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Farming issues and business resources

Biosecurity on the farm or ranch

Biosecurity has always been an important component of animal and crop disease control programs. The program is designed by the owner with the help and guidance of the owner’s veterinarian or other animal and crop health care professionals.

The goals of a biosecurity program are to prevent the introduction of disease onto the farm from outside sources, as well as prevent the transfer of disease within the farm environment. Biosecurity is not about building fences with razor wire, guarded gates, or water filled moats. It is about how you can protect your operation from profit robbing diseases. The costs of a biosecurity program are minimal while the benefits are great. Biosecurity is a way of thinking and it should be a top priority when planning and making important management decisions.

Develop a plan

Biosecurity requires a plan. The concept of avoiding or preventing the introduction of disease requires some thinking and planning in order for the results to be successful. No two biosecurity plans are exactly the same since no two properties or production units are exactly alike. Keep in mind that biosecurity is basically an economic decision. That is, there is a cost related to certain diseases in your animals or crops, and there is a cost to preventing them. A good plan will be useful and allow an operation to be profitable while the biosecurity plan is being implemented. It is important to consult with your veterinarian or crop health professional so that your efforts will be effective.

Identify risks

The following factors constitute disease exposure (or biosecurity risks):

  • Risks related to animals
  • Risks related to seed and other plant material
  • Risks related to mechanical traffic and/or human traffic
  • Risks related to feeds from off-site sources

Fundamental points common to all biosecurity programs

  • Observe your animals and crops daily for signs of disease
  • Be aware of unusual events or behavior changes in your animals
  • Minimize contact with animals belonging to others
  • Know the health status and disease control programs of any herd or flock from which you buy animals
  • Screen visitors who are in contact with your animals and crops

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
State veterinarian

Brad LeaMaster
635 Capitol St. NE 
Salem, OR 97301-2532 
Phone 503-986-4680 
Web oregon.gov/ODA/AHID

Plant Health Programs
Phone 503-986-4620
Web oregon.gov/ODA/CID/PLANT_HEALTH           

US Department of Agriculture
Area veterinarian in charge
Phone 503-399-5871 
Plant Protection and Quarantine Program
Phone 503-326-2814            

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Bird, predator, and rodent damage control

Who must comply?

Persons experiencing agricultural damage by migratory birds need to obtain a federal depredation permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) if birds are going to be killed. No federal or state permit is required to scare (haze) migratory birds, per OAR 635-043-00. The hazing of bald eagles, which are also protected by the Eagle Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, will require permits from the USFWS. If fireworks are to be used to haze birds from crops, a permit is required from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The use of certain methods and techniques to kill predatory animals may require permits. The use of propane cannons, however, is a non-regulated activity in exclusive farm zones.

Note: See section on “Right to Farm”

However, the use of a propane/noise cannon needs to be conducted in a reasonable and prudent manner, and to be generally accepted as a practice for which it is being used. Farmers employing noise cannons should use best management practices, monitor and move the cannons, and mix other control methods into the process so birds do not become acclimated.

Noise cannons can create conflicts with neighbors. Visit the ODA website for tips on being a good farm neighbor.

Web oregon.gov/ODA/docs/pdf/Good_Neighbor.pdf

Oregon Winegrowers Association offers best management practices (BMPs) (pdf) for use of propane cannons in wine grapes.

Web oregon.gov/ODA/docs/pdf/BirdPractices.pdf

Permits and licenses

Livestock owners or landowners are required to have an aerial hunting permit before killing coyotes from an aircraft. This permit is issued by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), Animal Health Programs, 503‑986‑4680.

A pesticide applicator license may also be required if a farmer or rancher intends to use certain EPA/ODA registered pesticides to control vertebrate animals. Contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture Pesticides Program, 503-986-4635.

Hazing any wildlife using agricultural fireworks requires a permit from the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Hazardous Materials, 503-378-3743.

Web oregon.gov/osp/SFM/pages/licensing_fireworks_aguse.aspx

Permits to kill game animals causing damage to agricultural crops and property are issued by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 503-229-5454, ext. 467 or ext. 478.


The US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Wildlife Services (USDA/WS) provides recommendations to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for federal permits to take (kill) protected migratory birds that are damaging agricultural crops or property.

USDA/WS provides demonstrations, loan or sale of supplies and equipment to haze (scare) migratory birds, and makes recommendations to the Office of the State Fire Marshal regarding issuance of permits for agricultural use of fireworks.

Additionally, USDA/WS provides resources to farmers or ranchers and residential property owners regarding wildlife damage management. USDA/WS provides direct control activities in some counties. USDA/WS also provides recommendations to farmers or ranchers; property owners; and federal, state and municipal land managing agencies regarding field rodent damage control. The program may provide control or technical assistance (extension/education) activities to those having property loss by field rodents (ground squirrels, gophers, moles, beaver, nutria, etc.) depending on county funding. USDA/WS also conducts control activities (e.g., bird control, predator control, etc.).


Contact USDA/WS and request assistance before taking control measures. USDA/WS will respond to the request and make recommendations based on demonstrated need. Special permits may be needed in some circumstances. The landowner is responsible for complying with all applicable state and federal laws or regulations and conditions of the permit. USDA/WS is available to explain these laws to agricultural producers. USDA/WS may be contacted at 503-326-2346.

Record keeping

Licenses issued by the respective agencies outline the required record keeping requirements.

Safety and training

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has specific responsibilities regarding storage and use of fireworks for protection of agricultural crops. USDA/WS provides assistance and training in the safe and proper use of all wildlife damage control methods and techniques, including fireworks.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has regulatory authority for all pesticides registered and used for wildlife damage management. Several other sources of information for safety and training are available as well, including the OSU County Extension Offices and ODA Pesticides Program.

Technical assistance

US Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
Wildlife Services (USDA/WS) 
David E. Williams 
6135 NE 80th, Suite A-8 
Portland, OR 97218 
Phone 503-326-2346 
Web www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage
Pesticide registration
Oregon Department of Agriculture
Pesticides Program
635 Capitol St. NE 
Salem, OR 97301-2532 
Phone 503-986-4635 
Web oregon.gov/ODA/PEST 
Fireworks permits
Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal
Bureau of Hazardous Materials
Phone 503-378-3743          

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The Oregon Department of Agriculture has established control areas for production of canola, a variety of rapeseed, in order to protect other crops against plant diseases, plant pests, or other conditions that may constitute a menace. Using its control area authority, ODA has set up protected districts in which canola production is excluded except under special conditions. Those districts include the Willamette Valley Protected District; Central Oregon Protected District; Northeast Oregon Protected District; and, Malheur/Idaho Protected District. ODA may issue research permits in any protected district providing exemptions to the rapeseed control area rules. 

On August 14th, 2013, Governor Kitzhaber signed into law HB2427 relating to the growing of canola in the Willamette Valley. The law does the following:

  • Establishes a moratorium on the growing and raising of canola within a defined protected district of the Willamette Valley.
  • Authorizes growing not more than 500 acres of canola within the protected district for the purpose of carrying out the Oregon State University research that was funded and authorized by the 2013 Oregon State Legislature.
  • Allocates $679,000 to Oregon State University to carry out the research proposal.

At the conclusion of the research, Oregon State University will compile a report with the outcomes of the research study and present its findings no later than November 1, 2017 to the Oregon State Legislature. The law is effective upon signing by the governor until January 2, 2019, at which point it sunsets.

Technical Assistance

For questions about canola production in Oregon and ODA’s rapeseed (canola) control areas, contact:

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Plant Program
Dan Hilburn, Director
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4636
Fax 503-986-4786
Web oregon.gov/ODA/Pages/canola.aspx

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Energy and agriculture

Major opportunities exist for Oregon agriculture in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Oregon farms and ranches create many potential feedstocks to generate energy and fuels, and can also develop energy facilities such as solar-powered systems, wind turbines, small hydropower facilities, and geothermal systems. A variety of tools and practices are available to producers to reduce energy use and costs. Technologies and incentives for renewable energy and energy conservation are improving.

25 x ‘25

25 x ‘25 is a broad coalition of business, conservation, and government representatives who share the following vision: by 2025, America’s farms, forests and ranches will provide 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber.

Energy efficiency

As fuel and power costs rise, most growers are exploring opportunities to save energy. A variety of programs and technologies are available to reduce energy use for different components of agricultural operations. No-till or reduced tillage offers fuel savings in addition to benefits to soil quality. Precision farming equipment can reduce both fuel and fertilizer use. In addition to changing to more efficient irrigation equipment, management strategies such as soil moisture monitoring and frequent nozzle inspection and replacement can help reduce energy use from irrigation. Livestock buildings, agricultural processing facilities, and greenhouses can save energy by replacing lighting, switching to more efficient heating and cooling systems, and other strategies.

Biomass and biofuels

A variety of agricultural crops and by-products can generate heat, electricity, and fuel. Oilseed crops can be crushed and converted to biodiesel, and corn can be processed to produce ethanol. Several biofuel companies and researchers are refining technologies to produce cellulosic ethanol, pellets, and electricity from materials such as grass straw, poplars, and biosolids. Livestock manure, crop residues, and food processing by-products can be used in methane digesters. Wood waste from nursery clippings, poplars, junipers, and forest slash materials can power boilers to generate heat and electricity.

Solar energy

Solar energy systems work well across Oregon, which receives as much sun as the national average. Photovoltaic (PV) systems generate electricity for a variety of home and business uses. In agriculture, growers may be able to use PV systems to power pumps for irrigation and livestock watering, supply electricity to buildings, heat water, and charge electric fencing. “Passive solar” buildings can also be designed to maximize heating with solar energy.


Small hydroelectric or micro-hydro systems may be installed in irrigation ditches as well as streams. Water may be diverted by pipe (called a penstock) or channel to a turbine, generating electricity. Small hydro projects are generally highly efficient once installed. The permitting process to install small hydro projects has been streamlined for many cases, but it still can be fairly extensive compared with other types of renewable energy.


Oregon farms and ranches host large-scale wind power developments, and can also use smaller wind turbines to supply power to their own operations. Turbine output depends heavily on wind speeds, both at your site and at the specific height of the turbine. Wind power is generally economical only if your site has an average wind speed of 10 miles per hour or more. Several websites can help you determine if wind power may be an option at your operation:

Energy Trust of Oregon has a wind mapping tool on its website.


Geothermal wells deliver steam or hot water to the ground surface, which can be used for heating or electricity generation. Geothermal heat pumps can also be used for heating at the home and farm scale. Examples of agricultural uses of geothermal energy include heating greenhouses, heating processing water, or heating a fruit or vegetable drying facility.

Geothermal resources exist in parts of central, eastern, and southern Oregon. The Oregon Institute of Technology has a list of known geothermal resources online.

Incentives for energy projects

Oregon’s Energy Incentive Program is administered by the Oregon Department of Energy. The program offers competitive grants for renewable energy projects, tax credits for qualifying conservation projects under $20,000 in cost, and competitive tax credits for conservation projects above $20,000 in cost.

Oregon’s biomass credit offers per-unit incentives for eligible biopower and biofuel feedstocks. More information and application forms are available on the Oregon Department of Energy’s website.

The Oregon Department of Energy offers loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, as well as use of recycled materials to create products and projects that use alternative fuels. Loan amounts typically range from $20,000 to $20,000,000.

The Energy Trust of Oregon provides incentives and support to help businesses install qualified energy efficient equipment and install certain renewable energy projects. Oregon customers of Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, NW Natural Gas, and Cascade Natural Gas are eligible for efficiency projects. Oregon customers of Pacific Power and Portland General Electric are eligible for renewable energy projects connected to the Pacific Power or PGE power grid. For more information, call Energy Trust.

Toll-free 1-866-368-7878
Web energytrust.org

USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program offers competitive grants for up to 25 percent of the costs of energy efficiency and renewable projects, as well as guaranteed loans for up to 50 percent of project costs. For more information, contact the USDA Rural Development Office at 503-414-3366 in Portland or in Pendleton at 541-278-8049 x129.

A variety of federal tax credits are available for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. For example, there is a 30 percent federal investment tax credit for solar and small wind projects.

Web dsireusa.org

For more information

Oregon Department of Energy
Web oregon.gov/ENERGY

25 X ’25
For inquiries regarding agricultural, forestry, and conservation sector involvement, please contact
Ernie Shea
Email eshea@25x25.org
Web 25x25.org

Note: For land use and zoning questions please see the section on Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) Zones and Permitted Non-Farm Uses.

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Exclusive farm use (EFU) zones and permitted non-farm uses

Oregon law establishes the following statewide policy for use of agricultural land (ORS 215.243):

  • Open land used for agriculture is a vital natural and economic asset for all the people of the state.
  • Preservation of a maximum amount of agricultural land, in large blocks, is necessary to maintain the agricultural economy of the state and for the assurance of adequate, healthful, and nutritious food.
  • Expansion of urban development in rural areas is a public concern because of the conflicts between farm and urban activities.
  • Incentives and privileges are justified to owners of land in exclusive farm use zones because such zoning substantially limits alternatives to the use of rural lands.

Statewide Planning Goal 3, “Agricultural Lands” requires all agricultural lands to be inventoried and preserved by adopting exclusive farm use zones. Local counties are responsible for planning and zoning, subject to approval by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). Allowable non-farm uses are incorporated into local zoning regulations.

Definition of farm use (ORS 215.203)

Farm use means the current employment of land primarily for obtaining a monetary profit by raising, harvesting, and selling crops; feeding, breeding, managing, and selling livestock, poultry, fur-bearing animals, and honeybees; dairying; or any other agricultural or horticultural use. Farm use also includes the preparation, storage, and disposal by marketing or otherwise of the products or by-products raised on such land for human or animal use. The definition includes land lying fallow for one year as a normal and regular requirement of good agricultural husbandry; land planted in orchards or other perennials prior to maturity; any land constituting a woodlot of less than 20 acres contiguous to and owned by the owner of land classified for farm use; dry or water covered wasteland in or adjacent to land in farm use; land under dwellings or buildings supporting farm practices; or land used for processing crops from the farm into biofuels to be used on the farm or neighboring farms. Farm use also includes the stabling or training of equines (horses, mules, etc.) along with riding lessons and training clinics; the propagation, cultivation, maintenance, and harvesting of aquatic bird or animal species as allowed by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission. Farm use does not include land subject to timber assessment under, ORS Chapter 321, except for Christmas trees and poplar farms.

Eligibility for special tax use zoning

To be eligible for preferential farm value, the land must be employed in a farm use as described in, ORS 308A.056. For lands located outside an exclusive farm use zone, the landowner must file an application with the county assessor by April 1 of the first year in which such assessment is desired. Applications for farm use special assessment are only necessary in non-EFU zones.

Note: Refer to the “Property Tax Special Assessment” section of this handbook for more information.

Limitation on restrictions by governing bodies

No state agency, city, county, or political subdivision may enact local laws or ordinances, restrictions or regulations that would restrict or regulate farm structures or accepted farming practices because of noise, dust, odor, or other materials carried in the air, arising from farm operations in farm use zones, that do not extend into an adopted urban growth boundary, unless the practice affects the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the state. (ORS 215.253)

Nuisance complaints

State law requires a county governing body or its designate to apply a condition of approval of a single-family dwelling, that the landowner of the dwelling sign a statement declaring that the landowner will not complain about accepted farming or forest practices on nearby lands devoted to farm or forest use (ORS 215.293). Farm operators may want to contact their county planning department regarding this requirement if nuisance complaints are increasing as a result of new single-family dwellings near exclusive-use farm land. Additionally, the 1993 Oregon Legislature passed “right-to-farm” provisions (see Chapter 792, Oregon Laws 1993, ORS 30.930-30.947), which protect acceptable farming practices from nuisance suits. Contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture (Jim Johnson, 503-986-4706) for information on the right-to-farm law.

Another option for resolving nuisance complaints is mediation. Contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture Farm Mediation Program (800-347-7028) to discuss this alternative. Mediation is a voluntary process involving a third-party mediator who facilitates discussions and seeks potential resolutions to the disputes of the parties.

Note: For more information see the “Oregon Farm Mediation Program” section of this handbook.

Permitted non-farm uses on EFU land (ORS Chapter 215)

All rural landowners should contact their county planning department prior to siting or building any structure or starting any non-farm use activity. Non-farm uses require prior approval by the respective county. Fines may be levied by the county if prior approval is not obtained.

Certain non-farm uses may be allowed, and their approval standards are incorporated into local zoning regulations; additional approval standards may apply to non-farm use on high value farmland.

Technical variations exist between counties, so contact your county planning department or Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), 503-934-0069, for details. The following types of non-farm uses, among others, are generally allowed in exclusive farm use zones except that some uses (*) are not allowed on “high value” farmland (OAR 660-033-0020(8)):

  • Public or private K-12 schools serving rural communities*
  • Forest product propagation and harvesting
  • Dwelling for farm use
  • Farm buildings
  • Farm stands
  • Mineral exploration and mining
  • Farmworker housing
  • Land-based application of reclaimed water for farm use
  • Winery
  • Private playgrounds or campgrounds*
  • Commercial dog boarding kennels
  • Room and board services (five guest limit) in existing residences
  • Home occupations including bed and breakfasts
  • Commercial activities in conjunction with farm use including biofuels
  • Churches and cemeteries*
  • Utility service
  • Geothermal exploration or production
  • Community centers for rural communities
  • Replacement of an existing dwelling
  • Landscaping business in conjunction with a nursery
  • Guest ranches in Eastern Oregon
  • Siting for solid waste disposal*
  • Creation or restoration of wetlands
  • Private hunting and fishing preserves*
  • Golf courses*
  • Small-scale crop, poultry and biofuels processing facilities
  • Agri-tourism events and activities
  • Commercial power generating facilities

Wind and Solar Facilities

Wind and solar facilities that are primarily intended to provide power to a farm are normally considered to be accessory uses to the farm. Larger-scale wind or solar facilities that are connected to the grid are considered to be commercial power generating facilities, which are a conditional use in EFU zones. Over the last several years, DLCD has adopted rules to guide the siting of commercial wind and solar facilities in EFU zones to encourage their siting on less productive farmland and to minimize adverse impacts to adjacent farm operations. These rules may be found at OAR 660-033-0130(37) and (38). Please see the section on Energy and Agriculture for a discussion of alternative energy opportunities on farms.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
Katherine Daniels
Farm and Forest Lands Specialist
635 Capitol St NE, Suite 150
Salem, OR 97301-2540
Phone 503-934-0069
Fax 503-378-5518
Email katherine.daniels@state.or.us
Web oregon.gov/lcd

DLCD regional representatives

Central Oregon
Phone 541-325-6927

Central Willamette Valley
Phone 971-239-9453

Clackamas and Multnomah counties
Phone 971-725-2183

Columbia and Washington counties
Phone 503-725-2182

Eastern Oregon
Phone 541-962-3982

North Coast
Phone 541-812-5448

Northern Willamette Valley
Phone 503-934-0056

South Coast
Phone 541-574-1584

Southern Oregon
Phone 541-414-7932

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Farm Mediation Program

What is mediation?

Farming and ranching are getting more complicated. Many of the challenges facing producers involve issues that affect other parties.

Mediation offers a way to bring people together to resolve differences outside the courtroom. This is one of the most beneficial things about mediation-bringing all interested parties to the table at the same time-saving everyone time and money. Mediation is conducted by trained, professional mediators who know how to help people resolve problems.

When to consider mediation

If you are having problems with any of the following types of ag-related disputes, mediation may be a way to resolve the situation:

  • Nuisance complaints
  • Boundary disagreements
  • Trespass situations
  • Labor or wage disputes between ag employer and employee(s)
  • Sales agreements or contracts
  • Landlord or tenant issues
  • Multiple party agreements
  • Partnership dissolution
  • Family farm transfers
  • Shared irrigation water lateral ditches

What does it cost?

The Oregon Farm Mediation Program provides professional mediators for agricultural and rural disputes at $30 per hour, per party.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Farm Mediation Program
Stephanie Page
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 800-347-7028
Web oregon.gov/ODA/Pages/mediation.aspx

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Farm scales

Who must comply?

Owners or operators of farm scales used for commercial purposes (buying, selling, or processing commodities by weight, and using those weights to determine charges or payments) in Oregon, must obtain an annual scale license from the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures Program, as provided for by, ORS 618.121. In basic terms, whenever money, credit, or something of value changes hands based on the reading of a farm or ranch scale, that scale is being used commercially in Oregon. This applies to the sale of commodities, supplies, produce, livestock, etc., or to the custom cleaning or processing by weight of any such items.

Types of farm scales covered

The licensing requirement applies to all types of weighing devices or scales used on a farm for commercial purposes. Types of scales may include, but are not limited to, roadside stand produce scales, feed, seed, or fertilizer scales, livestock and animal scales, and truck scales.


Licensing requirements do not cover scales that are located on a farm or ranch, but are not used for any commercial purpose.

Licensing period

The annual license period for scales and weighing devices in Oregon is July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Scales are to be licensed prior to use. Annual renewal notices are mailed out each year in mid-May, preceding their June 30 expiration date. Farm or ranch scales licensed for use beginning other than July 1, pay the full annual license fee. There is no prorating of fees for scales licensed midyear, since the cost of official field certification remains the same.​

Penalty fee for delinquent renewals

ORS 561.300 provides for the Oregon Department of Agriculture to collect a delinquent renewal penalty fee if the licensee fails to renew the license before the 60th day after the license expiration date. Renewals cannot be processed until delinquent fees are paid.

Scale license fee amounts

Annual scale license fees are based on the scale manufacturer’s rated weighing capacity of the system, not a lesser “used” amount.​

Rated capacity

Current fee

0 to 400 pounds capacity

$ 39

401 to 1,160 pounds capacity

$ 80

1,161 to 7,500 pounds capacity

$ 161

7,501 to 60,000 pounds capacity

$ 242

Over 60,000 pounds capacity

$ 242

Under 10 tons per hour*

$ 304

10 to 150 tons per hour*

$ 473

151 to 1,000 tons per hour*

$ 946

Over 1,000 tons per hour*

$ 2,101

* Continuous weighing systems (i.e., automatic bulk weighing systems, belt scales and mass flow meters).

Official certification

Currently licensed farm and ranch scales are audited and certified by the department’s inspectors on a periodic basis. For most scales, that is normally within a 12-18 month interval. Seasonally used scales are normally audited and certified just prior to the season when they are used. Scales that are licensed, suitable for their intended use, correctly installed, properly maintained, and accurate, will be certified and receive an examination seal when inspected and tested by a department inspector.

All scales approved for commercial use in Oregon must meet National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 44 requirements for commercial weighing and must have an active National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Certificate of Conformance unless otherwise exempted. In addition, any device put into commercial use must be licensed and must have a “Placed in Service” report filed with the Weights and Measures Program. “Not-legal-for-trade” weighing devices are not intended by their manufacturers to be used commercially and cannot be accepted in Oregon.

The necessary test equipment and standards to perform adequate performance tests of all scales are not continuously available in all parts of Oregon all months of the year. Scales that cannot be certified when the appropriate agency equipment is in the area may have to wait until the next visit. If a scale test is required on a more frequent basis, such as to satisfy USDA Grain Inspection Service or Packers and Stockyards Administration requirements, the testing may be done by a qualified scale company, at the scale owner/operator’s expense.

Repair or replacement

If a farm or ranch scale is tagged with a “repair notice order” or “stop use order” following an agency inspection, it will need to be corrected within the time specified. If it cannot be corrected within the time specified, or if it cannot be repaired, it must be replaced or permanently taken out of service. Current scale licenses can be transferred to replacement devices.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Weights and Measures Program 
635 Capitol St NE 
Salem, OR 97301-2532 
Phone 503-986-4670 
Fax 503-986-4784 
Web oregon.gov/ODA/MSD

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Farm to School

What is farm to school in Oregon?

While Farm to School programs are unique to the place and people who run them, they consist of a spectrum of activities that both serve up and celebrate our agricultural bounty. At its core, Farm to School connects schools (K through 12) and early care education settings (sub-categorized as Farm to Preschool) to local food producers with the objectives of serving local, healthy foods in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health, and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. 

Farm to School implementation differs by locations, but includes one or more of the following intervention touch points: (1) cafeterias where local foods are procured, promoted and served; (2) classrooms where students participate in curricular connections with agriculture, food, health, and nutrition; (3) outdoor learning spaces and school gardens where students engage in hands-on learning and where lessons are physically reinforced; (4) home and family, where students bring information, food, seeds, and materials, and family members join Farm to School activities at school; and (5) broader community where students engage in field trips and service learning, community members participate in Farm to School at school, and community locations mirror procurement, promotion, and serving of local foods in schools.

The Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Grant program is administered by the Oregon Department of Education. The increased focus on improving the school food environment coupled with recently passed federal and state legislation provides a significant opportunity for Oregon agricultural products.

Web ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=379

What’s happening in Oregon?

As of 2012, 70 of the state’s 189 school districts are purchasing Oregon foods including specialty crops as well as seafood, beef, poultry, dairy, legumes, and grains. A recent 2013 telephone survey found that there are also 482 school gardens, up from 200 five years ago. School gardens are an important to ensure students have multiple hands-on exposures to Oregon foods, increase students’ familiarity with them, and result in greater consumption of garden-grown items.

Keystones to supporting the expansion of Farm to School activities and the promotion of Oregon agricultural products to school food service, children, and families in Oregon include the Oregon Harvest for Schools toolkit, FoodCorps, and Celebrate Oregon Agriculture! campaign. 

The Oregon Harvest for Schools toolkit, spearheaded by the Oregon Department of Education and funded through an ODA Specialty Crop Block Grant, gives schools the tools to promote Oregon agricultural products being served to kids and their families, and connects what is happening in the cafeteria with the classroom. 

Web ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3294

The Oregon Department of Agriculture hosts FoodCorps, a national AmeriCorps service program where service members volunteer for one year in an Oregon community focused on Farm to School and School garden activities. Now in its third year, FoodCorps service members currently serve in 6 counties in Oregon (Benton, Jackson, Marion, Multnomah, Tillamook, and Union counties). There is also a FoodCorps Fellow, housed at ODA, who helps manage the FoodCorps program.

Web foodcorps.org/where-we-work/oregon

ODA has developed and piloted Celebrate Oregon Agriculture! a multi-platform television, print, and online campaign designed to motivate parents and caregivers of school-aged children to purchase, prepare, and consume Oregon agriculture. From July 2012 to June 2013, more than 30 million media impressions have been generated by the campaign. All television segments are online at:

Web oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD/pages/celebrate_oregon_agriculture.aspx

How do you find a school interested in buying locally produced foods?

FoodHub boasts a list of over 250 pre-schools, K-12 schools, colleges, and healthcare facilities interested in purchasing locally. Logon for free and start meeting schools interested in purchasing locally.

Web food-hub.org​

What locally produced foods are schools buying?

Everything! Many farm to school efforts start off with schools purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables directly from neighboring farmers. Schools want fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables, as well as multi-ingredient menu items. Increasingly, schools are interested in locally produced grains, beef, and seafood.

How do schools define “local” for the purposes of buying local?

It is at the discretion of each school to define local. In Oregon, some schools define local as within 20 miles, others within in the county, and some larger districts use “the Pacific Northwest” to include Oregon, and parts of Washington and Northern California.

Technical assistance

To learn more about Farm to School and to access answers to frequently asked questions, contact Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe, PhD at the Oregon Department of Agriculture or visit the USDA Farm to School website:

USDA Farm to School Initiative
Web http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Marketing Program
Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe 
Phone 503-872-6600 
Fax 503-872-6601
Email mmarkesteyn@oda.state.or.us           

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Federal motor carrier safety regulations (FMCSR)

Who must comply?

The federal motor carrier safety regulations apply to farm operations if a commercial motor vehicle is used to transport property or passengers in interstate commerce. FMCSR also apply to anyone transporting migrant farm workers in interstate commerce.


Commercial motor vehicle (CMV)

    • A truck and/or trailer combination with a gross weight, GVWR or GCWR of 10,001 pounds or more
    • A vehicle of any size that is used to transport a hazardous material requiring placarding
    • A bus designed to transport more than 15 persons, including the driver

Interstate commerce

    • To operate across state lines, including international boundaries
    • To operate wholly within a state as part of a through-movement that originates or terminates in another state or country

The first requirement is to obtain a USDOT number, one per legal entity, and mark that on the vehicle(s) used in interstate commerce. You may obtain a USDOT number for free online.

Web fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/registration-licensing.htm

The FMCSR has several parts, each covering a separate subject, including qualification of drivers, working and driving limitations for drivers, parts and accessories necessary for safe operation of vehicles, inspection of vehicles, repair and maintenance requirements for vehicles, and specific rules for transporting migrant farm workers (additional equipment and inspections are required for vehicles used to transport migrant farm workers).

Note: Also see the sections on “Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act,” “Federal hazardous materials regulations,” and “Pesticide use, distribution, transportation, and storage” regarding the transport of hazardous materials.

Additionally, under some circumstances a commercial drivers license (CDL) and drug and alcohol testing may be required. Anyone who operates a CMV over 10,000 pounds in interstate commerce must have a valid medical card in his/her possession that meets USDOT requirements.

Technical assistance

US Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
530 Center St NE, Suite 440 
Salem, OR 97301 
Phone 503-399-5775 
Fax 503-316-2580 
Web fmcsa.dot.gov           
USDOT number registration
Web fmcsa.dot.gov/registration

Safety status by USDOT number
Web safer.fmcsa.dot.gov

Education and Technical assistance
Web fmcsa.dot.gov/safety​

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The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Fertilizer Program inspects and registers fertilizer, agricultural mineral, lime, and agricultural amendment products distributed in Oregon. Distribution includes import, consignment, sale, offer of sale, barter, or other exchange or facilitation to supply fertilizer, agricultural amendment, agricultural mineral, or lime products. All of these products must be registered with ODA before they can be distributed in Oregon. These materials are monitored and regulated to provide the following:

  • Uniform and accurate product labeling
  • Assurance, through sampling and analysis, that products provide the nutrients and other benefits advertised
  • Protection for Oregon’s environment and natural resources from heavy metals, excess nutrients, and other contaminants
  • Support for a fertilizer research and development program that funds research projects on the interactions of products with ground or surface water

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Fertilizer Program
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4635
Web oregon.gov/ODA/PEST/Pages/fertilizer.aspx

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​​Field burning

Who must comply?

In the Willamette Valley of Western Oregon, permission to field-burn grass seed and cereal grain crop residue must be obtained from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).


  • 15,000 acres maximum may be burned annually. Of these 15,000 acres, only identified species (specific varieties of grass seed residue) can be burned.
  • Stack burning and propane flaming is not permitted.
  • Field burning is not permitted in Benton County, Lane County, and most of Linn County.

Current law regulating field burning can be found in, ORS 468.550 and administrative rules 603-077-0101 through 603-077-0195.

Each year in March, growers are required to pre-register all acreage to be burned with the ODA Smoke Management Program. Once field burning commences (generally in mid-July) growers must obtain a permit in order to burn their fields. If a grower is new to the program, he or she can receive more information by calling the Smoke Management Program at 503-986-4701.

During the summer field-burning season, ODA closely monitors Willamette Valley weather conditions. ODA issues field burning permits when it is anticipated that weather conditions are conducive for smoke dispersal to accommodate a maximum amount of burning with minimal impact to the public.


Grass seed growers must comply with the following:

  • Register each field and pay appropriate fees
  • Obtain field burn permits prior to any burning
  • Notify their local fire district of intent to burn
  • Monitor the smoke management radio network for authorization or prohibition of burning
  • Burn only specific fields at specific times as directed by ODA
  • Prepare fields as required prior to burning
  • Have proper fire fighting equipment on site prior to burning
  • Execute burning in a timely fashion
  • Provide advance warning signage and flaggers on roadways near field burns as appropriate
  • Extinguish fires when directed by ODA

Record keeping

ODA keeps records of registration, mapping of registered acreage, issuance of burn permits, weekly burn reports, receipt and processing fees, and meteorological conditions.

Safety and training

Each grower must prepare firebreaks prior to burning and have the required fire-fighting equipment on site prior to burning. Growers should be familiar with smoke management and state fire marshal rules and regulations.


ODA employs field inspectors to ensure program compliance through on-site visits, document review, and complaint investigation. Violations may involve verbal or written warnings, or civil penalties up to $100,000 depending upon the severity of the violation.

Fee schedule

Registration for open field burning
$4.00 per acre

Burn fees
$20.00 per acre for open field burning

Technical assistance

Questions regarding field burning, rule interpretation, fire safety buffer zones, and problem resolution can be directed to the Smoke Management Program, Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Smoke Management Program
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4701

Oregon Seed Council
494 State St, Suite 220
Salem, OR 97301
Phone 503-585-1157

Office of the State Fire Marshal
4760 Portland Road NE
Salem, OR 97305-1540
Phone 503-378-3473

Oregon State University
Crop and Soil Science Department
Crop Science Building, Room 107
Corvallis, OR 97331-3002
Phone 541-737-2821

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Grants and financial resources for producers and agribusiness

Grants are highly competitive and require a well-planned and researched concept. Grants for purchasing land or paying general farm operating expenses are very rare. Most grants or financial programs provide incentives for specific types of production activities, such as field tests for new technologies or conservation related practices. Grants or tax credits may fund development of new products and markets, or employment of new technologies (energy conservation tax credits, for example). Many grants require matching funds.

Grants are cyclical; they come and go in funding cycles. The Oregon Department of Agriculture grant webpage lists resources on agriculture-related grants, loan information, and business plan assistance.

Pay attention to the funding cycle of a grant. Grant notices may stay on the website even though the application period may be expired. This will allow you to learn of the grant, see the requirements and specific criteria, and prepare for the next round of competition if it is something that fits your situation. Please note that ODA does not administer most of these grants.

Technical assistance

Information on grants and tax credits

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Web oregon.gov/ODA/Pages/grants.aspx

Business assistance

Marketing Program
Phone 503-872-6600
Web oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD

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A listing of Oregon attorneys who specialize in agricultural issues can be obtained from the Oregon State Bar, Agricultural Law Section, or from one of the websites listed below. The Oregon State Bar also has a Referral and Information Services Program. Referral and Information Services (RIS) comprise several public and member services that link people seeking legal assistance with lawyers and programs able to assist them. Legal Referral Service (LRS) clerks refer calls from members of the public to participating attorneys based on location, area of law, and special services offered. Approximately 1,500 attorneys in private practice participate in the LRS program.

The Oregon Farm Bureau offers a Farm Employer Education and Legal Defense Service (FEELDS). FEELDS helps members with farm labor law compliance and then provides legal representation should a legal proceeding be initiated against the member. For details on this member-service program call 503-399-1701, ext. 316

Web oregonfb.org/programs/farm-employer-education-legal-defense-service-feelds

Technical assistance

Oregon State Bar
Referral and Information Services
Phone 503-684-3763 or 800-452-7636
Web lawyers.findlaw.com or osbar.org

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New and small farms

ODA has dedicated resources specifically to helping small farms and local markets. ODA’s New and Small Farms website describes these resources as well as a variety of other state, federal, local, private and non-profit resources. 

ODA New and Small Farms


Beginning and expanding farmer loan program

In 2013, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2700. This bill directed the Oregon Business Development Department, in consultation with ODA and potential lenders, to develop and implement a Beginning and Expanding Farmer Loan Program. The goal of the program is to facilitate loans to agripreneurs who want to start or expand a farm.


FoodHub is an online marketplace that can help buyers and sellers, of all sizes, identify one another. FoodHub can be very valuable to small farmers lacking the resources to make themselves known to a wide variety of potential buyers.

​Web food-hub.org

OSU Small Farm Program resources and workshops

USDA Transition Incentives Program

The USDA Transition Incentives Program (TIP) provides up to two additional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) annual rental payments to a retired or retiring owner or operator of land under an expiring CRP contract. The land must be sold or leased to a beginning (non-family member) or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher for the purpose of returning some or all of the land to production using sustainable grazing or crop production methods.

Oregon farmers’ markets

Small plot intensive farming


Most grants available to growers are through the US Department of Agriculture. Some of those most fitting for new entrants or smaller growers include:

Western Region Sustainable Ag Research and Education project grants (SARE)

With a farmer/rancher grant, one or more agricultural producers develop a proposal to conduct research or on-farm demonstrations and educational outreach in an area of sustainable agriculture with assistance from an agricultural or natural resource professional, who serves as a technical advisor. The goal is to achieve results that can be communicated to producers and professionals-information that can improve income, the environment, communities, and quality of life for all citizens. Farmer/rancher grant applications are due in December.

Value-added producer grant (VAPG)

This grant is intended to help independent agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. The grant can be used to fund one of the following two activities:

  • Planning activities needed to establish a viable value-added marketing opportunity for an agricultural product (e.g. conduct a feasibility study, develop a business plan, develop a marketing plan, legal work).
  • Working capital to operate a value-added business venture that will allow producers to better compete in domestic and international markets.

Renewable energy projects are also eligible for this funding (planning or working capital projects). This grant is very competitive. For more information, please contact:

Martin Zone
USDA Rural Development
1201 NE Lloyd Blvd, Suite 801
Portland, OR 97204-3222
Phone 503-414-3361
Email martin.zone@or.usda.gov
Web rurdev.usda.gov/ORvapg.html

Loan programs

Farm Credit Services Young and Beginning Farmer Program
Web northwestfcs.com

Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program
Web wholefoodsmarket.com

USDA Farm Service Agency farm loans
Web fsa.usda.gov

Technical assistance

​Oregon Department of Agriculture
Web oregon.gov/ODA/Pages/new_small_farms.aspx

Marketing assistance

Marketing Program
Phone 503-872-6600
Email agmarket@oda.state.or.us

Food safety assistance

Food Safety Program
Phone 503-986-4720 
Email fsd-expert@oda.state.or.us

For additional information on House Bill 2872 (poultry slaughter bill) and House Bill 2336 (farm direct bill), please visit the ODA food safety webpage:
Web oregon.gov/ODA/FSD/Pages/index.aspx​

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Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program


The Century Farm & Ranch Program started in 1958, on the eve of the Statehood Centennial Celebration, to honor farm and ranch families who have century-long connections to the land and to recognize Oregon’s rich agricultural heritage.

This nonprofit, volunteer led program is a project of the Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation and partially funded through a partnership with the Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation, OSU Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Research Center, and the Oregon Historical Society, with additional support from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, various county farm bureaus, agricultural associations, agri-businesses, and individuals. Successful applicants receive a special certificate, acknowledged by the governor and signed by the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. A colorful roadside sign, identifying the family century farm or century ranch is also available. In 2007, the program introduced a sesquicentennial award to honor families who have sustained their family farms or ranches for 150 years or more. The first sesquicentennial awards were given to 14 families on Oregon’s Statehood Day, February 14, 2008. For further information or to request an application for the sesquicentennial award, please contact the Century Farm & Ranch program at 503-400‑7884.

Qualifications for century farm or ranch

  • Only the legal owner(s) of the property may apply for the Century Farm or Century Ranch honor.
  • Your farm or ranch must have been operated continuously in the same family for 100 years or more. A farm or ranch settled any time 100 years ago or earlier will be eligible if it meets other requirements.
  • The farm or ranch must have a gross income from farming or ranching activities of not less than $1,000 per year for three out of the five years immediately preceding the application. 
  • You must live on the farm or ranch, or if you live off the property, you must actively manage and direct the farming or ranching activity on the land. If the entire farm or ranch has ever been rented or leased, it may not qualify.
  • The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, siblings, or nephews and nieces. Adopted children will be recognized equally with other descendants.
  • Applications must be submitted on official forms provided by the Century Farm & Ranch Program with all questions completed. Applicants may submit additional descriptive information or other family history details not specifically requested in the application (two or three pages of narrative). Copies of historical photographs are encouraged. All information, including photos, will be retained by the program for future reference or research.
  • Applications must include verification of continuous ownership for 100 years. Acceptable forms of proof include a document (either original or photocopy) showing date of earliest ownership. This may be provided through a donation land claim, deed of sale, or homestead certificate. Other records, subject to review, include family Bible, diary entry, or correspondence.
  • Applications must be signed and certified by a notary public.
  • Deadline for returning applications is June 1 of the current year. All applications postmarked by midnight of that date will be considered.

Fees for century farm or ranch

A $250 non-refundable fee is required with each application. This fee covers administrative costs and includes one certificate and one roadside sign. Additional certificates may be ordered at the time of application @$20 each. Make checks payable to Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation or OAEF.

Technical assistance

Century Farm & Ranch Program
Sharon Leighty, program coordinator
3415 Commercial St SE
Salem, OR 97302
Phone 503-400-7884
Email cfr@oregonfb.org​
Web oregonfb.org/centuryfarm/

Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation
Janice Reed, Director
Phone 503-399-1701
Email janice@oregonfb.org​

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Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program

The Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program (FDNP) is a state-administered federal nutrition program providing sales opportunities for farmers selling directly to consumers. In Oregon, the FDNP distributes approximately $1 million to WIC (Women Infants & Children) program clients and eligible low-income seniors to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and culinary herbs directly from participating Oregon farmers at farm stands and farmers’ markets. Contact ODA to learn more about the program or become an authorized farmer.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Marketing Program
1207 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 104
Portland, OR 97209-2832
Phone 503-872-6600
Fax 503-872-6601
Email agmarket@oda.state.or.us
Web oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD/pages/farm_direct.aspx

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Oregon's renewable fuel standards

In 2007, Oregon’s Legislative Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 2210, which included a renewable fuel standard (RFS) requiring that ethanol and biodiesel be blended in Oregon’s motor fuels. HB 2210 also required the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to study, monitor, and implement the RFS. Oregon’s RFS enables Oregon growers, processors, and fuel distributors to help power our economy with US-based renewable fuels, increase crop production opportunities, and add jobs and income to Oregon’s economy.

Currently, Oregon’s ethanol standard requires gasoline sold in Oregon to be a 10 percent ethanol blend (E10). Oregon’s biodiesel standard requires diesel sold in Oregon to be a minimum 5 percent biodiesel blend (B5).

Many fuel users will not notice a change in vehicle or equipment performance from using 10 percent ethanol blended gasoline or a 5 percent biodiesel blend. Biofuel producers, fuel distributors, retailers, and consumers can help avoid problems by using good management when storing and using fuel. Good storage practices include periodic cleaning of farm fuel tanks, removal of accumulated water, and using a fuel filter on the tank fuel dispenser. When using blended fuel, check the equipment owner’s manual and follow any recommendations. Keep equipment properly maintained and winterized.

Gasoline-ethanol blends required

All retail dealers, nonretail dealers, or wholesale dealers may only sell or offer for sale gasoline that contains 10 percent ethanol by volume, unless it meets exceptions in OAR 603-027-0420(3)(c).

Ethanol dispenser labeling

Legislation requires gasoline dispensers to be labeled if the fuel product contains ethanol. This label must be located on the upper 50 percent of the dispenser’s front panels, in a position that is clear and conspicuous from the driver’s position, in type at least . inch in height and 1⁄16 inch in width.

Due to the required use of 10 percent by volume ethanol, the label is required to state the specific amount in the gasoline blend, for example, “THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS 10% ETHANOL” or similar language. Prohibited terms and phrases include but are not limited to, “Contains up to 10% ethanol,” “May contain ethanol,” or any other similar language.

If a non-ethanol blended gasoline of less than 91 octane is used in compliance with the exceptions, the dispenser shall be labeled, “NON-ETHANOL BLENDED GASOLINE FOR EXEMPTED USE ONLY (ORS 646.913),” in capital letters and type at least . inch in height and 1⁄16 inch width of type on each face and upper 50 percent of the dispensers front panels in a position that is clear and conspicuous to the consumer.

Non-ethanol blended gasoline of 91 octane or higher does not require any special labeling.

Exceptions to ethanol requirements for premium gasoline

The 2009 Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 3497 exempting premium gasoline of 91 octane or higher from the ethanol blend requirement. This became effective January 1, 2010.

Businesses are not required to offer a non-ethanol blended premium fuel, but they have the ability to make a business decision to provide it based upon customer demand.

Note to retailers:

  • No additional dispenser labeling is required for non-ethanol gasoline.
  • Delivery documentation must state that it is non-ethanol blended gasoline.
  • Storage tanks must identify that it is non-ethanol blended gasoline.
  • Important: If a blending dispenser is used, the mid-grade portion must be disabled and labeling removed. This is because a 10 percent ethanol regular blended with a 0 percent ethanol premium will yield approximately a 6 percent ethanol mid-grade which would not be legal. The mid-grade must still contain 10 percent ethanol.

Exceptions to ethanol mandate for all grades of gasoline

To address citizens’ concerns about the mandate to blend all gasoline with 10 percent by volume ethanol, the 2008 Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 1079, which allows non-ethanol blended gasoline of any grade for the following applications only:

  • Aircraft
  • Antique vehicles
  • All-terrain vehicles
  • Racing activity vehicles
  • Snowmobiles
  • Tools including but not limited to lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and chain saws
  • Watercraft

The Oregon State Marine Board maintains a list of locations offering non-ethanol blended gasoline online.

Posting of ethanol exceptions

Pursuant to OAR 603-027-0430(1)(c), businesses that offer non-ethanol blended gasoline of less than 91 percent octane for sale shall post the exceptions in a position that is clear and conspicuous to the consumer. They must be in capital letters and type at least . inch in height and 1⁄32 inch in width.

Ethanol delivery documentation

Gasoline blended with ethanol

Delivery documentation shall state that the gasoline is blended with ethanol and the volume percent of ethanol.

Non-ethanol blended gasoline

Delivery documentation shall state that the gasoline is non-ethanol blended.

Biodiesel requirement

In February of 2011, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) determined that Oregon’s in-state biodiesel production capacity had reached at least 15 million gallons on an annualized basis. In compliance with Oregon’s RFS, (ORS 646.921 and, ORS 646.922), effective April 1, 2011, all diesel fuel sold or offered for sale in Oregon had to contain a minimum of 5 percent by volume biodiesel, creating a B5 biodiesel blend.

Exceptions to biodiesel mandate

Diesel fuel sold or offered for sale for use by railroad locomotives, marine engines, and home heating is exempt from the requirement to be blended with biodiesel.

Winterizing diesel

In the state of Oregon, the required minimum B5 biodiesel fuel may have substances added to enhance its cold weather operation from October 1, of one year, through February 28, of the following year. It is important to emphasize that the fuel must begin as at least a B5 blend and then the winterizing products may be added. For reference, this allowance is found in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 646.922(3) and Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 603-027-0420(11)(e)(B).

Biodiesel dispenser labeling

If the fuel is a 5 percent or less biodiesel blend, then no additional dispenser (“pump”) labeling is required. For information on labeling biodiesel blends please see our biodiesel and E85 fuel requirements webpage.

Biodiesel delivery documentation

Delivery documentation of biodiesel blends is required to identify the specific volume percent of biodiesel blended with the petroleum diesel. An example of a sufficient statement for a 5 percent biodiesel blend is, “B5 Biodiesel Blend.” in addition to all of the other required information on the documentation. This is to certify the volume percent of biodiesel that is blended into the diesel fuel. During inspections the department will check delivery documentation for biodiesel blend requirements.

Technical assistance

Oregon’s renewable fuel standards
Web oregon.gov/ODA/MSD/Pages/renewable_fuel_standard.aspx

City of Portland renewable fuel standards for ethanol and biodiesel
Web portlandonline.com/BDS/INDEX.CFM?c=43886​

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Pesticide use, distribution, transportation, and storage


Federal law known as FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act) regulates the manufacture, registration, distribution, and use of pesticides. The Worker Protection Standards (WPS) also establish federal guidelines for agricultural employees who handle pesticides, pesticide equipment, or who may come into contact with pesticide-treated crops. Oregon state law (ORS 634) governs most pesticide-related activities including the licensing and certification of pesticide applicators, consultants, and pesticide dealers; the state registration of pesticide products and the implementation of the WPS (Oregon OSHA has adopted WPS federal regulations into Oregon administrative rule).

Note: See the “Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Pesticide Applications” section of this handbook for detailed information about this regulation of workers and pesticide handlers on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses.

Private pesticide applicator

Private pesticide applicators (farmers, ranchers, orchardists, etc.) are persons who purchase, use, or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides in producing an agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by themselves or their employer. Private pesticide applicators must obtain initial certification by successfully completing a written examination. Once certification has been obtained, the applicator is required to obtain a private pesticide applicator’s license and pay the accompanying fee. The license is valid for five years and recertification is required every five years. Recertification may be accomplished by attending 16 hours of ODA accredited continuing education or by retaking the certification examination. USDA requires private pesticide applicators to prepare and maintain records of all applications of restricted use pesticides. Contact Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), Pesticides Program for information on private pesticide applicator certification and licensing.

Phone 503-986-4635
Web oregon.gov/ODA/PEST

Custom applications

If you hire a business to make pesticide applications for your agricultural operation, the business you hire must be licensed as a commercial pesticide operator and the person actually conducting the application must be licensed as a commercial pesticide applicator, pesticide apprentice, or a pesticide trainee. These licenses are issued by the ODA Pesticides Program annually. Each license must reflect the category of work being done (e.g. ag-herbicide, ag-insecticide, fungicide, etc.). Commercial pesticide applicator licenses require 40 hours of ODA accredited continuing education every five years or retaking of the certification examinations in each category of work. Pesticide trainees and pesticide apprentices are not certified applicators, however, pesticide apprentices must take 8 hours of ODA accredited education each year to renew their license. Certain requirements and specific conditions of supervision are required of apprentices and trainees.

Pesticide dealers

Persons who offer for sale or distribution any restricted use pesticide (RUP) are required to obtain a pesticide dealer license from the ODA Pesticides Program. This is an annual license for each dealer location. Record keeping related to the sales or distribution of RUPs is required of each pesticide dealer.

Pesticide use reporting

The 1999 Oregon Legislature adopted statutes establishing a comprehensive, statewide pesticide use reporting system (PURS). The only pesticide products exempted from the reporting system are those classified as antimicrobials. The use of all other pesticide products in producing or preserving an agricultural or forestry crop must be reported into PURS, through a specific Internet site. PURS is not being operated during the current Oregon government budget period (2013-2015).

Web oregon.gov/ODA/PEST

Endangered Species Act

Meeting federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements essentially requires a farmer to apply pesticides in concert with the pesticide label and any county-specific bulletins available. The ESA could also affect farming and forestry practices that alter the habitat of listed endangered species. Pesticide product labels will refer a user to the EPA “Bulletins Live” website when specific measures to protect endangered species must be taken. Applying a pesticide in accordance with the approved label does not protect the applicator from liability if there is a “take” of ESA listed species. Reference to CFR and law DOI-50 CFR 402, ESA 7 [16 USC 1536] and 9 [16 USC 1538]. To obtain a copy of Protecting Endangered Species from Pesticides (EPA-735-F-9 4-014) or any other bulletins or fact sheets, call the EPA Hotline at 800-424-9346 or 800-535-0202.

Clean Water Act

Making pesticide applications to, over, or along the edge of water bodies or waterways requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to be in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. In Oregon, a NPDES Pesticide General Permit (PGP) is required for pesticides applied to water, over water and within 3 feet of the edge of water. Persons with operational control (make the day-to-day decisions regarding pesticide applications to a site) must know if they are subject to the NPDES PGP (below a threshold amount of applications but must comply with certain requirements) or if they must be issued a NPDES PGP from DEQ. Contact DEQ for more information on NPDES permits for pesticide applications in Oregon. In addition, make sure to read and follow the pesticide label completely.

Phone 503-229-6402
Web www.deq.state.or.us/wq/wqpermit/pesticides

Safety and training

All pesticides must be used only as directed on the label. Minors under the age of 18 cannot apply pesticides as a licensed pesticide applicator. As described previously, private pesticide applicators and commercial pesticide applicators have different pesticide license requirements for initial certification and subsequent recertification. Persons who are not required to be licensed pesticide applicators and may conduct pesticide applications are still required to have all appropriate training necessary to conduct the pesticide application correctly. This may require additional worker training in WPS compliance, respirator fit testing and maintenance of respirators, reading and understanding Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), recognition of pesticide poisoning, field or structure posting requirements, etc. Early entry into a treated site can only be made under certain circumstances and requires additional personal protective equipment specified on the pesticide label. ODA Pesticides Program investigates allegations of pesticide misuse. Training records of pesticide applicators help substantiate adequate knowledge by the applicator. Oregon OSHA requires employee training records. ODA Pesticides Program and Oregon OSHA may work together to address employer-employee pesticide related issues including the WPS.

The law requires investigation by Oregon OSHA regarding employee complaints that may be related to pesticide use, re-entry into areas treated with pesticides, or accidents. A record must be kept by the employer of all pesticide worker training provided and any injury that results in medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job.

Note: See the section on “Worker Health and Safety” in this handbook or contact Oregon OSHA at 503-378-3272 for further information.

Pesticide storage

Pesticides should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated and well-lit room or building, insulated to prevent freezing or overheating. The area should be fireproof with a sealed cement floor. The area should be locked to prevent entry by children or unauthorized persons. Warning signs should be posted on doors and windows. All pesticides should be stored in the original containers, away from food, feed, seed, or animals. For more information about the storage of pesticides, contact the Oregon state fire marshal at 503-373-1540 or Oregon OSHA at 503-378-3272.

Pesticide container and containment requirements

EPA finalized federal pesticide container and containment regulations that became effective in 2009. The rules apply to retailers, custom applicators, custom blenders, and others. Key elements of the rule include requirements for stationary bulk tanks, load pads, portable refillable containers, tank containment structures, repackaging rules, and more.

Web epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/containers.htm

How to manage empty pesticide containers

Contaminated, empty containers (unrinsed containers) are hazardous waste unless a pesticide distributor or manufacturer accepts them for refill or they are decontaminated. If discarded, contaminated containers must be disposed of as hazardous waste. This expensive practice can be avoided by proper decontamination. At the time of emptying, decontaminate rigid containers (plastic pails or drums, metal pails or drums, or fiber containers):

  • Pressure or multiple rinses (use rinsate for your next batch of pesticide spray mix).
    • Rinse with the appropriate diluent at least three times, or as often as necessary to make the container clean.
    • Also multi-rinse nonrigid containers such as paper containers lined with plastic or foil.
  • Visually verify that the residues have been removed from the inside and outside of the containers.
  • Air dry (the container’s interior surface should be dry before crushing).
  • Crush or physically alter (puncture) the containers
    • One- and five-gallon metal containers are to be punctured with at least three one-inch holes in the top and bottom before crushing.
    • Thirty- and 55-gallon containers are required to have both the tops and bottoms cut out and then flattened. Plastic containers do not need to be crushed.

Decontaminated containers can and should be recycled. For more information on the collection and recycling of decontaminated metal or plastic pesticide containers contact the Oregon Agricultural Chemicals and Fertilizers Association (OACFA) at 503-370-7024.

If you reuse your rinsates, avoid generating excess spray mixtures, and purchase only the amount of pesticide you need, then you have no waste to dispose.

However, if you have unusable pesticide-containing materials, and they cannot be reused, then disposal is your only option. Consult DEQ for the factsheet, “How to dispose of unusable or unwanted pesticide spray solutions, pesticide-contaminated rinse waters and pesticide-containing absorbent.” The fact sheet is available on DEQ’s website.

Web www.deq.state.or.us/lq/hw/pesticide.htm​

Other uses

In addition to pesticide regulations administered by ODA, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) also regulates application of chemicals, including pesticides, to private and state-owned timber lands through the Forest Practices Act (FPA). Pre-notification to ODF of pesticide applications is required, and in some instances, a site management plan will need to be approved prior to application. Questions relating to use of chemicals or pesticides in the forest environment should be directed to ODF at 503-945-7200.

Transporting pesticides

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Motor Carrier Transportation Division, regulates the transportation of hazardous materials in the state by adopting federal hazardous materials regulations, Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations for both carriers and shippers. Farmers shipping or transporting hazardous materials (including fertilizers, pesticides, and fuels) in amounts that require the shipment to be placarded must develop and implement security plans. Questions concerning required shipping documents, placarding of vehicles, specifications for containers, and marking and labeling requirements for packages, should be directed to ODOT, 550 Capitol St NE, Salem, OR 97301-2530, 503-378-3667. For information about transport security plans, call US Department of Transportation at 503-399-5775.

Pesticide spills

Pesticide spills can cause serious environmental and health damage. The Oregon Emergency Response System (OERS), set up by the Oregon Executive Department, acts as a clearinghouse to handle emergency calls. To report spills or accidents involving pesticides, call 800-452-0311.

The Pesticide Analytical and Response Center (PARC) combine agencies with common interests regarding adverse pesticide effects on humans, animals, and the environment. PARC may also be involved in spills or accidents relating to health problems or environmental damage.

Phone 503-986-6470
Web oregon.gov/ODA/PEST/pages/parc.aspx

Specific pesticide use restrictions

Chemical control areas

Portions of Umatilla and Morrow counties have restrictions on the use of certain herbicides during specific times of the year. Permits for the use of such products are required. For more information contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture at 541-938-6466.


Pesticide products containing the active ingredient clopyralid are prohibited from use on residential or commercial turf and ornamental sites in Oregon. Uses of clopyralid products are limited to golf courses, agricultural, cemetery, and forestry sites. Vegetative material, which has been treated with a clopyralid product, must not be provided for compost.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Pesticides Program
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532
Phone 503-986-4635
Web oregon.gov/ODA/PEST​​

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Legislation adopted in 1993 and updated in 1995 and 2001, declares farm and forest practices as critical to the welfare of the Oregon economy, and establishes a right-to-farm law. This law protects growers from court decisions based on customary noises, smells, dust, or other nuisances associated with farming. It also limits local governments, and special districts from administratively declaring certain farm and forest products to be nuisances or trespasses (ORS 30.930).

Protected land

No farming or forest practice on lands zoned for farm or forest use shall give rise to any private right of action, suit, or claim for relief based upon nuisance or trespass. Pre-existing nonconforming (farm or forest) uses are also afforded this protection provided that the farming or forest use existed before the conflicting non-farm or non-forest use of the real property that gave rise to the claim, and provided that the pre-existing nonconforming farming or forest practice has not significantly increased in size or intensity from November 4, 1993.

Right-to-farm protection is not afforded if claims are based on an action of a producer that results in any of the following:

  • Damage to commercial agricultural products of another grower or neighboring property
  • Death or serious injury

Protected practices

Protected practices include farming or forest practices that are characterized by one or more of the following:

  • Are or may be used on a farm or forestland of similar nature
  • Are generally accepted, reasonable, and prudent methods for the operation to obtain profit in money (commercial)
  • Comply with applicable law
  • Are performed in a reasonable manner

The lawful and proper use of pesticides is considered a protected farming or forest practice.

The law also provides protection for the movement of farm vehicles and livestock on public roads.

Local government and special district ordinances and regulations now in effect or subsequently adopted which are contrary to this law are invalid. In any legal action alleging nuisance or trespass arising from a practice alleged by either side as a farm or forest practice, the prevailing party is awarded attorney fees and costs at the trial and on appeal.

Complainants may want to consider the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Farm Mediation Program before filing any legal action. Call 503-986-4558 or 800‑347-7028 for information about the mediation program. Parties are encouraged to talk with legal counsel on the interpretation of the statute.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Land use
Jim Johnson 503-986-4706

Farm Mediation Program
Stephanie Page 503-986-4558
Toll free 800-347-7028

Additional conflict prevention and resolution strategies

Even though Right-to-Farm offers certain protections, it is in farmers’ and ranchers’ best interests to prevent and resolve conflicts where possible and maintain good relationships with neighbors. Below are some tips for conflict prevention and resolution, some of which are from an August, 2004 Oregon Association of Nurseries Digger Magazine article titled “Good-neighbor Policy”.

  • Communicate early and often. Get to know your neighbors. Talk with them about what you do, what you grow, and what happens on your operation. Most will be interested. Friendships, if they can be developed, lead to easier conversations when concerns are expressed about nuisances.
  • Don’t assume. Just because someone is living in the country doesn’t mean they understand agricultural practices and the customary noises and odors that go with farming, especially if you change a crop, plant something they are unaccustomed to, or bring in animals that weren’t there before.
  • Educate. Invite neighbors over to pick fruits and vegetables, glean fields, or watch production activities while they happen (with appropriate safety precautions). Most school-age children have science projects – see if there is something you can assist with. Have an open house for customers and neighbors featuring educational and information exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.
  • Build your “goodwill” bank account. One grower stated: “Build a bank account of goodwill within the community you live and work…when things happen that reduce that bank account you will be glad you have it. It can affect the ability of future generations to be able to farm.” Some additional ways to create goodwill include donating produce to food banks or food pantries, or nursery stock to charitable causes; or, when operating wide equipment or machinery on public roads, pulling off at safe places to letting traffic pass; also, when possible, moving equipment when there is less traffic.
  • Explain your dilemma. Share, in as much detail as possible, the challenges you face (bird depredation, mold or pest problem, etc.). Most people will be understanding.
  • Explain the time period. Often the activities that sometimes “offend” are short-lived. Noise cannons or wind fans in orchards, harvesting at night, or spraying may only take a day or two or a couple weeks at most. If they know the ending date, most people are more accepting or tolerant of the situation.
  • Share the options. Talk about the various options that might provide a solution to the challenges you face, and the costs associated with each. Invite the other party to share in the cost of resolving the situation.
  • Define “Generally accepted, reasonable and prudent”: explain how what you are doing is based on best management practices, Extension or other research, and is used on other farms to address this issue.

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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Under the US Farm Bill, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) receives grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to solely enhance the competitiveness of Oregon’s specialty crops. ODA conducts an annual competitive application process to award grant funds.

For the purposes of this program, specialty crops are defined as commonly recognized fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and nursery crops (including floriculture and horticulture).

Feed crops, food grains, livestock, dairy products, seafood products, and oil seed crops are NOT eligible.

Eligible non-profit organizations, local government entities, for-profit organizations, industry trade associations, producer groups, and commodity commissions can submit projects that aim to enhance the production and competitiveness of Oregon’s specialty crop industries.

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Agriculture
Marketing Program
1207 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 104
Portland, OR 97209-2832
Phone 503-872-6600
Fax 503-872-6601
Web oregon.gov/ODA/ADMD/Pages/grants_spec_crops.aspx​



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State operator license and farm vehicle registration

An operator license or driver license is required by anyone operating a motorized vehicle on a public highway. An operator license is not required to temporarily operate a farm tractor or an implement of husbandry. Refer to the Oregon or US Departments of Transportation for information on the following:

  • Licenses
  • Vehicle registration
  • Inspections
  • Hauling hazardous materials

Technical assistance

Oregon Department of Transportation
Oregon DMV
Commercial Driver Licensing
Farm Endorsements and Hazmat Endorsements
Phone 503-945-5000
Web oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/Pages/index.aspx

Motor Carrier Transportation Division
Phone 503-378-5849
Web oregon.gov/ODOT​

ODOT Farm Certification Desk
Phone 503-378-5203
Web oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/pages/FARM.aspx​

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Hauling hazardous materials
Phone 503-399-5775

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