DuPont Pioneer closes Kekaha site

DuPont Pioneer closes Kekaha site

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Global seed company, DuPont Pioneer, has shut down its Kekaha facility and will lay off 34 workers.

The Garden Island reports that operations at the facility ended Wednesday. Spokeswoman Laurie Yoshida says the closure is the first step in Pioneer's plan to centralize its Hawaii seed operations into one Waialua location.

The news comes two weeks after a federal court ruled that Pioneer failed to follow agricultural and management practices that resulted in the spread of red dust onto residential properties. The company now owes more than $500,000 to 15 Waimea residents.

Yoshida says the verdict has no influence on the Kekaha facility closure.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., says the Office of Economic Development is working closely with Pioneer to help affected employees obtain unemployment benefits and find work.

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