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Five-year trend shows ups and downs in Oregon ag

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Oregon crops and livestock have generally bounced back from the effects of a national recession, as shown by recent agricultural statistics:

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Oregon agriculture’s tremendous diversity is reflected in the fact that most crops and livestock are on the upswing the past five years while a handful are slow to reach the production levels of 2007. But the bottom line is that the state once again enjoyed a record high agricultural production value last year at 5.4 billion dollars. While there are certainly winners and losers among commodities, the overall trend shows farmers and ranchers have bounced back from the days of recession. Out of the top 40 commodities, only nine saw decreases in 2012 and compared to the numbers of 2007, only eight have dropped. The top 10 list contains familiar names, but the ranking usually varies from year to year. Last year, the top five included greenhouse and nursery products, cattle and calves, hay, milk, and wheat. The rest of the top 10 included grass seed, potatoes, pears, corn for grain and silage, and onions. The recession hammered both nursery products and grass seed. Both commodities have started coming back up but are nowhere near the levels of 2007. Outside the top 10, notable growth over a five-year stretch has been recorded for blueberries, wine grapes, cherries, mint, blackberries, and sheep and lambs. It’s hard to predict 2013 production values, but a five-year history suggests the general trend will be up. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.  1:15

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BRUCE POKARNEY, director of communications for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, says last year set another record for agricultural production value:

“There were a lot of winners last year and a few losers, but the bottom line is that Oregon agriculture’s value of production hit another record high of 5.4 billion dollars, topping the previous year’s high mark of 5.3 billion.”  :12

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POKARNEY lists the top 10 Oregon agricultural commodities by value of production:

“Greenhouse and nursery continues to top the list, followed by cattle and calves, hay, milk, and wheat cracking the top five. Filling out the top ten are grass seed, potatoes, pears, corn for grain and silage, and onions.”  :12

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POKARNEY says Oregon agriculture is somewhat protected from big highs and lows because of its diversity:

“Oregon ag produces more than 220 different commodities. That usually means there are several winners and some losers from year to year, but that tends to balance things out. Last year, there were many more commodities that enjoyed increased production value, which helped us set a new overall record.”  :15

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