruit totaled 1,240 acres in 2006, 2 percent less than 2005. Area harvested totaled 690 acres, 5 percent lower than the previous year. Hawaii?s growers of tropical specialty fruit produced and sold an estimated 1.45 million pounds of fruit in 2006, relatively unchanged from 2005. Compared with 2005, higher output was registered for longan, lychee, mango, and persimmon. Value of sales was pegged at $2.6 million in 2006, 4 percent lower than 2005.

Hawaii Agricultural Labor Report

Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Agricultural Labor* Report.


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

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

Hawaii Agricultural Labor

In Cooperation with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Number of hired workers down 10 percent

Hawaii?s agricultural hired work force totaled 6,300 during the July 8-14, 2007 survey week, down 10 percent from a year ago. Diversified agricultural workers accounted for 81 percent of all farm labor and at 5,100 workers, it was down 5 percent from July 2006. Pineapple and sugarcane workers were combined to avoid disclosure of individual operations and totaled 1,200 workers (does not include mill or cannery workers) during the July 8-14, 2007 survey week, down 27 percent from July 2006.

Average wage rate up 7 percent

The average wage paid to all hired workers during the July survey period was a record-high $12.87 per hour, 56 cents higher than July 2006. The combined average wage for field and livestock workers also reached a new record high at $10.89 per hour, up 51 cents from July 2006. Hawaii farms employing from 1 to 9 workers paid an average of $10.90 per hour for all hired workers, while the combined average wage for field and livestock workers was $10.28 an hour.

U.S. hired workers up 1 percent from a year ago

There were 1,205,000 hired workers on the Nation?s farms and ranches during the week of July 8-14, 2007, up 1 percent from a year ago. Of these hired workers, 847,000 workers were hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 358,000 workers.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $10.04 per hour during the July 2007 reference week, up 32 cents from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $9.31 per hour, up 38 cents from last July, while livestock workers earned $9.80 per hour compared with $9.49 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $9.44 per hour, was up 37 cents from last year.

The number of hours worked averaged 41.6 hours for hired workers during the survey week, up 1 percent from a year ago.

Source: Farm Labor, August 17, 2007, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Decisions made with sustainability in mind

The Hot Seat
The Honolulu Advertiser

From politicians to newsmakers to everyday people in the news ? Editorial and Opinion Editor Jeanne Mariani-Belding puts them in the Hot Seat, and lets you ask the questions. So get ready. Let the conversation begin.
Reach Jeanne at jmbelding@honoluluadvertiser.com.

Posted on: July 30, 2007 at 12:02:58 pm

Now on the Hot Seat: Maui Land & Pineapple Co.?s CEO David Cole

Welcome to The Hot Seat! Joining me today is Maui Land & Pineapple Co.?s chairman, president and CEO David Cole.

The closure Maui Land and Pineapple?s canning operation in June marked the end of an era; it was the last canning operation of its kind in the United States. And, as David notes in his commentary in Sunday?s Advertiser, it was also a rite a passage for so many of us here in Hawaii.

David joins us live and will take your questions on his company and the future of agriculture in Hawaii.

With that, let?s chat.

[first question]

Christopher: Can you please explain why Maui Land and Pineapple continues to be a member of the LURF Foundation? Maui Land and Pineapple purports to hold the values of “malama ‘aina, ecology and creating holistic communities.”

With these guiding principles, I have difficulty seeing the association with LURF, which has quietly lobbied against most of the grassroots sustainability issues that have ever come up.

Perhaps with your company’s leadership, you could take LURF in a more modern 21st-century direction?

David Cole: The Land Use Research Foundation has been around since the late ’70s. In recent years, LURF’s focus has become more development-related, although the organization also works with other organizations, such as the Urban Land Institute, Hawai’i Economic Association and the Hawai’i Farm Bureau Federation. One of the goals of LURF is to protect the rights of landowners who are also developers.

As we understand it, LURF has not lobbied, quietly or otherwise, against sustainability issues. In fact, LURF Executive Director David Arakawa has taken a position that is very supportive of sustainability initiatives.

If this not the case, perhaps we should be more engaged in a leadership mode and concentrate more effort another organization?

[last question]

IslandBiz: Aloha, David. I want to say thanks for doing the Hot Seat and talking story with us. I read the article on you recently in Hawaii Business.

Tell us one thing about you that has not been written about that might be surprising, something that would give insight into what kind of a guy you are. Make it a good one!

David Cole: Greetings Islandbiz. My campaign poster for VP of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii (ASUH) back in the 70’s showed me naked on horseback with the slogan “nothing to hide.”

There you have it!!

CLICK HERE to view the full “Hot Seat” conversation

Methods to clean up contaminated soil: Heptachlor Part 3

Molokai Times
By Alexandra Charles

poison on MolokaiTo restore Molokai’s contaminated soil, University of Hawaii researchers Alton Arakaki and Qing Li, as well as retired Molokai farmer Lonnie Williams, are rooting for a technique called phytoremediation, which consists of growing plants that can naturally accumulate chemicals from soil.

Barbara Zeeb, associate professor of biotechnologies and the environment at the Royal Military College of Canada, said that phytoremediation is “a treatment that shows promise as a safe and cost-effective remediation technology.”

For the past three years, Alton Arakaki, Assistant Extension Agent for the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Hawaii, has been involved in a phytoremediation research project on Molokai that is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Arakaki is testing seven different squash species to determine their effectiveness in extracting heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide from soil. He plans on completing a report of the results by next March.

Many hope phytoremediation will be the answer for acres upon acres of ex-pineapple fields that were contaminated by heptachlor when it was used to kills pests on crops. Such an agricultural practice was commonplace before the Environmental Protection Agency classified heptachlor as a probable carcinogen and before the chemical was banned in the U.S. in 1988.

“Heptachlor is very good at killing insects, which is why it was used so widely,” said Jason White, agricultural scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “It wasn’t known at the time that it is so persistent and that you find residues of the chemical still around even years after it was banned.”

Click to read complet article


Copyright 2007 Molokai Times

The poison in Molokai soil

Molokai Times
By Alexandra Charles
7/12/2007 1:51:39 PM

Heptachlor, a toxic pesticide banned in the U.S. in 1988 and classified as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, is likely to cause ill effects to human health if exposure to the chemical is in high doses and over a long period of time.

Studies of the pesticides’ effects have been limited to laboratory rodents. When fed high levels of heptachlor over a long period of time, the animals developed liver cancer. Several experts say it is reasonable to assume similar effects will occur in humans who are exposed to a high dose of heptachlor by drinking water or milk, inhaling air, or touching soil contaminated by the chemical.

“Pesticides by their nature are dangerous,” explained farmer Larry Jefts. “They are created to kill stuff or stop its growth.”

He added, “They may not be dangerous to you and me but they may be to some weeds and bugs. We want to be really careful, to follow rules, and to rely on science and not science fiction (when using pesticides on agricultural land).”

Research confirms pineapple companies contaminated the soil when using heptachlor to kill pests on crops. Of major concern is what impact such a regular agricultural practice in Hawaii during the late 1950s and early 1980s has on people today.

A problem arises from land use changes because when new residences are built on agricultural land that was contaminated by pesticides, homeowners are not told about the potential harmful impact to their health.

For instance, after the Hawaiian Homes Act was established in 1920, the federal government put 200,000 acres of Hawaiian land aside for homesteading by Hawaiians with 50 percent or more native blood. In Hoolehua, agricultural lots were established. It is unlikely that homesteaders were informed about what was put into the soil when the land was part of pineapple plantations.

Residents have a variety of suspicions and concerns regarding pesticides like heptachlor. One resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the number of infant gravesite markers in the north side of the Maunaloa cemetery took him aback. He pointed out that Maunaloa was once a pineapple town and said it was chilling for him to see how many children did not live more than a few days. Currently, it is difficult to uncover the cause of death for those buried in the cemetery.

The heptachlor-milk connection . . .

Click to Read Complete Article

Copyright 2007 Molokai Times

Maui Pineapple Company

Maui Pineapple Company, Ltd. (MPC) is a subsidiary of Maui Land & Pineapple Company Ltd. , and is the USA?s largest grower, processor, and shipper of Hawaiian pineapples. MPC is the only producer of Maui-grown pineapples. The company was established in 1909, and is based in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. It currently cultivates and processes approximately 6,000 acres of two varieties of pineapple: extra-sweet Maui Gold? and Maui Gold Organic pineapple.

CLICK HERE to read complete article

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

Hawaii Pineapples


Hawaii pineapple utilization is estimated at 188,000 tons for 2006, declining 11 percent from the 2005 total of 212,000 tons, according to the USDA, NASS, Hawaii Field Office. Fresh sales pegged at 99,000 tons, falling 7 percent from the 2005 total of 106,000 tons. Processed utilization at 89,000 tons, dropped 16 percent below the 106,000 tons produced in 2005. Acreage totaled 13,900 acres, decreasing 100 acres from 2005.

The equivalent farm value for 2006 pineapple crop is estimated at $75.5 million, down 5 percent from $79.3 million in 2005. The farmgate price of pineapple utilized as processed fruit averaged $148 a ton, unchanged from a year ago. Fresh market sales averaged $630 a ton, 5 percent above the 2005 price.

A large operation made public its intentions to stop planting pineapples in Hawaii last February and had expected to continue until 2008 but ended its operation in 2006.


Here is the full *Hawaii Pineapples* Report–PDF file:


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


1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512