The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Water Resources Bill advances

November 29, 2013 --

For more information on Newsline, contact: Johnna Miller, Director of Media Development, American Farm Bureau Federation

Miller Farmers and ranchers – along with most of the rest of the population – are hard-pressed to find much to be thankful to Congress for this year. But American Farm Bureau transportation specialist Andrew Walmsley says there is one reason: both the House and the Senate managed to pass water resources legislation, which would update outdated locks and dams and port facilities.
Walmsley They understand the importance of having this waterways infrastructure and how it fits into a national network of moving goods across the country, goods everyone needs. A lot of things move through our waterways and a lot more things move through our ports. So I think a lot of folks recognize it’s time to update these types of critical infrastructure.
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Ore. Christmas tress flock to Hawaii — pest concerns

November 27, 2013 --

By Oregon Department of Agriculture,

As the nation’s top producer of Christmas trees, Oregon wants to maintain its reputation for providing a clean and healthy product. With that in mind, officials with the Oregon Department of Agriculture will return to Hawaii next month for a second straight year to monitor shipments of Christmas trees for any pest and disease problems.

“Last year was a challenging year for Christmas tree growers shipping trees to Hawaii and for us as the certifying agency,” says Gary McAninch, manager of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Nursery and Christmas Tree programs. “We shipped about 250 containers of trees over there and 73 were found to have pests that Hawaii did not want. Those trees had to go through a cleaning process to get rid of the pests, which were primarily slugs.”

ODA’s decision to send people back to Hawaii this season was influenced by what happened in 2012.

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State medical pot laws face big changes

November 26, 2013 --

Natural Resource Note,

Oregon is looking to enact policy changes to the state’s medical marijuana laws. Among the items discussed was security, background checks and a $4,000 license fee. The Oregonian reports,

The requirements, crafted by state policy makers, police and marijuana advocates, are designed to provide oversight of an industry that’s long operated without interference by the state.The security rules, which draw on elements of Colorado’s medical marijuana dispensary rules, generated a spirited debate among officials on the 13-member panel, which was appointed by moderator Tom Burns, who oversees Oregon’s pharmaceutical drug program. Earlier this year, the Oregon Legislature approved House Bill 3460 which creates a registry of medical marijuana retail establishments. A committee has been meeting since late September to craft rules that would govern the industry. The committee is expected to meet again before its December deadline. The state will begin accepting applications from prospective dispensary operators March 3, 2014. Amy Margolis, a Portland criminal defense attorney who sits on the panel, said she worries about the proposed requirement that dispensaries maintain 30 days of archived video surveillance. Bars and pharmacies don’t have to follow such a rule, she said.


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ODA to lift dinotefuran rule, replace with label restrictions

November 25, 2013 --


By Daily Digger
Oregon Association of Nurseries

ODA to lift temporary dinotefuran rule, replace with label restrictions

The Oregon Department of Agriculture plans to lift temporary restrictions on the use of the insecticide dinotefuran, effective Dec. 24. These rules will be replaced with new, Oregon-specific label restrictions. The decision was announced on Thursday (Nov. 21) at a meeting of the House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

At that meeting, OAN Past President Carson Lord, co-owner of Tree Frog Nursery, spoke to legislators on behalf of the horticulture industry. “Neonicotinoid class insecticides are very effective when used properly,” he said. “In most instances, they offer a safer alternative for the workers who apply them and the people who park their cars under the trees where they are applied.”

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Record crops forecasted

November 22, 2013 --

By American Farm Bureau Federationfarm-bureua-usa

The November World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released by the Agriculture Department forecasts a record corn crop. November’s WASDE report projected the 2013 corn crop at 13.989 billion bushels will be a record crop, if realized, and more than a 3.2 billion bushel increase over the drought-stricken 2012 corn crop. The previous record for corn production was set in 2009.

“The seasonable fall weather across much of the nation helped late-planted crops develop and increased yield projections from the September report,” explained Todd Davis, American Farm Bureau Federation economist.

The USDA report predicts 2013-2014 corn ending stocks of 1.887 billion bushels, which is about a 130 percent increase in stocks from 2012-13.

“The ending-stocks ratio for corn is projected at 14.6 percent, which would be the largest stock-use ratio since 2005. This increase in stocks will likely cause prices to decline from a marketing-average price of $6.89 per bushel for 2012-2013 to a projected $4.50 per bushel for 2013-2014,” said Davis. The 2013 corn yield is estimated at 160.4 bushels per acre, up about 5 bushels from the last report in September.

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Farm Bureau: Saving rural Oregon lies with Wyden

November 20, 2013 --


By Barry Bushue, President
Oregon Farm Bureau

As Oregonians, we all face economic challenges that are difficult to surmount. Tragically, when it comes to economic decline, poverty, hunger, and despair in our rural communities, a substantial amount of the harm comes from our own federal government and its lack of wise management of Oregon’s greatest renewable natural resource: timber.

The federal government owns 60% of Oregon’s forest land. Since 1990 the timber harvest on these lands has declined more than 90% and currently contributes less than 12% of Oregon’s annual timber harvest. Timber operators have gone out of business, mills have closed, and related businesses like trucking have disappeared. As a result, there are no jobs, and parents can’t afford to provide their children the most basic of needs: food. In fact, 13 of Oregon’s 36 counties face double-digit unemployment and 25 Oregon counties have 50% or more of their school children on free and reduced lunches. Rural communities can no longer fund the most basic services. Earlier this year, Josephine County made headlines when it was unable to send a sheriff deputy to help an imperiled woman who called 911. Help never came.

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Energy Secretary: I’m not taking over BPA

November 19, 2013 --

Energy Secretary says he’s not taking over BPA
By Natural Resource News Note:

Despite hiring scandals at Bonneville Power, the U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz stated that he is not seeking to take control of the troubled administration despite taking over some of their functions.

The Oregonian reports.

The DOE has assumed control of Bonneville’s hiring and directed its head lawyer to report to DOE headquarters in the wake of investigations that found BPA had manipulated hiring practices, discriminated against veterans, and retaliated against whistleblowers who brought the problems to light. Customer groups and others in the region worry that DOE will usurp some of BPA’s decision making autonomy and reduce its responsiveness to regional concerns..

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State Ag looks at industrial hemp rules

November 18, 2013 --

By Daily Digger
Oregon Association of Nurseries

State drafting rules for industrial hemp production

Officials with the Oregon Department of Agriculture are drafting rules that could allow for the industrial production of hemp by next spring, according to a reportin the Oregonian newspaper (Portland, Ore.). Although industrial hemp comes from a non-intoxicating relative of the marijuana plant, the state has been hesitant to enact a 2009 law permitting production in Oregon due to concerns over possible conflict with federal law. Those concerns, however, have largely evaporated due to the federal government’s stance that it will not fight voter-approved laws in Washington and Colorado permitting the production of marijuana in specified circumstances. At least one Oregon farmer sees potential in hemp as a viable crop.

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Signs that food prices are down

November 15, 2013 --


By American Farm Bureau Federation

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th 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 $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48.

“The cost of this year’s meal, at less than $5 per serving, remains an excellent value for consumers,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas. “America’s farm and ranch families are honored to produce the food from our nation’s land for family Thanksgiving celebrations,” he said. “During this holiday season, many farmers and ranchers will be reaching out to consumers in-person or through social media, to answer questions about the food that they grow or the poultry and livestock they raise,” he added.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. There is also plenty for leftovers.The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at $21.76 this year. That was roughly $1.36 per pound, a decrease of about 3 cents per pound, or a total of 47 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2012.

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Eco-sabotage or Eco-terrorism?

November 13, 2013 --

Oregonians for Food and Shelter

A couple of weeks ago, The Oregonian printed a guest opinion written by two professors at Linfield College entitled Eco-sabotage should not be mistaken for eco-terrorism. In the piece, the authors wrote “She freed wild horses at the BLM corral in Burns while her friends set the place on fire. She helped do recon on a failed plot to burn a ski resort and more. But no one was ever hurt. She did not hijack a commercial airplane and run it into a tall building. She did not park a truckload of fertilizer outside a federal building, set the fuse and walk away. What she did was eco-sabotage, not terrorism-or “eco-terrorism,” the term adopted by the FBI and others to label all acts of sabotage committed in the name of animals or the environment.” (read here)

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