It’s Getting Harder To Farm In Oregon

All this talk about agri-business and factory farms has little to do with what’s going in here in Oregon. Most of our farmers make little money and only survive because someone in the family has outside work.

Rogue Farms malting barley growing in Tygh Valley, Oregon.
Rogue Farms malting barley growing in Tygh Valley, Oregon.

Our farms tend to be smaller than our neighbors (WA, ID and CA) and produce less value per farm.

A report from the Oregon Department of Agriculture explains what’s going on and suggests how to fix things.

All charts from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Chart 1 shows that expenses are rising faster than income. Overall, Oregon farmers are making less than they were from 2003 to 2007.

Chart 2: While the average income per farm is up, we’re making much less than farmers in surrounding states.

Chart 5: Most Oregon farms sell less than $10,000 per year, which means they’re working other jobs to make ends meet.

Chart 6: In Oregon, you have to sell about $100,000 a year worth of crops and livestock to support the family. Only about 12% of our farmers are able to do that.

Chart 7: Only a third of Oregon farmers are making some kind of profit.

And that’s not the full story. You can see we skipped some of the charts and the recommendations.

Here’s the link to the full report: 2013 State of the Agriculture Industry