Ag sets record prices but costs nip income

| Print |  Email
Saturday, December 01, 2007

{safe_alt_text}

STATEWIDE Key agricultural industries are earning record prices this year, making 2007 a very good year for many of Oregon’s ag producers. However, rising costs mean net farm income in 2006 was down almost 10% from the year before.

At almost $10 per bushel, wheat is selling at the highest-ever price in Oregon, more than double what it sold for in 2006, says Bruce Pokarney of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Hazelnut growers negotiated the second-highest price in history, says Polly Owen with the Oregon Hazelnut Commission; the USDA reports an average selling price of $.70 per pound, up from $.54 last year (the highest-ever price was $1.12 in 2005).

While production is down about 10,000 tons from last year, Owen says this is not worrisome because hazelnuts are alternate bearing, and swings in production can be much greater.

Greenhouse and nursery products, Oregon’s No. 1 sector, will make history this year as the state’s first sector to pass the $1 billion mark, according to Pokarney.

Blueberries are expected to earn record prices, and production will easily break 40 million pounds, 5 million more than last year, says Bryan Ostlund with the Oregon Blueberry Commission.

The unprecedented growth is attributed to the diet and health craze over the antioxidants in blueberries. “Nurseries can’t get enough plants out the door,” Ostlund says.

Potatoes are selling for $5.65 per 100 pounds, compared to $4.90 in 2006, because supply is down.

Pears are up to $568 per ton over $527 last year. Grapes, Oregon’s fastest-growing commodity, doubled in production value from 2004 to 2006, and Pokarney says similar growth can be expected this year.

On the downside, onion prices declined significantly from last year, at $5.06 per 100 pounds compared to $10.90 in 2006. And Pokarney notes that while prices are up for many crops, costs are also increasing.

An economic report for 2006, released in October, shows net farm income in Oregon was down 9.6% from 2005. While gross income is at all-time highs, costs are also escalating because of rising fertilizer, pesticide and fuel costs and increased property taxes.           

AMBER NOBE


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Live, Work, Play: Amen Teter

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Catching up with Amen Teter, Portland-based global director of action sports for Octagon Olympics & Action sports talent agency.


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...

Light Moves

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Fittingly, Light at Play — a business whose sole purpose is to create mesmerizing ambience — was conceived at Burning Man.


Read more...

Ski traffic

Linda Baker
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
0121-skiway-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.


Read more...

Money Talks

March 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS