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Christmas trees glut means lower prices, hurt farmers

November 30, 2009 --

By Natural Resource Report,

A sluggish economic climate, low wholesale prices and less consumer demand all spell trouble for Christmas tree farms across Oregon. In 2008, 7.34 million trees were sold in Oregon, propelling a $110 billion industry and the No. 1 producer of Christmas trees in the U.S. That number is expected to shrink to 5 million by next year as many farmers have abandoned the business due to a challenging market and surplus of trees.

In early 2000 many farmers were lured by the high prices of trees and gave up on other crops to invest in Christmas trees. It takes 5-10 years for trees to mature for sale and many trees that were planted during the boom are now up against the frugal consumer and Oregon’s recession. Simply put, there are just too many trees and not enough demand. High supply and low demand are forcing some farmers to sell their trees for less than it cost to produce them. This will likely mean lower prices for Christmas trees this year.  For the farmers, it means they may have to cut and burn trees.

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Recap of changes to Oregon Legislature

November 29, 2009 --

By Oregonians for Food and Shelter

There will be some new faces in Salem when the February “special session” convenes.  Senator Margaret Carter resigned to take a newly created post as Deputy Director at the Department of Human Services.  She has been replaced by former Representative Chip Shields.  Shields is a Democrat and will serve Senate District 22 in Multnomah County.

Democrat Senator Vicki Walker stepped down to accept appointment as the $97,000-a-year chairwoman of the state parole board.  But in September, Governor Ted Kulongoski announced he and Walker had jointly agreed she would not move ahead for Senate confirmation to the job.  Instead, she would work in a temporary administrative role for the equivalent of $82,000 a year.

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Surplus salmon help feed hungry on North Coast

November 28, 2009 --

By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,

TILLAMOOK, Ore. – Hungry people along Oregon’s north coast will eat a little better this holiday season, thanks to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and a coalition of volunteers who delivered more than 500 pounds of salmon to the local food bank and other charitable organizations. More than 150 hatchery salmon were collected in late October at ODFW’s Waterhouse Falls fish trap on the North Fork Nehalem River and turned over to organizations that help feed the hungry. Most were taken to Tillamook Bay Boathouse where they were canned for distribution through the North County Food Bank. Another 11 fish were taken whole by volunteers to the Nehalem Bay House, a senior and disabled housing facility located in Nehalem.

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New to US, European grapevine moth found in California

November 27, 2009 --

A pest never before found in the United States has been detected in California’s Napa Valley.
By Kurt Kipp, Daily Digger
Oregon Association of Nurseries,

The European grapevine moth, Lobestria botrana, which feeds primarily on the flowers and fruits of grape plants (Vitis spp.) and spruge laurels (Daphne gnidium). Other hosts include blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), gooseberry (Ribes ssp.), black and red currant (Ribes nigurm), olive (Olea europaea), cherry (Prunus avium), prune (Prunus domestica), persimmon (Diospyrus kakis), kiwi (Actinidia chinensis), pomegranate (Punica granatum), carnation (Dianthus spp.), and others. So far, eight adult moths and 29 larvae have been trapped.

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Thank a farmer today

November 26, 2009 --

National Association of Wheat Growers and other agricultural organizations are urging consumers to add farmers and American agriculture to the lists of things they are thankful for when tallying up their blessings over turkey and pie.  The national celebration of plenty is also a reminder that modern-day America has the safest, must abundant and most affordable food supply in the history of the world – a feat made possible by the work of agricultural producers in every state.

Late last week, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation naming the week ending on Thanksgiving each year National Farm-City week.

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Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Declines for 2009

November 25, 2009 --

By American Farm Bureau Federation,

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2009 – Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings dropped 4 percent in price this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF’s 24th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year’s average of $44.61.

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Measure 49 – Landowner Compensation Update

November 24, 2009 --

Miller Nash LLP
Oregon and Washington Law Firm

Measure 49 was passed into law almost two years ago. The litigation resulting from Measure 49 has been minor compared to that which resulted from Measure 37, although several potentially significant cases are still pending. The Department of Land Conservation and Development (“DLCD”) has established its process for issuing final decisions on Measure 49 claims, albeit at a slower pace than was originally anticipated. As of this article’s date, only about 1,000 decisions have been issued on the 4,464 total Measure 49 claims. The 2009 Oregon Legislature instructed DLCD to process claims faster and slightly expand the range of persons who qualify for relief under the measure.

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Video: Greg Walden opposing lock-up environmentalism

Climate bill and Estate Tax update by Farm Bureau

November 22, 2009 --

By American Farm Bureau Federation

AFBF applauds Senate delay of Climate Change Bill

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman applauded the decision by Senate leaders to delay consideration of climate change legislation until the spring of 2010. “This move offers a great opportunity for lawmakers to go back to the drawing board and re-assess the need for this legislation and the impact it will have on all Americans,” Stallman said.  “Legislation previously approved by the House, and a similar bill approved on a party-line vote by a Senate committee, would impose higher energy and food costs on consumers,” Stallman added. “The bills also would create an energy deficit due to limited alternatives.

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Oregon website shows data of hunt-fish activity in coutnies

November 21, 2009 --

New Web site provides economic data about the importance of anglers, hunters and wildlife viewers to Oregon’s counties
By Department of Fish and Wildlife,

Salem, Ore.— A new interactive Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Web site offers a county-level view of the $2.5 billion spent in Oregon by fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing enthusiasts in 2008. It is available on the ODFW Web site.

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