Sunday, August 29, 2010

..Oregon Agriculture is adaptive, renewable, sustainable and efficient..

..The crops and commodities produced will change over time in response to market signals, technology, and consumer demand. Witness the rise in production of nursery products, wine grapes, grass seed, blueberries, and other specialty crops in the past decade even as there has been a decline in acreage devoted to vegetable crops, strawberries, hops, garlic and other specialty crops.
..Aricultural production provides us with a source of renewable food, fiber, fuel, and medicine...and if the land is protected and properly managed it will continue producing into perpetuity.
..Ariculture is one of the most constant and stable economic engines our economy has, while also producing many ecolgical and community benefits. More than 1,800 farms in Oregon have been operated by the same families for over 100 years. There is no other industry in the state with that type of sustainable, long-term record of operation. Properly managed, agricultural soils can continue producing crops, livestock, fiber and other materials, and proving carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, open spaces and other amenities critical to human subsistence and enjoyment for generations to come.
..Agriculture efficiency is another factor that has increased dramatically over time and will undoubtedly continue in the future, making any measure of future productivity based on a single point in time a simplistic approach. Today the average American farmer can feed as many as 130 people, compared to 27 in 1950. Developments in technology, agronomy, water conservation, hybrid seeds and other applications make agriculture a continually evolving and effective means of generating more output (economic activity) and in increasingly environmentally friendly ways, on existing farmland. A recent study demonstrates that productivity growth over the 1947-1985 periods accounted for 82 percent of the economic growth in agriculture, compared with only 13 percent in the private non-farm economy. Moreover the rate of productivity growth over this period in agriculture(1.58 percent) was nearly four times the corresponding rate in the private non-farm economy(o.44 percent. Efficiency also means the consumer in the USA spends less time earning enough money to buy food than in any other country in the world at any point in history, on average, less than 9% of disposable income goes for food in the United States. Countries that have small production bases relative to population and which import large portions of their food supply pay significantly higher prices. Loss of farmland is not without a price. Retaining a viable agriculture base is a long-term investment in food security and economic sustainability of a community and a nation.
..History has shown that agriculture lands can be productive year after year and increasingly so at an accelerated pace. It would be a mistake to minimize agriculture's future contributions to society as being of little or no value due to analysis on a constant time value of money with a constant income stream i.e. the same amount of income year after year. Oregon agriculture is not stagnate. Land in agriculture production is renewable, perpetual and adaptive. Oregon's agriculture industry has a history of growth. Annual increases in productivity spurred Oregon's agriculture total output to grow from $428 million in 1964 to $3.8 billion in 2004: a 788% increase! That equates to an annual increase of 5.61% compounded annually.

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