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

Baby. Boom!

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A new co-working model disrupts office sharing, child care and work-life balance as we know it.


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...

Photo Log: Shooting 10 innovators in rural health care

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
007blogBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

You may have noticed the photos of our rural health innovators departed from the typical Oregon Business aesthetic.


Read more...

Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

Reader Input: Road Work

March 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA WESTON

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


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