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

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

Make the Case

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015

10 briefcases that mean business.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

Fighting Fire With Fire

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE | INVESTIGATEWEST

Timber companies and environmental groups take a stab at collaboration to boost logging and restoration in Oregon fires.


Read more...

6 highlights from the Craft Brewers Conference

The Latest
Friday, April 17, 2015
thumbcbcPHOTOS BY  JASON E. KAPLAN

The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000)  to the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


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