Signaling yet another shift in Hawaii's valuable seed industry, the family-owned Beck's has purchased the former BASF Seed Research Facility on west Kauai.
The Indiana-based Beck's is the largest family-owned, retail seed company in the United States, serving farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.
Gee, I guess that means the antis can no longer paint the Hawaii seed industry as a bunch of demonic multinational chemical companies intent on ruling the world's food supply while poisoning everything and everyone in sight.
Instead, Beck's purchase makes it clear that seed breeding involves state-of-the-art research. What's more, southwest Kauai is an ideal environment for growing corn year-round, which allows breeders to intensify research so they can get products out to farmers more quickly.
So despite the wishes — and claims — of some to the contrary, seed companies are not abandoning the Islands. And good thing, since they're the most valuable sector of Hawaii agriculture.
According to a news release that Beck's issued yesterday:
As part of the purchase agreement, Beck’s will assume a license for approximately 1,000 acres of productive land on the island to advance generations of breeding nurseries year round. The land will also be used for parent seed increases and limited hybrid production to quickly deliver Beck’s newest seed innovations to farmers.
“The Beck family is focused on helping farmers succeed by increasing corn yields,” explained Scott Beck, president of Beck’s. “This investment is essential to providing our corn breeders with the tools necessary to develop the next generation of world-class seed genetics for farmers.”
Beck’s will immediately begin moving most of its winter research operations to the facility. The Kauai, Hawaii facility will initially employ seven full-time employees and up to fifty part-time employees at peak operating times.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the island — you know, where the antis reside — actress Julia Roberts has again dropped the price on her Hanalei Bay estate. The two-acre property, which includes a seven-bedroom, four-bath, 3,792-square-foot home, is now listed at $21.95 million.
That's the second price cut since the property was first listed at $30 million in April 2015. She bought it for just under $14 million in 2011. And property values have gone up that much in that time? No wonder locals can't buy homes.
Not surprisingly, the aloha aina warriors at Hawaii Life have the listing.
Its original owner was sugar plantation manager Hans Peter Faye. My, how things have changed with the demise of agriculture on Kauai. Or as Shiloh Pa would sing, "Whatever happened to Hanalei?"
The property, which has about 200 feet of beach frontage on world-famous Hanalei Bay, is permitted to include an expanded building of up to 9,000 square feet.
Gosh. Can't imagine folks supporting a place that big on Hanalei Bay.
PBN goes on to note:
Additionally, a partner in a hedge fund recently purchased several Hanalei properties for close to $50 million.
But don't worry. There's still room in the bushes for the locals.