Maui's Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula is suffering heavy impacts from the ongoing drought.
"Our water and feed bills are going through the roof," said Thomas Kafsack, owner of Surfing Goat Dairy. "Even with irrigation around the clock, our pastures are breaking up, so that we have to buy much more fresh grass, hay and grains."
Kafsack expects the price of grains to multiply in the upcoming weeks because of the drought crisis on the Mainland that has destroyed most of the corn crop.
"Our total expenses in the first six months of 2012 increased by 45 percent compared to an 11 percent increase in revenue," said Kafsack. "So we have to put more money into the dairy instead of earning a little bit."
The dairy will not increase the herd size in the near future because of the condition of the pasture. To fulfill the ever-growing demand for goat cheese and goat cheese truffles, they now incorporate some extra curds from similar goat dairies on the Mainland.
"We need plenty of rain in the upcoming winter months so that the pastures can recover and we can increase the herd size again next year," said Eva Kafsack, dairy co-owner.
On a more positive note, Surfing Goat Dairy reports that sales of goat cheese truffles have more than doubled compared to last year. Over 50,000 truffles were sold in 2011. Two new flavors were just added, with toasted coconut and lychee joining the existing selection of 24 flavors. Surfing Goat Dairy is the only commercial producer of goat cheese truffles in the U.S.