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Pumpkins in Paradise

When most Midwesterners think about Hawaiian agriculture, pineapples and coconut trees leaning out over calm, blue water are about all that comes to mind. Many would be surprised to know that there are corn breeding facilities in Hawaii. During the six months of the year that corn doesn’t grow in the Midwest, the Beck’s breeding team doesn’t just sit idle. Every day, progress is made to advance new genetics and to improve seed for our farmers. For years, Beck’s used winter nurseries in Chile and Mexico to grow corn in the North American off-season until 2016, when there was an opportunity to invest in U.S. soil where corn can grow year round. Beck’s just celebrated one full year and three corn crops at our new Beck’s Hawaii Facility in the town of Kekaha on the island of Kauai. Last winter, when most folks in Indiana were shoveling their driveways, Beck’s employees made over a million hand pollinations in the corn breeding nurseries. Each pollination is a new chance to create an inbred line that could be a part of the next hot hybrid.

This year, as a way to give back to the community of Kekaha on the island of Kauai, the 11 full-time employees at the Kekaha facility planted about an acre of the farm in pumpkins to be given away.

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