Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Agricultural producers in Oregon's mid-Columbia region (Hood River and Wasco counties) earned a total of $177.3 million in gross sales of farm commodities in 2010, a welcome jump up from the $149.4 million the two counties earned in gross sales of farm products in 2009.
The mid-Columbia farm sector's 2010 rebound was part of a larger trend enjoyed by many producers throughout the state, according to information compiled by Oregon State University agricultural economists in the 2010 Oregon County and State Agricultural Estimates report. The publication is available online.
"OSU Extension Service county-based faculty in Hood River and Wasco counties contributed to the report," said Brian Tuck, director of the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River.
"The OSU Extension Service has operated county extension offices in Hood River and Wasco counties for many years, offering outreach education in several areas including youth development, nutrition education and production agriculture," Tuck added.
"Due to their close working relationships with area farmers, local OSU Extension field faculty specializing in agriculture play a key role in gathering local data for OSU Extension's annual statewide report on agricultural sales," said Tuck.
A breakdown of 2010 gross farm sales for Hood River and Wasco counties follows.
In Hood River County, farm gate sales of all crops and livestock totaled $87.6 million, up from $83.4 million in 2009 - a 5 percent increase.
On the crops side county growers made significant gains in hay and forages, small fruits and berries and tree fruits, primarily sweet cherries. Sales of livestock and poultry products remained steady over 2009-10.
Winter pears, Bartlett pears, sweet cherries and apples accounted for 95 percent of the 2010 agricultural commodity sales in Hood River County. Winter pears are a major crop in the county, generating $54 million in sales last year.
In Wasco County farm gate sales of all crops and livestock were $89.7 million, up significantly from $66 million in 2009 - a 36 percent increase. The biggest gains were in tree fruits, mostly sweet cherries, which brought strong prices in 2010.
Sweet cherries and grains are the major agricultural crops in Wasco County. Sweet cherries earned 54 percent ($48 million) and grains earned 23 percent ($20.8 million) of total agricultural sales in the county in 2010.
Compared to other Oregon counties, Wasco and Hood River counties ranked 13th and 14th respectively in level of gross agricultural sales. Marion County in the Willamette Valley sits in first place with $511 million in agricultural sales in 2010.
Statewide, Oregon's farmers and ranchers grossed $4.3 billion in sales last year. This represented a 3.8 percent increase from 2009 when Oregon gross agricultural sales fell to 4.13 billion, due largely to the national recession affecting Oregon agriculture and the Oregon economy as a whole. The gross sales figure for Oregon agriculture in 2008 was $4.9 billion.
To obtain a copy of the 2010 study, contact Brian Tuck at 541-296-5494 or Brian.Tuck@oregonstate.edu. The full study results will be available online within the next month, at the OSU extension website.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge