Market fluctuations have caused Coos Bay farmers to resort to survival tactics.
Farms are joining cooperatives to guard themselves against fluctuating prices, and moving to certain stable niches, such as the organic market.
Bandon area cranberry growers also find value in unity. Growers in a cooperative such as Ocean Spray see less impact from market fluctuations. Independent growers make more when the market thrives, but they also are hit hardest when it drops.
Tom Forgatsch, an independent grower south of Bandon, says he wouldn't be able to survive on the income from his organic cranberry and blueberry farm. Now retired, he has run his farm since 1981. He went organic to increase his marketability, selling to Coos Head Food Store and other local distributors.
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