Ag News Roundup for March 29, 2020
In today’s Ag News Roundup, COVID-19 causing ag industry uncertainty, OSU uses collection to help salmon and trout, Wallowa County irrigation nearly complete, farm debt continues to soar, and using straw bales for gardening.
Coronavirus Causing Ag Industry Uncertainty
COVID-19 has already affected life around the world. According to the Washington Farm Bureau, the outbreak is also slowing farm exports of alfalfa. Experts say the apple industry could face similar issues.
OSU Uses Fish Collection to Help Combat Parasites
Oregon State University’s Ichthyology Collection of 260,000 fish specimens was used to confirm a historical presence of Salmincola californiensis, also known as gill-maggots. The information could help save fish from the parasites.
New Irrigation Pipeline to Reduce Costs for Wallowa County
While the cost of the new irrigation pipeline cost just over $4 million to complete, it’s expected to increase efficiency and reduce costs for irrigators in the Upper Wallowa Valley. Much of the ditches that dotted the landscape, which can lose 25% of water through seepage, were replaced with 27-inch pipelines.
Farm Debt Continues to Soar
Agriculture Economic Insights has stated that total farm debt has reached $425 billion. The record was set back in 1981 at $440 billion. Additionally, farm real estate debt is at a historic high, reaching $264 billion. Those citing the numbers say current levels are sustainable.
Straw Bale Gardens Popular in Small Areas
Oregon State University Extension Service has shared its expertise, showing people how to create a straw-bale garden. The casual how-to is perfect for those living in suburbs or those who may have difficulty bending over to tend a standard, ground-level garden.