Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mac nut harvest: 55 million lbs.
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - 9:29 AM HAST Tuesday, February 13, 2007
by Howard Dicus
The 2006-2007 Hawaii macadamia nut harvest is coming in at 55 million pounds, or about 1 million pounds more than the year before, agriculture officials report.
Farm value of the crop is estimated at $38.5 million, down from $43.7 million the year before. That's based on an average price of 70 cents per pound, down from 81 cents in the previous season.
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. has been paying less for nuts since it was acquired by The Hershey Co., and some Big Island mac nuts have gone unsold altogether as Mauna Loa relies more on Australian mac nuts, industry sources said.
Bills in the current state legislative session would require mac nut labels within the state to specify what percentage of nuts within were grown here.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service Hawaii Field Office said 65 percent of the crop was harvested during the time it surveyed farmers. It found lower output in normally wet areas, and improved output in normally drier areas, as a result of the unusual heavy rains that fell last winter.
Hawaii has 650 macadamia nut growers. They have 1.3 million mac nut trees planted on more than 18,000 acres, all but a few hundred of which are harvested in a typical season. Harvest has run 3,000 pounds per acre or better for each of the past five years.
The harvest figures are measured "net, wet-in-shell," which means the weight of the nuts at the time they are delivered to processors, still containing moisture from the orchards. Net refers to gross pounds delivered, less spoilage.

No comments: