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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.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER
An economic study of emergency room utilization in Oregon set off a thundering media stampede earlier this month. I was struck by the cut-and-paste sameness of much of the reporting and how awfully little it had to say about the untreated wound that is causing all the pain: the hole in our healthcare system where a robust primary care infrastructure should be.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
I’m thrilled that Portland’s restaurants are thriving. But who are these people who can afford to dine out several nights a week? They can’t all work for Adidas, Intel, or Nike—or some new tech start-up or innovation consultancy firm.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
As construction resumes on the Park Avenue West Tower, a friendship between a Portland architect and a lawyer comes full circle.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.
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.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
High-density living is the mantra for many urban planners in Portland, Eugene and other Oregon cities. But readers aren’t so keen on policies encouraging construction of apartments and condominiums.
Friday, February 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
President Obama's State of the Union address held lessons for all leaders.
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