Oregon Dam Issues & Bird Testing Continues

Oregon Dam Issues & Bird Testing Continues

Oregon Dam Issues & Bird Testing Continues plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

More than 50,000 trout are part of an early transfer from the Leaburg hatchery because of the problems at the Eugene Water & Electric Board's Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife implemented the emergency early transfer due to mechanical problems, two of the dam's three gates are stuck in the closed position, letting little water through; the third gate is open, allowing water through. As a result, Leaburg Lake, which is created by the dam, is rapidly draining, reducing the supply of water to the Leaburg hatchery, and to a state salmon hatchery 2 miles below the dam.

The testing of wild birds is continuing in Washington State after two separate strains of the H5 virus were identified in a wild duck and a captive gyrfalcon earlier this month. Officials are testing birds to see how far the avian influenza has spread. State officials say the virus poses no apparent threat to humans, but highly pathogenic strains can be deadly to domestic poultry, and rarely, wild birds. Officials in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Clark counties are taking swabs from about 600 ducks and other waterfowl that are taken by hunters.

Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.

Low gas prices are good for consumer morale, and with consumers paying less for gas at the pumps they are more apt to splurge on other spending, such as entertainment and travel. Experts tell us that with the world's oil supply continuing to outpace the demand this trend could continue well into 2015. For the first time in I don't know how long you actually see people smiling as they fill their car's gasoline tank, but alas that smile will soon be replaced with the typical scowl as gas prices begin their inevitable creep back upward towards $3 per gallon. There is the possibility I suppose that the demand for gasoline will remain on a downward spiral, as more people adjust their gasoline "habits" through bicycling, walking more, ride sharing, and purchasing hybrid or high fuel economy automobiles. Farmers also benefit from low gas prices, as energy costs are some of their highest input costs - trailing just behind the cost of seed or rent for land. But then land rents across the country remain high, along with fertilizer and seed costs, and as crude oil prices decline so do corn prices. As one farmer stated, "Filling up the tank now feels good, but I know it will hurt when I try to sell the corn."

Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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