The 2020 crop year is one to be celebrated by the 37,200 farms and ranches that make up Oregon’s diverse agricultural community. Oregon is home to more than 225 commodities. 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.
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. Industry experts say “stay home” orders boosted sales nationwide as more people took up gardening and landscaping and that boosted sales nationwide.
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.
In Oregon’s top-10 valued commodities by value for the 2020 crop year are: potatoes, $216,810,000, cherries, $133,826,000 and hazelnuts, $132,300,000
A majority of Oregon’s agricultural commodities in the top twenty saw an increase in value of production including onions (+9%), potatoes (9%), sweet corn (+8%) and apples (+1%).
On the downside, grapes for wine experienced a decrease of 34%, with blueberries (-11%) and pears (-10%) also recording production value decreases.