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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.
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.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis released a report on the vitality of rural Oregon this week. Media reports focused on the number of Californians moving to the "Timber Belt," but the document contained other interesting insights regarding regional challenges and successes.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY TIM NEVILLE
Betty Roppe steers Prineville into the future.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY DAN COOK
The state’s angel investing fund gets hammered in Salem.
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | ART DIRECTOR
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
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After first visiting as tourists, entrepreneurs relocate to Oregon and spur economic growth.
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Promoting from within its own ranks, PacificSource Health Plans has tapped Tony Kopki to head its commercial lines of business in Oregon, Idaho and Montana. In his new role as Vice President of Commercial Programs, Kopki will provide strategic, product and market leadership for PacificSource’s commercial programs.
Thomson brings 25 years of healthcare experience in provider relations, sales, marketing and communications.