Eastern dry-land wheat farmers ask for relief

| Print |  Email
Archives - October 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

WheatHarvest

EASTERN OREGON Farm revenues may be soaring statewide, but not all farmers are raking it in this year. Dry-land wheat farmers in arid Gilliam and Morrow counties are applying for federal assistance, saying an after-the-fact “extreme weather emergency” caused the harvest to come in thinner than expected. Gilliam County Judge Pat Shaw, who voted in favor of a resolution to pursue disaster relief Sept. 3, says extreme temperature swings and a lack of rainfall during the growing season decreased yield by 30%-50%. Farmers didn’t know the crop was damaged before harvest, thus the six-month lag between the disaster and the requested declaration.

“Most disasters are pretty apparent,” Shaw says. “This one was not.”

When it comes to non-irrigated wheat farming in dry counties, disaster declarations are not rare. “I can’t think of a year when there hasn’t been at least one county asking for a declaration,” says Oregon Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney.

A disaster declaration must go through the governor’s office and be approved by the federal government. It can help farmers obtain no-interest or low-interest loans to cover their losses.

Gilliam and Morrow counties saw their agricultural sales jump by 32% and 22% respectively in 2007, mostly on the strength of rising wheat prices. Some farmers planted more acreage in wheat to cash in on the prices, but the weather did not cooperate.

It has been a high-stakes harvest for many Oregon farmers, with fat crop prices balanced against painfully rising costs for fuel and fertilizer. But on balance things are looking up. New research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service finds that profits in farming have never been bigger. The research pegged 2007 net farm income in Oregon at $1.48 billion, a 50% increase from the previous year. That figure is expected to shoot up even higher this year, due partly to the cultivation of 150,000 additional acres statewide for wheat.           

BEN JACKLET



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

 

More Articles

Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Read more...

Aim High

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

We get the education we deserve.


Read more...

Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Business partnerships: taming the three-headed monster

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 06, 2015
070615-businessmarriagefail-thumbBY KATHERINE HEEKIN | OB GUEST COLUMNIST

Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.


Read more...

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


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