2017 Census of Agriculture – Umatilla County

by Dallas Fridley

October 1, 2019

The market value of agricultural products sold in Umatilla County reached $375 million in 2017. Crops represented 78 percent or $294 million. Livestock, poultry, and products accounted for 22 percent or $81 million.

Vegetables, melons, potatoes, and sweet potatoes grown in Umatilla County produced sales of $111 million in 2017, good enough to rank first statewide and 26th nationally, in the top 1 percent of counties. Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas earned sales of $104 million in 2017 and another top ranking in Oregon. Other crops and hay brought Umatilla County $40 million in farm sales, while fruits, tree nuts, and berries produced about $29 million.
Cattle and calves commanded 91 percent of Umatilla County’s 2017 livestock, poultry, and products, generating $73 million in sales while ranking third among Oregon counties. Milk from cows brought in about $3 million in 2017 sales, while other animals and animal products fell just shy of $2 million.

Umatilla County’s census identified 1,724 farms, an increase of 8 percent compared with 2012. Land in farms also rose in 2017, climbing 3 percent to nearly 1.4 million acres. Although total land in farming rose, the average size of a Umatilla County farm actually fell by 4 percent to 784 acres, still well above Oregon’s 424-acre average.

Operations with 1,000 acres or more represented 270 farms or 16 percent of Umatilla County’s farms compared with Oregon’s 6 percent. Operations of one to nine acres were far more prominent in Umatilla County, representing 661 farms or 38 percent, well above Oregon’s 33 percent. In the 10 to 49 acres group, Umatilla County’s 21 percent share fell well short of Oregon’s 34 percent. But in the 500 to 999 acres group, Umatilla County’s 6 percent doubled Oregon’s 3 percent.

Umatilla County was home to 3,082 farm producers (maximum of four producers per farm) in 2017, with about 60 percent or 1,834 male producers and 1,248 female producers. More than one-third (35%) of Umatilla County’s farm producers were age 65 or older – and 95 percent of its farms were family farms.

Agricultural product sales generated by Umatilla County’s 1,724 farms averaged $217,314 in 2017 compared with Oregon’s $137,674 average. Umatilla County’s sales ranked among the top 5 percent of counties nationally, placing 162nd out of 3,077. Umatilla County ranked fourth in Oregon for its agricultural sales total, while its average sales per farm ranked seventh. Farm production expenses in Umatilla County averaged $212,764 in 2017. And net cash income per farm averaged $33,507, ranking ninth and well above Oregon’s $19,757.
Not every Umatilla County farm operation averaged $217,314 in agricultural product sales. Around 42 percent or 716 farms produced sales of less than $2,500 annually. Farms selling $500,000 or more in agricultural products represented over eight percent of Umatilla County’s farms compared with Oregon’s five percent. Farms with $500,000 or more in agricultural sales commanded 85 percent of Umatilla County’s 2017 total compared with 81 percent of Oregon’s.

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