Iselle's effect on Big Island farmsUPDATED 6:45 AM HST Aug 12, 2014Video Transcript
Papaya, mac nuts and flowers. Those are among the casualties of Iselle. Hawaii's farmers are slowing taking stock of their losses. KITV's Catherine CRuz has the snapshot. 01 22 These pictures are from a farm in Keaau--acres of papaya trees flattened in the high winds. Their shallow root structures no match for the iselles' gusts. Agriculture officials say the worst reports of damage are from the papaya industry from Kapoho to Mountain View They are reaching out to farmers to take stock of how many trees are down and the value of lost crops. - Diane Ley, USDA Farm Service Director: "We are looking for acreage right now. they should be documenting, taking photos. and preparing their farm records so when we meet with them we can assist them. " Besides papaya there are reports of flower nurseries damaged from as far north as kohala and word is just trickling in about coffee and mac nuts in kau. - 2;56- 3:06- -"Macadamia nuts in Kau were apparently hit pretty hard the winds and there been some erosion we've head from flooding" One anthruirum grower estimates that 50-60 percent of its anthuriums are affected by the storm. Its not clear how much can be salvaged. But loral Resources Hawaii's shipments to the mainland and local hotels stand to be affected. - PHONER "I have not yet put a numerical estimate on it. We are just trying to up and running as quickly as we can," Farmers and ranchers and landowners were to meet this afternoon to share information. The damage is said to include everything from greenhouses to small water irrigation systems. Officials are trying to see if the damage will trigger a emergency disaster declaration which would free up more loans for farmers. Some farmers have crop insurance but many dont. The losses on the farms could translate to higher prices in the market place. Some 90 percent of papayas are grown on the Big Island. Ag officials hope to have better numbers on the farm losses across the state by the end of the week.