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Grain and silage needs boost Oregon field corn production
8/8/2012
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Oregon has a new member to its top ten list of agricultural commodities. Corn grown for grain and silage has joined the party:



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Not to be confused with sweet corn for human consumption, field corn grown for grain or silage has cracked Oregon’s top ten commodities, ranking ninth with a production value of nearly 109 million dollars last year:

MERTZ:  “With a sizable increase in acreage we’ve been showing here in Oregon plus a nice increase in price, add that together, it shows that the value of the commodity being sold has increased tremendously from previous years.”  :12



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State Director Chris Mertz of the Oregon Agricultural Statistics Service says just in the past two years, the value of field corn grown in the state has jumped 111 percent. The reason for the big hike is simple. It’s related to the cost of feed:

MERTZ:  “We have corn being sold for silage, and that acreage has been increasing a little bit over time. But most of it is sold for grain in the state. In our state, most of that is being sold for feed, which will help support our dairies and the feedlots in the area.”  :14



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With the high cost of feed right now, it’s cheaper for livestock operators to grow their own field corn or purchase it locally and regionally from those who grow it, than it is to have it transported from the Midwest. Both the price and acreage may not be going down anytime soon as drought in the Midwest could affect the future cost of animal feed. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.



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MERTZ says the increase in acreage of field corn grown in Oregon is directly tied to the jump in the cost to feed livestock:

“Feed costs have gone up tremendously for all livestock producers in the country. Right now, it appears to be much cheaper to grow some locally, source it locally and buy it rather than typically hauling it in from the Midwest and the transportation costs.”  :15



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MERTZ says Oregon’s biggest increase in acreage and field corn production is taking place in Morrow and Umatilla counties:

“Where a lot of our bigger dairies are at and our bigger feedlots are at, in that north central area. It’s similar to other livestock production in the rest of the country. The corn is where the livestock are being fed.”  :10



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