Kauai's last sugar harvest

SUBHEAD: Dow GMO seed corn operations to follow 117 years of sugar cane growing.

By staff on 23 September 2009 in Pacific Business Journal -

Image above: From DOW chemical company "sustainability presentation on its website. From http://www.dow.com/commitments

Gay & Robinson will process its last sugar crops in October, ending 117 years in the sugar business on Kauai.

The private, family-owned company had announced last September that it was leaving the raw sugar business, but had not given a timetable for ending production.

Several plans for the land and mill that were announced last year have stalled.

Gay & Robinson had planned to grow crops for the production of ethanol, but it says high energy prices have scrapped those plans. It also had planned to lease its Kaumakani mill, terminal and other assets to Pacific West Energy LLC, with which it has partnered to develop an ethanol production plant. But those plans have been delayed by difficulties in finding financing.

“There is still hope that sugar cane growing might continue on the west side of Kauai should Pacific West Energy put together its plans for energy and ethanol production,” Gay & Robinson said in a statement.

In the meantime, it has leased some of its lands in west Kauai, including 3,400 acres to Dow AgroSciences, which grows corn seed, soybean and sunflower crops on Kauai and Molokai.

[Publisher's Note: DOW is the company that provided Agent Orange and Napalm to the US military for use in Vietnam to deforest jungle and burn people.]

Gay & Robinson said its G&R Ranch operations are not affected by the mill’s shutdown.

The shutdown of the sugar operation leaves only one remaining sugar plantation and mill in Hawaii — Alexander & Baldwin’s Hawaii Commercial and Sugar Co. on Maui, which posted $13 million in operating losses in 2008.

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