With HC&S (Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.) Shutting down it's Sugar harvest in 2016. The most commonly asked question I've been asked of as a Maui Real Estate Agent, regarding future land use for all this sugar cane land, is, "What's going to replace it?". Well here's a photo of a sunflower crop on the North Shore of Oahu, and this is what it will resemble come June of 2017 when the first crop is available for harvest. (Photo: Rob Law/HAWAIʻI Magazine). Pacific Biodiesel planted 115 acres of sunflowers on the agricultural land close to the power plant in Maalaea. This is the same owner who currently reroutes the 270 tons of grease from Maui's restaurants, recycles it, and turns it into usable fuel.
“We’re designing a sustainable, zero-waste and economically viable system to grow food, animal feed and fuel. Short-term crops that harvest in 100 days or less can be planted, harvested, crushed, and converted to biodiesel, all in Hawaii,” said Pacific Biodiesel President Bob King. “We’re focusing on several different crops in various crop rotations and experimenting with different soil amendments such as compost and others made from by-products of the production of our biodiesel, like glycerin and potassium sulfate.”
There's a total of 36,000 acres of sugar cane land to be used up, and much of it planned to be diversified agriculture such as Sunflower, orchards, coffee etc. Here's a picture from what the field looks like today April 2017 (Photo by Brendan M. Smith Photography):
If the whole island is ends up looking like this instead of sugar cane, it would be a pretty amazing site.