Farmers say crops damaged by two weekends of heavy storms

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“It’s been a real challenge.” Dean Okimoto says Nalo Farms on Oahu’s Windward side has been trying to keep up with heavy rains that have been drenching crops for weeks. “It damages the crop, the pounding of 5 or 6 inches overnight. It damages the leaves and then the next day it looks like it might recover, then you get fungus and you get disease.”

Okimoto says he expects the yield from his crops to be way down, saying in the coming weeks, availability for his marquee Nalo Greens could be hit or miss. “We get this at least every other year if not every year. It affects all of the crops generally even the perennials and things like that. When you get 5 or 6 inches of rain and it happens like this, it eventually kills the roots because they drown.”

Another farmer in Waimanalo says he’s had to shut down for the past three weeks.

Okimoto says it’s an uphill battle to get his crops back to normal. And in the coming weeks, local products could be harder to come by. “You’re going to see a downturn in probably a lot of local products, including tomatoes and things like that, because you get a lot of fungus you get a lot of disease problems. Plants are weaker so more bugs are able to come in.”

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