As mainland drought nudges prices up, more look at local produce - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

As mainland drought nudges prices up, more looking at local produce

With much of the mainland and Canada under some of the worst drought conditions in decades, many local farmers say they're having a pretty good year, even as some of them also weather some drought.

According to Tish Uyehara of Armstrong Produce, Hawaii gets up 60 to 70 percent from its produce from the mainland, most of it from the west coast. Because of the Midwest drought, there's more competition from the rest of the country for that west coast produce, so prices have already crept up five to ten cents a pound, and could go higher.

Fortunately, there's a higher percentage of local fruits and vegetables at this time of year. "During the summer we are blessed with a lot more produce being produced here, so not only just our pineapple and papayas, but we've also been having a lot of local melons, honeydews, different varieties of cantaloupes," said Uyehara.

Armstrong Produce has been supplementing their usual supply of greens with locally grown crops, including Romaine and other lettuces grown on the Big Island.

At the Blaisdell Center Farmers Market, dozens of people are getting meals from locally grown food, as well as the local produce.

"The last couple of months we've been a lot more busier in our markets, plus we've added a couple of new markets," said Dillan Hanawahine of Nalo Farms. "We added a new market at KCC (Kapiolani Community College" on Tuesday night, and those have really been a lot more crowded lately."

But parts of Hawaii have also been under drought conditions, including Leeward Oahu, where Naked Cow Dairy is located. It doesn't use corn to feed its cows, which is good, as corn crops have taken a huge hit in the Midwest Drought.

"We're trying to do all grass fed-cows, which has been hard lately because of the drought in Waianae," said Sabrina St. Martin, who owns Naked Cow Dairy with her sister. "Our grass is not growing, so we have to water it, so our water bill has been a little bit high lately. But normally we do have a little bit of pasture and grass for the cows."

Even so, Naked Cow Dairy and other local farmers we spoke to said they're trying hard not to pass along those additional costs to consumers. So while those prices aren't going up, local produce might be a consumer's best bet this summer while conditions remain dry on the mainland.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Korea summit after all? Trump says 'everybody plays games'

    Korea summit after all? Trump says 'everybody plays games'

    Friday, May 25 2018 8:55 AM EDT2018-05-25 12:55:25 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:06 AM EDT2018-05-26 14:06:01 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 24, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea before signing the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act," in the Roosevelt Room of the White Hou...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 24, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about North Korea before signing the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act," in the Roosevelt Room of the White Hou...
    President Donald Trump is welcoming North Korea's statement that it was still willing to meet despite his cancellation of the summit.More >>
    President Donald Trump is welcoming North Korea's statement that it was still willing to meet despite his cancellation of the summit.More >>
  • Emails show cooperation among EPA, climate-change deniers

    Emails show cooperation among EPA, climate-change deniers

    Friday, May 25 2018 5:03 PM EDT2018-05-25 21:03:01 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:56 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:56:40 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 16, 2018, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Ca...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 16, 2018, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Ca...
    Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a think-tank that dismisses warnings of climate change.More >>
    Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a think-tank that dismisses warnings of climate change.More >>
  • Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge in #MeToo reckoning

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 04:22:30 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:56 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:56:33 GMT
    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2017, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes afterparty in Beverly Hills, Calif. Law enforcement officials say Weinstein is expected to...

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>

    Harvey Weinstein is expected to turn himself in to police in New York City early Friday following a seven-month investigation into sexual assault allegations.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly