How critical is Hawaii’s role in the seed corn production process?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo!

Q: How critical is Hawaii’s role in the seed corn production process? Could Monsanto produce seed corn if it didn't have operations in Hawaii?         

Monsanto’s operations in Hawaii primarily serve as nurseries where we grow corn and soybean varieties – both GMO and non-GMO -- that will be used as seed by our farmer customers around the world. Seed production requires growing several generations of a particular plant variety. The climate in Hawaii allows us to grow three or four crop generations in a calendar year versus one cycle per year, which is the case in most geographic regions, making it possible to supply seed for our customers much more quickly.

The seeds grown in Hawaii make up the building blocks of varieties of corn that are used around the world. Seeds that come from Hawaii end up being the seeds that are used by farmers around the world, including North America, South America, Africa, Asia and India.

While Monsanto produces seed elsewhere, seed production in Hawaii is very important to the overall food production around the world. We have a highly skilled employee family that has been part of the Hawaii community for many years. They do terrific work and contribute to their communities in numerous ways.

Monsanto Hawaii also has a long history in the islands and is connected to land that we live and work in. Hawaii is part of who we are as a business and we are dedicated to contributing to the local economy by providing thousands of jobs, supporting numerous community organizations, putting fallow agricultural land back into productive use, and offering opportunities for local residents to pursue meaningful careers.