Categorized | Agriculture, News

Coffee production up in 2008; revenue takes a dip

Karin Stanton/Hawaii247 Contributing Editor

More beans, less bucks.

The total farm revenue of coffee is estimated at $29.2 million (parchment equivalent basis) for the 2008/09 season, 8 percent lower than the 2007/08 season, according to the Hawaii Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

This decrease in revenue was the result of a 20 percent drop in the average farm price compared to a 15 percent increase in production, the highest in eight years. 

The biggest hit was felt along the Kona coffee belt, as more coffee was harvested on other islands where coffee goes for less. This helped bring down the average price.

Hawaii County produced 4.0 million pounds (parchment equivalent basis) during the 2008/09 season. This was 3 percent above last year’s 3.9 million pounds. Production from the combined islands of Maui, Molokai, Kauai and Oahu increased 27.8 percent to 4.6 million pounds (parchment equivalent basis). Last year, the other islands kicked in 3.6 million pounds, for a state total of 7.5 million pounds.

State yields increased 16 percent to 1,400 pounds per acre – mostly due to higher yields outside the Kona coffee belt.

Total acreage harvested decreased 2 percent from last season to 6,300 acres. Acreage harvested dipped 3 percent on the Big Island to 2,900 acres, while the other islands remained unchanged at 3,400 acres.  

Total acreage – which comprises some 830 farms statewide – was unchanged at 7,800 acres for the 2007/08 season and the 2008/09 season.  

The statewide farm price for coffee averaged $3.40 per pound (parchment equivalent basis) for the 2008/09 season, 20 percent below the 2007/08 season. That also reflects the lowest price in five years and a drop from $4.25 from last year.

Big Island growers received an average of $5.30 per pound (parchment equivalent basis) during the 2008/09 season, 18 percent below the previous season average of $6.50. 

Growers on Kauai, Maui, and Honolulu counties received an average of $1.75 per pound (parchment equivalent basis) for the 2008/09 coffee season. 

Down from $31.9 million last year, the total industry crop value of $29.2 million was the lowest in four years.

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