Real estate fall hurts Ore.’s top farm sector



PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon crops hurt by troubles in real estate are recovering but are still worth far less than before the Great Recession.

New state figures show greenhouse and nursery products remain the state’s most valuable sector. They brought in $667 million last year. But, the department says, the sector was worth more than $1 billion in 2007.

Grass seed used to be the second-most valuable crop, but now it ranks 6th, at $256 million last year. In the Willamette Valley, farmers are turning grass acreage to wheat.

Another notable change: Cherries replaced pears in the top ten.

Overall, the department says, the value of Oregon crops last year was up 7 percent, to $4.4 billion. But that’s still down half a billion dollars from the good times of 2007 and 2008.