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Oregon lists top agricultural commodities for 2020; cherries see 78% boost

Oregon Dept. of Agriculture

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- 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, everything from cattle to cherries to hazelnuts and hay, the Oregon Department of Agriculture said Tuesday in releasing its annual top 20 ranking.

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 the “stay home” orders meant boosted sales nationwide as more people took up gardening and landscaping. Historically, greenhouse and nursery and cattle and calves remain two of the top commodities by value of production.

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:

  1. Greenhouse & nursery, $1,188,911,000
  2. Cattle & calves, $587,848,000
  3. Hay, $569,160,000
  4. Milk, $557,348,000
  5. Grass seed, $458,367,000
  6. Wheat, $273,760,000
  7. Potatoes, $216,810,000
  8. Grapes for wine, $157,900,000
  9. Cherries, $133,826,000
  10. 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:

  1. Blueberries, $119,648,000
  2. Onions, $118,665,000
  3. Christmas trees, $106,912,000
  4. Pears, $97,552,000
  5. Corn, grain, $77,542,000
  6. Hops, $74,812,000
  7. Eggs, $72,999,000
  8. Dungeness crab, $72,643,709
  9. Sweet corn, $41,034,000
  10. 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.

Please note, hemp is not included in the agricultural commodities list. Beginning in October, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (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.

Download copies of:   

Oregon Agricultural Statistics brochure 

Top 20 Oregon Agricultural Commodities poster 

Find publications with Oregon agricultural data from USDA NASS online

KTVZ news sources

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