Our Klamath Basin
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It’s a unique time in agriculture history
Herald and News 10/6/08
Brian Searle, an economist with the Oregon
Department of Agriculture, said this might be a very
unique time in history.
“We have this whole convergence of energy, food
and land and agriculture that are all kind of a perfect
storm coming together,” he said.
The state has programs encouraging farmers to
grow crops for fuel, but Searle said, wheat prices have
lured some farmers away from oil seed crops.
Additional consumer interest in where food comes
from and its level of safety are
sparking interest in certification programs as well.
Searle said the consumer interest has driven
more direct marketing in the form of roadside stands,
farmers markets and Internet-based sales, but it’s still
less than 1 percent of food sales.
“People by and large get their groceries at the
grocery store. Even there, people are interested in where
food comes from,” he said.
Preparing for next year will take some cost
management and planning, Searle said.
“Expenses are going to be higher, the net income
is probably going to be moderated, and we’re going to see
people making some careful decisions about what they plant
in 2009 and how they manage those crops.”
Willie Riggs, director of the Oregon State
University Klamath Basin Research Center, said farmers
must be astute business people in order to survive.
“Each acre is a machine in the factory, so they
are evaluating which machines are doing the best for
them,” he said.
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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