Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
the Pacific NW.  That's how it's called, probably because Portland, OR is only 40 miles away.  We still "farm" timber to some degree, and I predict that this type of agricultural endeavor will grow again in our area.

To our east, there is one of the great temperate fruit-growing regions, and it appears to be a fairly stable industry, both in terms of the producers and the product.  One thing that may alter the equation in the future is that this whole area is very attractive in many regards.  The orchard land is already substantially more valuable as a subdivision, but the impact has not been large thus far.  I would not care to predict, though.

There are some large organic operations in the region, too.  These seem to have sufficient margin to justify growth and diversification, as well.

You mention energy production.  One of the emerging synergies with the farmers is wind turbines on farmland.  Essentially, the farmer is practicing his normal agriculture on 95% of the farmland, while receiving rent for the turbines' space.  There are several developments of that sort within 80 miles to the East, and the only hindrance to this scheme is manufacturing capacity of the turbine companies.

I don't think that there will be a great rush in Washington and Oregon to raise corn for ethanol and what-not.  The farmers in the eastern sections of this region have to irrigate, and the water is expensive.  So far, they appear to realize that corn will take too many nutrients out of the soil and will cost much more for water.

Finally, our area is growing slowly, but part of this is due to an in-migration of retirees, and part is due to the desirability of the area for a home base.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 12:55:03 AM EST

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