Led by ag-rich Marion County, Oregon's 2012 farm income set records with 25 of the state's 36 counties posting increases in farm sales, according to new Oregon State University figures.
Several counties reported what OSU considers "dramatic growth" last year helped by high prices and yields. These latest figures emphasize the value ag to the state economy, OSU notes, with ag sales up 3.4% at more than $5.48 billion – a record for the state overall.
Eleven counties increased their ag income by double digits last year.
The top ten counties remain the same, but the order has changed somewhat in the 2012 figures, OSU notes. The counties ranked in the top 10 by gross farm and ranch sales were:
Marion: $639 million
Umatilla: $487 million
Morrow: $482 million
Malheur: $373 million
Clackamas: $343 million
Linn: $301 million
Washington: $292 million
Klamath: $290 million
Yamhill: $269 million
Polk: $162 million
This is the first year that three of the top four ag counties are east of the Cascades. Umatilla and Morrow counties held their second and third positions, but Malheur jumped to No. four, pressuring Clackamas down to fifth. Linn County moved up from eighth.
Nine of the top counties saw increases in ag sales, led by Malheur with a 31.3% increase, the OSU report notes. Malheur ag income went up $77 million last year.
Only Umatilla County posted an ag income decline among the top ten, down 3.7% last year, possibly due in part to a drop in vegetable and truck crops for the area. But eastern Oregon at did well last year, as did the Willamette Valley – as usual – spreading the ag success for the state on a broader scale.