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Oregon agriculture reaches $4 billion value for first time

 August 25, 2005

With a value of more than $4 billion for the first time in history, Oregon agriculture has reached an all-time high, according to newly revised figures released last week by the Oregon Agricultural Statistics Service.

The most recent OASS statistics show the value of agricultural production in Oregon last year reached $4.1 billion, nearly an 8 percent increase from 2003's record high of $3.8 billion for the more than 220 commodities produced and grown in Oregon.

Oregon agriculture recorded two other milestones last year. For the first time in history, two commodities, greenhouse and nursery products, and cattle and calves, topped the half billion dollar mark. Also for the first time, Oregon's top five commodities each have a value exceeding $350 million.

The current value of agricultural production in Oregon for 2004 includes a top 10 list according to value:

n Greenhouse and nursery products, $817 million

n Cattle and calves, $503 million

n Hay, $381 million

n Milk, $363 million

n Grass seed, $350 million

n Wheat, $201 million

n Christmas trees, $142 million

n Potatoes, $91 million

n Pears, $76 million

n Onions $74 million

The only changes in rank order from the previous year were milk and grass seed swapping places at fourth and fifth on the list, and pears and onions swapping places at ninth and 10th.

Among the top 10, the largest percentage increase in value last year was recorded by milk, at 33 percent, followed by hay and grass seed, at 20 percent each.

Pears, with a 19 percent increase, and cattle and calves, at 17 percent, also recorded significant increases in value of production. The greenhouse and nursery industry, the first Oregon agricultural commodity to crack the $800 million mark, saw a fairly modest 5 percent increase.

While a majority of the commodities produced in Oregon recorded increases in production value, there were some notable decreases. Among those in the top 10 that suffered from lower prices were Christmas trees with a decrease of 10 percent, potatoes with a decrease of 19 percent and onions with a decrease of 13 percent.

Oregon's diversity of agriculture protects the overall industry. Whereas Midwest states rely on just two or three commodities, Oregon boasts 36 that have a value of at least $10 million.


"That is always one of our strengths," said Janice Goodwin, director of OASS in a press release. "When some segments of our industry aren't doing so well, others usually have strong years."

For most of the past two decades there have been more winners than losers. Only twice in the past 19 years has the value of agricultural production in Oregon dropped from the previous year.

Statistics for 2005 will be tabulated next year.

For more information, contact Goodwin at (503) 326-2131.

- By Holly Owens

On the Net: www.egov.oregon.gov/ODA




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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