Monday, August 13, 2012

Farming in State and Local News

The rising cost of corn is causing Oregon farmers to grow their own, according to an article from The Oregonian. Since 2000 the crop's production for feedstock has almost doubled in Oregon, reaching $109 million in 2011. Dairy farmers and other livestock producers planted 14 million bushels of grain corn last year on nearly 58,000 acres. This year's drought in the Midwest is expected to push production even higher in Oregon next year as the price of corn continues to rise.

In other farming news, the Statesman Journal recently reported on the Willamette Valley's hay and straw crops. Rye-grass straw is a hot export commodity prized by Japanese cattle and dairy operators, with shipments from the Willamette Valley totaling 250,000 tons. Likewise, a similar grass crop called fescue is valued by dairy farmers in Korea, which receives 350,000 tons. Eastern Oregon, on the other hand, produces high-quality alfalfa crops. John Szczepanski of the U.S. Forage Export Council says the council is trying to expand the hay and straw market to China and the Middle East: "These are big markets for alfalfa...that have not been developed for straw."

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