Oregon’s greenhouse and nursery industry experienced a COVID-19 boon with value of production topping one billion dollars for a second year in a row, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Industry experts say “stay home” orders boosted sales nationwide as more people took up gardening and landscaping and that boosted sales nationwide. Historically, greenhouse and nursery and cattle and calves remain two of the top commodities by value in production.
More than 37,000 farms and ranches make up Oregon’s diverse agricultural community. Oregon is home to more than 225 commodities, everything from cattle to cherries to hazelnuts and hay. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presented several new challenges and opportunities for agriculture statewide. Growers and producers responded and adapted quickly to meet the needs of Oregonians.
New to Oregon’s top 10 are cherries and hazelnuts. Cherries experienced a 78 percent increase in the value of production. High demand for Oregon cherries meant higher prices for growers in 2020. Oregon is currently the third largest producer of cherries in the nation, supplying 17 percent of the U.S. market.
Hazelnuts had a record year with a nearly 24 percent increase in production and a nearly 57 percent increase in value of production. Hazelnut acreage has grown over the past ten years from about 30,000 acres to over 80,000 acres. Nearly 100 percent of the hazelnuts produced commercially in the U.S. are grown in the Willamette Valley.
Oregon’s top 10 valued commodities by value for the 2020 crop year are:
- Greenhouse & nursery, $1,188,911,000
- Cattle & calves, $587,848,000
- Hay, $569,160,000
- Milk, $557,348,000
- Grass seed, $458,367,000
- Wheat, $273,760,000
- Potatoes, $216,810,000
- Grapes for wine, $157,900,000
- Cherries, $133,826,000
- Hazelnuts, $132,300,000
A majority of Oregon’s agricultural commodities in the top twenty saw an increase in value of production including eggs (+29%), onions (+9%), potatoes (9%), sweet corn (+8%), Dungeness crab (+7%), hops (+4%), Christmas trees (+2%), apples (+1%), and milk (+1%).
On the downside, grapes for wine experienced a decrease of 34%, while hay (-16%), blueberries (-11%), grass seed (-11%), pears (-10%), cattle & calves (-6%), and wheat (-3%) also recorded production value decreases. Rounding out the top twenty ag and fisheries commodities by value of production:
- Blueberries, $119,648,000
- Onions, $118,665,000
- Christmas trees, $106,912,000
- Pears, $97,552,000
- Corn, grain, $77,542,000
- Hops, $74,812,000
- Eggs, $72,999,000
- Dungeness crab, $72,643,709
- Sweet corn, $41,034,000
- Apples, $39,208,000
These newly released statistics are primarily from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) compiled in collaboration with Dave Losh, Oregon State Statistician. Estimates were also provided by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Wine Board.
Hemp is not included in the agricultural commodities list. Beginning in October, NASS will begin collecting information on the acreage, yield, production, price, and value of hemp in the United States. Results will be available in 2022.