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Predators attack northern Higashi pineapple crops

Date Posted: 2006-08-03

The weather’s always a problem for farmers, but this year there’s a new source of headaches over pineapple crops.

Higashi Village, the top produce growing community on Okinawa, began its harvest Tuesday, only to discover wild pigs and black crows wreaking hefty damage on the sweet and juicy ripe crops. Farmers normally reap about 3,000 tons of pineapple each harvest, but report more than 120 tons already discovered damaged and unfit for sale and consumption.

Scarecrows had been placed around the pineapple fields, but the crows are smart and ignored them, flying low over the edges of the fields before sunlight. Wild pigs wander into the fields and eat the soft cores of the pineapples.

Farmers say it will take a year to recover, and that they’ve little recourse. Nets could cover the fields, but the Higashi fields are too big for nets. Farmers also say they are without money to even purchase nets.
Some farmers say they’ve lost 90% of their crop this year.

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