Hawaii’s agricultural seed industry could fall in value

HONOLULU — 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 (5.8 million kilograms) in the season ending this month.


The seed shipments are up from the 7.6 million pounds (3.4 million kilograms) recorded last season and surpass the previous high of 12 million pounds (5.4 million kilograms) 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 Department of Agriculture, is subject to possible revision.

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