Home Back Issues October 2008 Eastern dry-land wheat farmers ask for relief

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

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

The Rail Baron

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Oil is gushing out of the U.S. and Canada, and much of it is coming from places that don’t have pipeline infrastructure. So it’s being shipped by rail.


Read more...

Launch

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

October's Launch article features Soul Kitchen, Easy Company and Slick's Big Time BBQ.


Read more...

Woman of Steel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Tamara Lundgren tackles the challenges—without getting trampled.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


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