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mollymay 03-10-2013 07:55 PM

Crop choices in Oregon
Hey, so my husband and I are looking into buying property next year. Taking the huge leap! I have some experience with farms, and my husband does as well, but by no means are we totally prepared for this life choice. My husband would still work full time, but I will be devoting my time and energy into our farm/ranch. We are already planning to board/train horses, but are planning to purchase enough property to hopefully plant crops. Curious to people who live in Oregon- what area do you live (central, eastern, so on and so forth), and what crops do you grow or people in your area? I have looked into strawberries, corn, hay, and grass- all I know are big in the area I grew up. Also, which crops do you feel you break even with and which ones do you feel are more work with no real gain. Hay would be the ideal because we could benefit double from it, so if you grow hay what kinds do you grow and again what area of Oregon do you live in?
Thanks a bunch!!! Also, nothing is set in stone, this is just an idea. Please do not be harsh or mean about this, I am just asking questions, that is all. Please keep it friendly! Thank you again! :D

FlyGap 03-13-2013 05:41 PM

28 Attachment(s)
Hi Molly!
Well, I'm no where near Oregon but if I were you I would start with hay. Good/decent quality hay will always be in demand. In rough years you can make quite the profit, it's relatively simple if you are educated and seek out mentors or even a partner the first few years. And like me you get the bonus "free" hay that's price isn't determined by the market.

Cutting hay can be as cheap or expensive as you make it. We bale over 1,000 acres of hay a year. We have relatively nice machinery, super sized air conditioned cabs with all the fancy stuff, computerized systems, net wrap balers, etc... But for a small operation you can easily get by with a basic farm tractor and some elbow grease! We do mostly bermuda and some large sections of fescue/bermuda for cattle. Check around with your local Co-Ops and see what they are needing. Good goat hay in my area can be hard to find, quality bermuda too.

As far as crops go? Strawberries sound great. I love how easy they are to grow and propagate (I have a small patch but my great grandfather had a huge operation). The only trouble with berries is finding pickers and a market.
Something to consider is Eco-Tourism. Huge market, we've thought about it long and hard but are pretty maxed out already.

I'm getting ready to put in a hoop house so I can garden year round. You may want to set aside a section of land to do so. Research hard to come by organic crops in your area, people are willing to pay more for sustainably grown/organic produce. If nothing else you can run a booth at the local farmers market.

Sorry, I don't have much experience with large scale corn, seems like it would take a lot more effort, specialized equipment, etc.

Good Luck! Hope it all works out!

mollymay 03-14-2013 07:11 PM

Thanks for the info :) as for corn I just know it's a huge thing here in oregon. One of those things that my parents growing up always went to the farmers all around where we lived for corn. Hay is going to probably be our first choice, with maybe strawberries- they grow like weeds here and I grew up picking berries at the local patches for summer cash ha ha. Thanks again!
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Foxtail Ranch 04-10-2013 02:21 AM

I live in southern Oregon. We have lots of hay, wine grapes and pear orchards. More grapes less pears every year. And lots of beef cattle.

We are buying 33 acres of dry land, which means no irrigation since that triples the price of land around here! We will have just enough for our equines and a couple heifers to sell or trade, since we don't eat beef much. Now I need to learn about dry farming.

Good luck with your plan! Where in Oregon are you looking?
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mollymay 04-11-2013 01:17 AM

We are looking into central Oregon area. All over really, we just love it there! We had thought about Southern Oregon, but we have family that has thought of moving to Bend so it would be nice to have some family near by :)

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