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Number of small farms is growing in Oregon


ONTARIO — The 2017 Census of Agriculture is out and the number of acres of farmland in Oregon had declined from the census done in 2012, but the number of small farms is up, said Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor.

The ag census is done every five years, and this time Oregon was sixth in the nation for rates response at 73 percent, with Hood River County on top in the state at 80 percent.

The amount of farmland in Oregon had dropped by about 340,000 acres over the five-year period, Taylor said about the newly released statement. That shows the need for the state’s land use system, she said. As of 2017, the number of farms in Oregon was 37,616, with nearly 16 million acres still in production, putting the average farm size at 424 acres.

The report shows that labor is the top cost on farm, having increased 21 percent since 2012, she said.

Oregon ranked fourth in the nation for the number of female ag producers at 44 percent, compared to 36 percent for the U.S.

The census report includes farms at least 1 acre in size that sell at least $1,000 in farm products.

Other numbers for Oregon follow.

Top three counties by total value of crops:

• Marion, $702 million;

• Morrow, $596 million; and

• Clackamas, $376 million

Malheur County was close behind at about $353 million.

Top 3 ag products by value:

• Cattle and calves, $977 million;

• Nursery and greenhouse, $886 million;

• Hay, $780 million; and

• Vegetable crops, including potatoes and onions, were No. 5 in Oregon with sales of about $539 million.

For Malheur County, the total amount of cropland was 210,779 aces in 726 farms. Of that, acreage crops were harvested on 179,008 acres on 694 farms.


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              Page Updated: Tuesday April 23, 2019 01:10 AM  Pacific

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