It appears that Oregon growers dodged a major bullet in terms of snow and ice damage during the recent storms. Growers responding to last week's survey reported around $370,000 in damage, which, although bad, was far less than the $18–25 million in damage from the 2009 storm. That incident lasted 11 days and resulted in state and federal disaster declarations.
This is not to say the recent storms did not affect growers. On the contrary; most reported that they had to work very hard to prevent worse damage from the snow and ice. Some 51 percent reported shipping delays, 35 percent reported damage to nursery stock, 23 percent reported hoop house damage, 9 percent reported greenhouse damage and 5 percent reported other structural damage.
If you haven't taken the survey yet, you still may. The more responses we receive, the better our response can be.
It is inevitable that stronger storms will come in some future year or another. Although recent farm bills have included a disaster title, compensation to growers suffering damage has been limited. The OAN is working to ensure that the next Farm Bill includes stronger provisions to protect growers against severe and unexpected weather events.