Hawaii: New dairy slowed, another wants lower milk price

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Hawaii is known to many as one of the most beautiful places on earth. With great views and fast-growing pasture for cows, you could imagine it is a dairyman’s paradise, too.

But with just two operating dairies in the state, it would seem there much be room for a third.

According to Kawailoa Development, owner of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, its business, recreational, environment,and aesthetics would be detrimentally affected by a proposed farm. The potential 582 acre site with 1,800 milking cows would be less than three miles from the resort, according to TheGardenIsland.com.

Kawailoa is attempting to create a 2.5-mile “buffer zone” around its land through a lawsuit, even though its own golf course is on agricultural land and was part of a 1998 Supreme Court classification on its property, in the southeast corner of the island of Kauai - one of Hawaii’s westernmost islands.

Big Island Dairy wants lower price

Meanwhile, on Hawaii’s easternmost big island, the Island of Hawai’i, Big Island Dairy is asking for something most dairy producers wouldn’t want - lower prices.

The dairy, a 1,400 acre and 900 cow operation with plans to expand to 1,100, 1,800, and 2,200 cows, said it wanted to be competitive with the mainland milk that comprises 80% of Hawaii’s supply.

Currently, the minimum price on the Big Island is $3.06 a gallon, and on the island of Oahu it’s between $2.36 and $2.71, fluctuating on California’s milk price.

But the other dairy on the island, Cloverleaf Dairy, fears what the lower price could mean for competition.

A fourth entity, Mauna Kea Moo, was approved March 17 for a 200 cow farm and creamery on a 1,400 acre Big Island parcel. That farm plans to build a cheese plant.

Sources: WestHawaiiToday.com, Washington Times

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Dairy Goddess    
Lemoore CA  |  July, 17, 2014 at 09:50 AM

"Wishing" for lower milk prices for others is not the angle I would use. Milk prices compared to all of the other prices in Hawaii are in sync. What this Hawaii dairy should do is concentrate on what makes them better. They are local and fresh. Educate the Hawaii consumers why they should by your milk...don't sit back and hope for cheap. That with our high feed prices doesn't do good for our industry. We are a wholesome, valuable product. I am tired of it being treated less than what it is. People spend $5.00 for a cup of coffee and don't blink...yet when it comes to a gallon of milk $3.00 is too much?? That is why as producers we should concentrate on supply and demand, NOT on how many cows I wanna milk. Who wants to milk more cows for less money. I don't get it??

David C. Hallberg    
Pennock, MN  |  July, 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Why would you want to make your own cheese in Hawaii....sell fresh milk products and ship in cheese from Brooten, MN

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