The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


China boosting Oregon lumber, logs

January 31, 2011 --

By Rick Sohn,
Umpqua COquille LLC

Strength continues in lumber and log prices. Building permits took a large jump. See below for details and a six-year span of prices and analysis of lumber, logs, housing, and mortgage stats.

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DEQ considers Graywater use expansion

January 30, 2011 --

Proposed New State Rules Allow Expanded Use of “Graywater” and Water Reuse Systems in Oregon
— DEQ seeks comments on proposal through Friday, March 11

Dept. of Environmental Quality

As Oregon sees increasing demand on the state’s limited water resources, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is proposing new rules that will allow Oregonians to reuse graywater for certain limited functions such as garden irrigation and other forms of irrigation. Graywater is wastewater originating from showers, baths, bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks and laundries.

DEQ will conduct public hearings on the graywater proposal throughout Oregon in late February and early March, and is seeking public comments on the proposal through Friday, March 11. The 2009 Oregon Legislature legalized the use of graywater for beneficial purposes if permitted by DEQ and directed the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission to adopt rules for the permitting of graywater reuse and disposal systems.

While graywater is wastewater, it does not include toilet or garbage wastes. Although it may contain a complex mix of organic matter, suspended solids, bacteria and common household chemicals, when used judiciously and in a manner that takes public health into account, it can help preserve limited water supplies and emphasize the environmental ethics of reusing and recycling.

The proposed rules are available for public review on DEQ’s website at (scroll down to “Graywater reuse and disposal systems.”) As proposed, the rules would:

· Establish a public policy to encourage reuse of graywater for beneficial uses such as irrigation

· Establish requirements for all graywater reuse and disposal systems to protect public health and the environment

· Define three types of graywater based on level of treatment and identify reuse activities, treatment and monitoring requirements, setbacks, access and exposure controls, and site management practices necessary to protect public health and the environment

· Establish design and construction standards for graywater reuse and disposal systems

· Create a three-tier permitting system that defines permitting requirements based primarily on volume of graywater produced

People may submit comments on the proposed rules by mail, e-mail or fax before 5 p.m. Friday, March 11. Written comments may be mailed to Ron Doughten, Oregon DEQ, Water Quality Division 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390. Comments may be faxed to Ron Doughten at 503-229-6037 or e-mailed to .

DEQ will hold four public hearings on the proposed rules. Each hearing will start with a one-hour overview followed by the opportunity to present oral and written comments. Hearings are scheduled at the following locations:

· Portland, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m., DEQ Headquarters, 811 SW Sixth Ave., (SW Sixth & Yamhill), 10th floor, Room EQC-A.

· Bend, Thursday, Feb. 24, 5 p.m., DEQ Bend office, 475 NE Bellevue, Suite 110

· Eugene, Wednesday, March 2, 5 p.m., DEQ Eugene office, 165 E. Seventh Ave., Suite 100

· Ashland, Thursday, March 3, 5 p.m., Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way.

DEQ will respond to all comments and may make changes to its rules proposal based on comments it receives. It will present a final proposal to the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission for adoption at the commission’s August 2011 meeting.


In developing these new rules, DEQ relied on recommendations of a Graywater Advisory Committee. The committee, which met on several occasions, consisted of people with varied technical backgrounds including resource conservation, water supply, wastewater treatment and design, green building, architecture, environmental advocacy, public health and water law. Committee members represented various Oregon regions, state government agencies, local governments, small businesses and individuals.

A document detailing anticipated questions and answers about this rulemaking and about graywater reuse and disposal systems is available on DEQ’s graywater rulemaking web page at: (scroll down to “Documents”).
Return to DEQ Homepage
DEQ is a leader
in restoring, maintaining
and enhancing
the quality of Oregon’s air,
land and water.

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Congressman Schrader to speak at OSU Farm Conference

January 29, 2011 --

Registration opens for OSU’s Feb. 26 farm conference (01/19/2011), U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, veterinarian, farmer and member of the House Committee on Agriculture, will deliver the capnote address at the Feb. 26th conference.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Extension Service has opened registration for its 11th annual Oregon Small Farms Conference on Feb. 26 in Corvallis.

The daylong event is geared toward farmers, agriculture professionals, food policy advocates and managers of farmers markets. Chuck Hassebrook, the executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, will open the event with a speech about how small farms are changing agriculture. Hassebrook specializes in commodity program reform, rural development policy, research and extension, rural revitalization and higher education.

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The politics of water

January 28, 2011 --

By Erik L. Ness
American Farm Bureau Federation

Politics have been part of irrigated agriculture since the first Sumerian ditch bosses controlled the waters of Mesopotamia. The importance of irrigation can be seen throughout the history of mankind as farmers and engineers worked to provide reliable water resources for food and fiber crops and adequate sources of water for the general public.

Today’s advanced irrigation systems are economic dynamos that energize local and regional economies far beyond their primary mission of watering important crops. They provide needed hydro-electric power, recreational opportunities, public safety, habitat for wildlife and water conservation initiatives.

As with any system that provides such value and vital economic assets, many interests eek to get their hands on the check valves in an effort to control the water and all that comes with it.

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Washington farmers fight Worker’s Compensation rate change

January 27, 2011 --

Washington Farm Bureau Comments on Proposed 2011 Workers’ Compensation Rates Dear Director Schurke:
By Washington Farm Bureau
Comments:  On behalf of farmers and ranchers across Washington state and our more than 40,000 member families, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit comments regarding the proposed increase in industrial insurance rates for 2011.

As you know, Washington Farm Bureau has for decades educated our members on responsible workplace safety standards as part of our Retro/Safety program. We take seriously our endeavors to keep agricultural workplaces as safe as possible, so that workers remain healthy and premiums remain low for employers.

We believe this hard work has paid off insofar as agriculture is expected to see only an average 7 percent increase, as opposed to the average 12 percent increase for all businesses or the indicated rate of nearly 18 percent.

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Capitol Review: 2011 Property Rights Bill

January 26, 2011 --

Watch Out For These Issues In The 2011 Legislature
By Oregonians In Action

As many of you know, the Oregon legislature will meet again starting in January, 2011. Oregon property owners need to keep a very close eye on Salem, as efforts will be made to pass new laws that both help and hurt property owners and your right to use your land.

Given the very close split between the parties in the Oregon legislature (see the View From Sherwood in this edition), along with a new governor, there is a completely different feel to the upcoming legislature. Bills that would have received serious attention in the last legislative session will not see the light of day in this session, and legislators from both parties will be forced to cooperate with each other in order to accomplish anything.

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Oregon Ag on alert on Asia FTM disease

January 25, 2011 --

Global travelers warned not to bring back pests and diseases
By Oregon Depart of Agriculture,

Be aware of where you are traveling and beware what you might bring back to Oregon. That’s the bottom line message from agriculture officials to international travelers who may provide a conveyance for pests and diseases that could threaten the state’s agriculture and environment.”The world has gotten smaller and you can be halfway around the globe in a day,” says Dan Hilburn, administrator of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Plant Division and member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council. “It’s no problem for spores, seeds, and even insects to survive the travel. There are many examples of people bringing back with them a pest or a disease to the US that resulted in millions of dollars in crop losses or control costs.”

The latest concern is an animal disease. Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has emerged in South Korea, one of Oregon’s top agricultural trading partners.

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Wolf policy creates ruin across ranches

January 24, 2011 --

Living with Wolves and No Right of Protection
by Karla Kay Edwards
Oregon Cascade Policy Institute

Imagine one day you were told that by law you no longer can lock your home. As you leave your house, two suspicious people are sitting on your front porch. So you get your kitchen broom and shoo them away. But they are still in front of your house on the sidewalk (legally not on your property). You call the police. They file a report and promise to monitor the situation. You eventually have to leave your home to run errands. When you come back, your computer that you use to run your business is gone. While you are confident that the folks you ran off your porch and who witnessed you leaving are the culprits, the police inform you that they found no fingerprints. Therefore, they aren’t sure if you simply misplaced your own computer.

This is essentially the scenario livestock producers face every day with wolves in Wallowa County and other parts of Oregon, except for ranchers it is even more emotional. It isn’t just an inanimate object that ranchers are unable to protect. They are beloved pets and livestock which ranchers have spent a great deal of their life raising and nurturing.

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Girl Scouts jump anti-agriculture bandwagon

January 23, 2011 --

National Corn Growers Association
By Cathryn

As Girl Scout cookie sale season launches across the country, the organization is taking back to the streets with a message that leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of agvocates as they take their formerly internal anti-ag messages to our doorsteps.

Last summer, Corn Commentary (Volumes 1 and 2) looked at the blatant hypocrisy inherent in profiting from the sale of cookies that incorporate a myriad of corn products while bashing the farmers who supply them. Now, the Girl Scouts are taking it one step further by offering Shout Outs!, an HFCS-free cookie.  Are they serious? This is still a cookie that has approximately the same fat and calorie content as many of their other options. This is another blatant case of jumping on the anti-HFCS bandwagon without considering either sound science or even the message that this sends about our childhood favorites like Thin Mints and Trefoils?

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Obama Rejects Public Lands Grazing Fee Hike

January 22, 2011 --

Administration Denies Petitions to Raise Public Lands Grazing Fee
By National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

WASHINGTON (Jan. 20, 2011) – The Obama Administration issued final responses this week denying petitions to increase the grazing fee on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and United States Forest Service (USFS) grazing allotments. The decision was made in response to the petitions and a lawsuit filed by five environmental activist groups asking the government to address the grazing-fee formula and adjust the fee in order to, in their words, “cover the costs of the federal grazing program.”

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