15781491_sallie-in-door377232969296631_5399925751020008536_nHeadline Saturday, Dec 17, Lancaster Farming, pg A29: Hawaii;s last Sugar Mill Wraps uf Final Harvest.! The last can haul at Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company took place last Monday, according to this article. A million tons for over 50 years, once 20% of consumed U.S. sugar, with 650 people soon to be jobless!! Says they couldn’t compete with low cost world sugar producers! Lost over 30 million dollars last year…fighting court battles over water rights and health effects from burning can leaves…days urban expansion has been biggest headache.

Okay…I only have a masters in common sense, BUT as the world gets more and more over populated, what is so difficult about understanding you build on productive agricultural land in the end you starve…duh? When do we look down the road of time…more people…more food…more good clean water…in short, more preparation!

Maybe find other uses or ways to dispose of the leaves. Having good clean water is a scary problem we should show more concern for, but seem not to! Hawaii now being sugar free may sound healthy while I see it as a over processed, dangerous path to follow.

One Comment

  1. Burning of the cane field is in preparation of harvesting. With the leaves burnt off, the canes are exposed for cutting. In the old days, cutting was done by hand. I don’t know if C&H sugar was still cutting by hand or if there was a mechanized cutter. But either way, the field needs burning. Because of the increase of housing in the adjacent area, there were a lot of complaints of smoke on scheduled burn days. I don’t understand it. Farm was there first. Residential subdivisions came later. i just don’t understand how new people moving into the area think that’s it’s ok to complain about a farm that was there before them. Sort of like someone moving next your dairy then wanting to shut you down because of your cows.

    The water is another issue altogether. Water is scarce in the area. And without it, that land could not support traditional agriculture. Decades ago, sugar plantations flagrantly seized water from other areas and redirected it to their plantations….with government approval. Local small farmers and homesteaders simply lost their water with no recourse. They lost their ability to survive, they lost their lifestyle. Recently local peoples have been fighting to get back their water, or at a minimum, share the water. C&H sugar has been battling to keep its seized water, thus there has been one court battle after another. It looks like they are losing some of the battles.

    The sugar cane lands are destined to stay in ag use. At least that’s the plan for now. There have been numerous proposed uses. Time will tell how the land will be converted. For now, the cane has not been eradicated from the fields. It has been resprouting. Perhaps not destined for sugar harvesting, it possibly might be harvested for making biofuel. Or perhaps it will be killed and something else planted. There’s talk of commercial hemp, medical marijuana, diversified vegetables.

    That aside, this is just another symptom of the problems of where this country is heading. Regardless of which political party one supports, things simply aren’t going well. There’s plenty of problems, even in “paradise”.



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