Iselle damages Big Island crops

Courtesy: Hawaii Papaya Industry Association

Tropical Storrm Iselle ripped through agriculture land on the Big Island. Some farmers say they’ve lost thousands of dollars worth of crops.

While some crops can be salvaged, others are a total loss.

Papaya and floriculture industries have been hit hard. A spokesperson for the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association says those industries are looking at a $60 to $80 million revenue loss over the next 24 months.

“Most of the damage we’re seeing is in our trees that were heavily bearing fruit. They were snapped at the base or in the middle because they were at the harvesting stage. So those aren’t salvageable,” said Lorie Farrell, spokesperson for the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association.

Macadamia nut and coffee farmers were also impacted by Iselle.

“We’ve had over 2,000 of our macadamia trees blow over in the Kau district. They’re laid flat Some of them are completely snapped. There’s just no recovery possible,” said John Cross, land manager for Kau Farms Management.

Kau Farms Management says it’s looking at $250,000 in damage to its macadamia nut trees and about $75,000 to its coffee crops.

Farmers suffering damage from Iselle may be eligible for low-interest loans from the state Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit this website.

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