Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Here's the Beef

Close to one-third of Oregon’s 35,439 farms are primarily involved in beef cattle ranching and farming. The 2012 Census of Agriculture also tells us that the nearly $900 million market value of cattle and calves sold in 2012 exceeded the market value of any other agricultural commodity in the state.

So, where’s the beef? In Oregon, it’s all over the place, but it’s especially prominent east of the Cascades.

Malheur County, in the southeast corner of Oregon, had a larger inventory of cattle and calves at the end of 2012 than any other county in the state, based on census of agriculture data. The 175,927 head of cattle in Malheur County as of December 31, 2012, outnumbered people by more than five to one.

Each of Oregon’s top eight counties for cattle and calves inventory in 2012 was an eastside county. Most of the counties below specialize in beef to varying degrees. However, Morrow (#2) and Tillamook (#10) achieved their respective rankings chiefly because of contributions from milk cows.

The market value of cattle and calves sold in Oregon in 2012 was 11.8 percent greater than five years earlier and 64.7 percent greater than 10 years earlier. That exceeded the gains posted by Oregon’s other agricultural commodities.

This article was written by Regional Economist Jason Yohannan.  For more on Oregon's Labor Trends, see our latest edition: Oregon Labor Trends July 2014.

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