Oregon State University researchers found that the total value of the Oregon agriculture, fiber and food sector exceeds $42 billion. They also found that more than 2,000 farms were established in Oregon in recent years.
Researchers in the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Extension Service conduct the economic analysis report every five to six years in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. In addition to agriculture, food and fiber, this latest report includes information on hemp, recreational marijuana and the impact that wildfires and COVID-19 had on farms.
“The report provides a snapshot of where the Oregon agriculture, food and fiber sector stands,” said Jeff Reimer, a professor of applied economics and one of the authors of the report. “We’re able to do this analysis that shows linkages that wouldn’t be apparent if you were just looking at statistics about the economy.”
The number of small and large farms increased since the last report, but mid-sized farms decreased
The agriculture, food and fiber industry makes up 9.1% of Oregon’s economy and 371,300 jobs
Agricultural exports increased 25% since 2015
The number of organic farms dropped, but the value of products sold per organic acre nearly doubled
64,000 acres of hemp are registered in Oregon, which can yield a potential gross revenue of $15,000 to $25,000 per acre
Marijuana is now a $1.4 billion industry that employs almost 10,000 people in Oregon
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the mechanization of the food industry and how the food supply chain works
“The agriculture, food and fiber industry is extremely resilient and thereby helps our economy remain very resilient,” said Bruce Sorte, an Extension economist and co-author of the report. “This was shown throughout the earlier deep recession and now this pandemic.”