Umatilla County again No. 2 in Oregon ag sales

Sales were up 27 percent in 2011 from 2010 and added up to more than a half-billion dollars.

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SALEM -- Umatilla County farmers and ranchers shared in the bounty of a record-setting year for agricultural sales in 2011, newly released statistics showed.

The county remained the second-highest in Oregon for agriculture sales, recording a 27 percent increase over 2010, according to figures from Oregon State University. Gross farm sales were about $503 million last year compared to $397 million in 2010.

Marion County remained number one in agricultural sales with $616 million. Overall, 34 of the state's 36 counties increased agricultural sales last year.

According to OSU researchers, Oregon's total agricultural sales for 2011 increased 19.1 percent to a record high $5.2 billion, eclipsing the previous high of $4.9 billion set in 2008. Of the 89 commodities identified in the OSU report, 66 increased in sales compared with 2010.

In a release, Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba said that as the numbers have improved, so have nearly all of Oregon's county economies, reflecting the importance of farming, ranching, and fishing at the local level.

"You won't find many Oregon industries that can say they grew by 19 percent last year," she said. "This growth comes on the heels of some challenging times and down years, but generally, 2011 was a great year for our producers."

Bruce Pokarney, agriculture department spokesman, said Umatilla and Morrow counties both solidified their hold on the No. 2 and 3 positions thanks to strong sales in cattle, grains, and irrigated agriculture crops,

Umatilla County increased 27 percent while Morrow County increased 21 percent. Cattle sales grew nearly 13 percent while wheat jumped a whopping 47 percent, largely due to increased acreage and yields.

On the net

Oregon Agricultural Information Network: oain.oregonstate.edu

The top ten

1. Marion County -- $616 million

2. Umatilla County -- $503 million

3. Morrow County -- $477 million

4. Clackamas County -- $332 million

5. Malheur County -- $296 million

6. Washington County -- $284 million

7. Klamath County -- $283 million

8. Linn County -- $279 million

9. Yamhill County -- $259 million

10. Polk County -- $156 million

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