The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

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Walden-Schrader team press for forest and rural job help

August 31, 2009 --

Bipartisan team says action needed now for healthier forests and job creation in rural America
Congressman Greg Walden
and Congressman Kurt Schrader

In recession-hit rural forested communities, forest stewardship yields self-reliance and sustainable renewable energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan team of House members announced this morning their plan to address forest health issues and put rural America back to work. Without waiving any environmental laws, the plan would allow federal scientists and foresters to manage fire-prone forests back to health and encourage the growth of an important new renewable energy industry.

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First Climate Friendly Nurseries project launched in Oregon

August 30, 2009 --

Partnership between Oregon Environmental Council and Oregon Association of Nurseries creates sustainable model for Oregon agriculture
Oregon Association of Nurseries,

PORTLAND, Ore.—August 20, 2009—The Oregon Association of Nurseries and the Oregon Environmental Council today announced the launch of a unique sustainability project for Oregon’s largest agricultural commodity – the ornamental horticulture industry. The Climate Friendly Nurseries project is an innovative partnership that will help nurseries use energy and other resources more efficiently, reduce costs, and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while achieving greater economic efficiency and profitability.

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Ethanol faces challenges ahead

August 29, 2009 --

New technologies, supporting infrastructures, and greater demand will be needed to meet the country’s ambitious mandate to increase biofuel use.
By Amber Waves, USDA

– Constraints to future growth of the ethanol industry will present challenges to meeting the ambitious mandates for expanded biofuel use set forth in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

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Ag coalition forms around Oregon tax referendum

August 28, 2009 --

Oregon Farm Bureau Federation joins Oregon tax referendum petition campaign
By Guest Submission,

The Oregon Farm Bureau Federation has joined a broad-based coalition of business, natural resource and community groups and formed Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes to circulate petitions and collect signatures needed to place two tax measures on the ballot in a January special election.  The tax measures (HB 2649, HB 3405) raise the corporate minimum tax and income tax on higher earners.

Joining the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation are several agriculture based groups including: Oregonians for Food and Shelter, American Forest and Paper Association, Associated Oregon Loggers, Northwest Food Processors Association, Oregon Forestry Industries Council, and the Oregon Seed Council. With Oregon businesses struggling, the Farm Bureau fears that the tax measures will cost jobs, cause employers to lay off workers, reduce wages and benefits or force businesses to close their doors if the voters approve tax measures.

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Media misuse of swine label has devastated the pork industry

August 27, 2009 --

By Chris Chinn
Guest article from Farm Bureau

Call it H1N1, please. The last week of April 2009 will be a week hog farmers will never forget. The week changed our lives and not in a positive way.  The last week of April is when the H1N1 flu outbreak became news. Most media outlets tagged an inappropriate name to the flu virus. The unintended consequence of calling H1N1 the informal name “swine flu,” has been devastating to all farms that raise hogs, including my family farm. Because of the unfortunate name choice, exports of U.S. pork have dropped, eliminating a key market rally that is typically seen each summer. This summer’s rally was especially crucial; hog farmers have lost money since September 2007. In fact, hog farmers have lost more than half of their accumulated equity since September 2007. Hog farmers desperately needed a summer rally to return profit to our farms. The other name for H1N1 stole this from us.

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30 speakers primed for ODFW fish conference

--

– How do scientists predict the number of salmon that will return from the ocean next year?
– What are the ramifications of wave energy development off the Oregon coast?
– Why are urban centers so important to the future of Oregon’s salmon, trout and steelhead?

Oregon Dept. Fish and Wildlife: These are just a few of the more than 30 topics that will be addressed during the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department’s STEP conference in Salem Sept. 11-13.STEP stands for Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program, which was adopted by the Oregon Legislature in 1981 to mobilize teachers, students, and volunteers in an ongoing statewide effort to bolster the state’s salmon, trout and steelhead populations.

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Irrigation projects get stimulus money

August 26, 2009 --

By Natural Resource Report,

More stimulus money in the form of Challenge Grants, administered by the Bureau of Reclamation is flowing Oregon’s way after two irrigation projects were recently approved for funding.

In a press release announcing the grants the Department of the Interior said, “Through the Challenge Grant Program’s Water Marketing and Efficiency Grants, Reclamation provides 50/50 cost share funding to states and irrigation and water districts for projects focused on water marketing, conservation and efficiency. Projects are selected through a competitive process, based on their ability to meet the goal of improving sustainable water supplies in the western United States.”  The Challenge Grant program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Conversion of forests and farms to development slows overall

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Conversion of forests, farms, and rangeland to development slows overall;
Oregon Department of Forestry

Despite population and income growth over the past 15 years, the conversion of non-federal forestland, farmland, and rangeland to more developed uses in Oregon overall has continued to decrease, according to a new study. Development of these lands slowed after the mid-1980s, when comprehensive land use plans were adopted.  However, the study also found that although lands are remaining in forest, farm, and rangeland, many tracts are experiencing significant increases in structures and population.

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Lumber prices, housing starts, building permits fall

August 25, 2009 --

By Rick Sohn,
Umpqua Coquille LLC
August 24, 2009

Lumber prices, housing starts and building permits fell slightly this month, signaling the reality of a longer, slower recovery in the wood products sector.  One bright spot is the continued decline of the unsold home inventory.  The 30-year fixed rate mortgage statistic, as compiled by Freddie Mac, is added to the Timber Industry Report this month.  The mortgage interest rate is lower in July than June.

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Survey show Oregon farmers near top in usage

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By Oregon Department of Agriculture,

An early adopter of high technology, Oregon’s farming and ranching community remains among the national leaders in the usage of computers as part of their operations. Results of a recent survey indicate that computers are just as important to most Oregon agricultural producers as the tractor or any other common type of equipment.

“We know that Oregon farmers and ranchers are savvy when it comes to technology,” says Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “We have consistently ranked high among all states each time these computer surveys have been done. What the latest results show, however, is that many other states are finally catching up to where we have been for the past few years.”

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