The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


Wildfires & record setting temps effect on log prices

August 31, 2015 --

By Rick Sohn, PhD
Umqua Coquille LLC

Like last winter, extreme weather has hit again, this time in the form of a hot weather and serious localized forest fires. Markets and demand for wood products are continuing to improve. Trends of lumber, home construction, and housing markets, are compared to 2006.


Interpretation and Looking Ahead.
As I write this letter, various bombers and helicopters are flying overhead carrying water to fight human-caused wildfires in Douglas County, Oregon. Yesterday was the hottest day in Roseburg, Oregon, in 69 years, at 108 degrees. Apparently, it was 109 degrees once, in July 1946. The fires yesterday matched the temperature. The Cable Crossing fire, reached 830 acres. The Stouts fire, behaving more like an Eastern Oregon brush fire, grew to 6,000 acres on its first day. Plumes of smoke rose several miles into the air. While the forest firefighting agencies do heroic work, it’s difficult to fight temperatures in triple digits, winds in double digits, and humidities as low as single digits.

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Farm Bureau on Stock Crash

August 27, 2015 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

Micheal Clements of Farm Bureau talks about recent stock market downturn.

Clements: Following Monday’s large drop on Wall Street and a selloff in China, commodity markets are performing “as expected,” according to Farm Bureau deputy chief economist John Anderson.

Anderson: Well I think ag markets are kind-of reacting in the same way that everything else is reacting and that’s with a great deal of uncertainty. We had some pretty big numbers down on soybeans, on feeder cattle, but we didn’t see any limit down moves. That’s not a very high bar for success but I think given how fearful the markets seemed to be starting the day Monday that was not a terrible outcome.

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Oregon winemaker sues farmer

August 25, 2015 --

wine2Pinot Noir Winemaker Files Lawsuit
By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation

Willamette Valley Vineyard has filed a lawsuit against Five Cent Farm, Inc. They are claiming damage to their crop due to an herbicide drift onto the vines. Willamette Vineyard leases property from Elton Vineyard, which sits east of the grass-seed field leased by Five Cent Farm.

In 2013, after noticing symptoms of herbicide damage, Willamette Vineyard filed a report with the Department of Agriculture, which did an investigation. They concluded there had been damage due to an herbicide drift. The lawsuit claims approximately 12.7 tons of high-end commercial pinot noir wine grapes were damaged, resulting in the loss of 826 cases of wine valued at $413,780. The claim includes double or triple that amount, according to provisions of Oregon law protecting agriculture, plus legal fees.

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Grants for Oregon wildfire victims

August 24, 2015 --

mclane-mikeWildfire Damage Housing Relief Now Available For Oregon Wildfire Victims
By House Republican Leader Mike McLane

Individual Assistance Grants Provided Through Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Account

House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte)  announced that critical relief for wildfire victims is now available and accessible through the Wildfire Damage Housing Relief Account. Created through legislation sponsored by Rep. McLane and signed into law by Governor Kate Brown, the program serves as an additional resource for Oregon families that lose their homes or housing in a wildfire. According to the Malheur National Forest Joint Information Center, the Canyon Creek Complex Fire in eastern Oregon is considered the number one priority nationally for firefighting resources. The fire has so far destroyed 36 homes and burned through more than 50,000 acres.

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Feds share blame for wildfire crisis

August 21, 2015 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

As massive wildfires blaze across the West this week, the need to address the increasing wildfire threat is even more apparent. According to the Agriculture and Interior Departments, there are currently 19,000 interagency personnel fighting wildfires across 13 states. The Soda Fire that burned across southern Idaho and eastern Oregon consumed roughly 300,000 acres of rangeland, threatening the homes and lives of residents, livestock and wildlife.

While Washington bureaucrats call for more funds to suppress the growing fires, the Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent a letter to the White House today stressing the importance of proper natural resource management in order to help prevent these catastrophic events, and furthermore, the gross negligence and mismanagement of our nation’s forests and rangeland by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

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Fire Map: 106 fires surge in the West

August 19, 2015 --

NBC News showcases the 106 uncontained large fires that rage across Western America.  Sometimes it takes a picture to speak volumes.


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Lawmakers send $14M boost to OSU Ag

August 17, 2015 --

osu-homeBy Oregon State University Extension  Office

Oregon State University’s three statewide public service programs received a boost from the Oregon legislature with $14 million additional funds to support up to 40 new positions and stimulate new research and extension projects across the state.

The new funding package increases the programs’ base budget to $118 million for the biennium. Of that increased funding, $6 million will go to OSU’s Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station; $4.5 million to the OSU Extension Service; and $3.5 million to OSU’s Oregon Forest Research Laboratory.

“Oregonians everywhere in the state will see benefits from these expanded programs with new OSU faculty focused on important issues in their communities,” said Scott Reed, director of the OSU Extension Service and vice-provost for Outreach and Engagement at OSU.

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Grain farmers to see income hit

August 14, 2015 --

farm-bureua-usaBy American Farm Bureau Federation

Grain farmers should brace for a drop in net incomes this year as the prices for corn, soybeans and wheat have fallen significantly from recent years, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The latest Agricultural Prices report, released last week by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, indicated the index of prices received for crop production was down 11 percentage points from the same time last year, while the prices-paid index was unchanged. The situation for corn and soybeans is even more telling, with corn prices down by more than 20 percent from last year and soybeans off nearly a third.

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Drought: Why California is not Australia

August 12, 2015 --

California Farm Bureau

By Chris Scheuring

There has certainly been a great deal of furious legislative and administrative activity in the halls of government in this season of drought—some of it essential and very timely, and some of it simply opportunistic. The Farm Bureau team in Sacramento has been front and center in many of those processes, calibrating its efforts constantly to serve the California farmers and ranchers who constitute our diverse membership.

But one of the frothiest debates, in response to the current extremely dry spell, has been not before either the legislative or the executive branch, but in various corners of the mainstream media. Spurred by a few law professors and other pundits who are not interested in policy change at the margins, we have heard various breathless calls for wholesale regime change in the allocation of water resources—direct attacks on our water rights system—at a time in which those legal rules are the least of our worries.

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Blueberry farms close to breaking record

August 10, 2015 --

Early blueberry season may lead to record breaking yearBy Oregon Department of Ag.

One of the earliest blueberry harvests in decades is now underway in Oregon and, by the end of the season, it could be one for the record books. A mild winter and spring has led to excellent growing conditions. Combined with an increase in acres planted in blueberries, everything is ripe for a giant crop of the usual high-quality fruit.

“This could be the year we finally hit the 100 million pound mark for Oregon blueberry production,” says Bryan Ostlund, administrator of the Oregon Blueberry Commission. “The Pacific Northwest, in general, is off the charts with blueberry production this year and it’s exciting to see.”

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