For Oregon farmers, it’s time to make hay

Hay farm in North Plains, June 7, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
FILE -- Hay farm in North Plains, June 7, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

NORTH PLAINS, Ore. (KOIN) — There are close to 40,000 farms in Oregon. While the warm weather popped out the strawberries earlier than usual this year, hay is a big cash crop with premium prices right now.

Mark Nussbaumer is a fourth-generation farmer in North Plains, June 7, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Mark Nussbaumer is a fourth-generation farmer in North Plains, June 7, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Farmers like Mark Nussbaumer are making hay while the sun shines. “Just a good 10 days for hay making and then we’ll go from there,” he said.

A fourth-generation farmer in North Plains, Nussbaumer said his hay is headed for their 75 dairy cows — whose milk ends up in your refrigerator.

Oregon farmers depend on this warm, dry weather to feed Oregonians.

Strawberries are in demand nationally, shipped out of Washington County fields and into foods like ice cream on the East Coast.

The McKee family races to see who can pick the most strawberries among their family and friends.

“Twenty-one pounds in an hour and 15 minutes,” Helen McKee told KOIN 6 News. “We get competitive with other family and friends.”

But for her 4-year-old son, Zander, the strawberry picking has a more immediate payoff.

“They’re so sweet,” he said.

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