Hawaii’s seed industry loses value

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s agricultural seed industry dropped in value by 19 percent during the 2017-18 season, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report indicated.

But shipments of seeds out of the state are projected to increase by 67 percent to 12.7 million pounds in the season ending this month, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The seed shipments are up from the 7.6 million pounds recorded last season and surpass the previous high of 12 million pounds in the 2009-10 season.

The federal department projects the statewide production value of seeds will be $121 million this season with seed corn accounting for 95 percent of the value. The production value of seeds last season was $148 million.

The peak value for seeds statewide was $241.6 million in the 2011-12 season, which was followed by three annual declines driven by a maturing industry and corn price declines, according to the report.

Seeds have been regarded as the biggest crop in the state by production value since 2006.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate, which is based on surveys of seed producers with assistance from the state Agriculture Department, is subject to possible revision.