Oregon Ag Contribution & Illegal Watering Fine

Oregon Ag Contribution & Illegal Watering Fine

Oregon Ag Contribution & Illegal Watering Fine. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

A new study from Oregon State reaffirms the large impact that agriculture has on the states economy. The study was commissioned by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and ODA Director Katy Coba talks about one of the study's highlights– that Oregon's agricultural producers are much more efficient than they used to be.

COBA: Back 50 years ago, Oregon ranked 46th out of the 50 states in terms of the efficient use of its resources. This includes things like land use, water, chemical inputs. We were ranked pretty much at the bottom, meaning we were not very efficient in using those inputs. Now we've jumped to 15th in the nation.

A Columbia County, Washington orchardist is being fined over $73-thousand dollars for illegally watering a 100-acre apple and pear orchard after being ordered to stop irrigating during Washington's historic drought. Warren Orchards owner and operator Robert Warren continued to irrigate at night using more than 90-acre-feet of water from the Touchet River after the Department of Ecology required irrigators to cease watering in July and August. Warren's illegal water use also reduced the flow of the Touchet River for nearly 50 miles, which provides critical habitat for threatened steelhead.

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

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