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|Monday, May 16, 2011|
BY COREY PAUL
Farmer Steve Kandra took a break from planting wheat in his field recently, a truck humming behind him, to reflect upon the good news about water this year.
“There should be enough water in the system to take care of everybody,” he says. “This year is looking a heck of a lot better than last year.”
Last year drought delayed irrigation flows until mid-May. For Klamath County, the water shortage meant millions of dollars lost from unplanted crops and rough economic ripples through an already beleaguered community. Even with federal disaster aid, Kandra says he lost money irrigating with costly groundwater and had to leave a fifth of his 650 acres barren. Other farmers couldn’t plant at all.
But irrigation started on time this year, thanks to cool, stormy weather. The snow pack was at 116% in late spring and Upper Klamath Lake was at 2.25 feet higher than last year.
A good year for the county means about $300 million in agricultural commodities, but this is the first time in years where that production seems possible. Last year, the value of Klamath agricultural commodities dropped off $13.2 million from 2009’s value of $241 million.
Even a modest return to 2009’s yield would be welcome to the county of less than 25,000, which struggles with high unemployment. Every $1 million of agricultural commodities converts into about 15 jobs for the county, according to the OSU Extension Service. Each of those commodity dollars multiplies once or twice as it works through the county economy, according to the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce. That’s hundreds of millions cycling through everyone from tractor suppliers to restaurateurs.
“A very small change, say 25 jobs, can make a significant impact,” says Chamber of Commerce director Charles Massie. “Now all of a sudden, a 100 jobs. That’s pretty important.”
But farming remains risky, even with this normal irrigation flow.
“We have a 70% chance of success and a 30% chance of failure,” he says. “After last year, we don’t have too many choices. We’ve got to get it done.”
Corey Paul is a contributor to Oregon Business.
Friday, April 04, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Health care and vacations rule. That’s the consensus from our reader poll on workplace benefits that help retain and recruit employees.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
BY OB STAFF
Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.
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