Monday, June 25, 2012

Local Farming News from North to South

A couple of agricultural stories caught our attention today.

The Albany Democrat-Herald discusses the potential shortage of agricultural workers across the U.S., and how this trend has played out in Linn and Benton counties. The piece reports that a decline in immigration and fewer teen hires over the past several years has made it difficult to fill farm jobs. As a result, farmers may have to start paying higher wages. Oregon State University Economist Bruce Sorte explains that this could eventually lead to higher food prices as farmers try to recoup increasing labor costs. Although most farmers in Linn and Benton counties grow less labor-intensive crops, the area is still struggling to attract workers. Learn more about agricultural labor shortages in the full article.

Moving to the southern part of the state, an article by Sustainable Business Oregon covers a unique farming model developed by a small business called The Farming Fish that combines hydroponic crop growth with aquaculture fish farming. The Rogue River-based company plans to produce 9,000 heads of lettuce and 1,500 pounds of Tilapia per month using this system. See the complete article for more details.

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