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|Archives - June 2009|
|Monday, June 01, 2009|
What will prices be at harvest this year? “That’s literally the million dollar question,” says Tammy Dennee, executive director of the Oregon Wheat Growers League. Many commodity prices have plunged since the recession began, others are flat, and there’s not much optimism in the fields these days.
According to Brent Searle, economist at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon grows more than 220 commodities, with 40 of them grossing more than $10 million each per year.
“Different commodities are being affected in different ways,” Searle says. “Almost all of them are either flat or down right now.”
Grass seed, Oregon’s second-most-valuable crop, is down because sales are tied to housing developments and golf courses. Both have drastically cut back on seeding.
Hop farmers also are facing a bleak market.
“Right now you can’t give a hop away,” says John Annen of Annen Brothers hop farm in Mt. Angel. “Nobody is buying right now. There is no market.”
Annen Brothers locked in their prices early by negotiating contracts with brewers to avoid selling their hops on the market.
And last year’s optimism in the wheat industry has evaporated. Farmers planted 90,000 fewer acres of wheat in 2009 than in 2008, in what Bruce Eklund, deputy director of the National Agriculture Statistic Service’s Oregon Field Office, calls a “nationwide phenomenon.”
The average price of wheat in 2008 was $6.50 a bushel, down $1.73 from 2007’s average. A bushel currently sells for $5.40, 10 cents below the break-even mark.
Blackberries are one commodity that could potentially see an improvement in sales. The demand is up and the stock of frozen blackberries is low, but so is investor confidence. “Buyers are hesitant because they don’t know where the market will go,” says Searle.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG
A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
BY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.
Friday, October 17, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Oregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Monday, November 10, 2014
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.
Monday, October 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.
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