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|Articles - October 2010|
|Tuesday, September 28, 2010|
This year’s cold spring brought good and bad news to Oregon’s crops.
Droughts in Russia and Kazakhstan drove the demand for U.S. wheat up, and prices hit a two-year high of $7.85 a bushel in August; as of mid-September the price was $7.54 a bushel. Combine this with Oregon’s heavy spring rains and you have some very happy farmers, especially in the Willamette Valley, where the acreage of wheat doubled in 2009. The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates Oregon production of winter wheat this year at almost 60 million bushels, up 33%. Higher volumes per acre of spring wheat, barley and alfalfa hay are also expected because of the weather.
While the field crops soaked up the spring rain, fruits and berries struggled to pollinate and the cold weather stunted growth. Cherry volumes were down 20% and a state of emergency may be declared in Wasco County. “We are still waiting to get updated reports so we have an accurate damage assessment,” says Lynn Voigt, spokesman for the Oregon Farm Service Agency.
Cranberry volumes are expected to be 10% less than in 2009. Prunes and plums are expected to be down 46%, almost 9 million pounds, and pears are expected to be down 12%, or 58 million pounds. Blueberry yields, however, were up more than 50 million pounds, a 4% increase. Although hazelnuts are a fall crop, the wet spring caused a lot of defective nuts. Early estimates place their production volume at 27,000 tons, a 43% decrease from 2009.
Market prices for fruits and berries were higher this year, which compensated for low production. “The demand has been great,” says Cort Brazelton of Fall Creek Farm and Nursery in Lowell, adding, “There’s plenty of hope on the horizon.”
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.
Friday, May 08, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
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