Skip to main content

You are here

Farming and Agriculture

Farms and Agriculture

Map 20 Agricultural Zoning

The valley floor of the Willamette River Basin is one of the most important agriculture areas in Oregon due to the fertile soils and long growing season. About 45% of the total $2.29 billion market value of Oregon agricultural products in 1992 was produced in the Willamette River Basin. Horticultural plants, vegetables and fruit, grass seed, wine grapes, Christmas trees, grain, and hay are some of the products grown in the valley.

Oregon's statewide planning goal for agricultural lands (goal 3) requires counties to inventory such lands and to "preserve and maintain" them through exclusive farm use (EFU) zoning.

The Willamette River Basin Planning Atlas imagines the following possibilities for agricultural change by 2050:

Plan Trend 2050:  Approximately 40,000 acres of agricultural lands are converted to other uses by 2050 under this alternative, most also urban uses next to 1990 urban growth boundaries. The total area of land in agricultural production remains at approximately 20% of the basin. Map plant trend
Get map: GIS | PDF
Development 2050:  With the expansion of housing and businesses onto farmland, approximately 181,000 acres of 1990 agricultural lands are converted to other uses under this scenario, with most of these converting to rural residential and urban uses or fragmenting into areas considered too small to farm. Map development
Get map: GIS | PDF
Conservation 2050:  The mix of crops doesn't change much but farmers convert low productivity farmland to habitat. This isn't imposed on farmers, but instead encouraged through a variety of incentives. Conservation easements, transfers of development rights, and restoration grants are a few examples of the ways that farmers can be compensated for raising habitat instead of other crops. This could result in restoration of 12.5 % of private agricultural land. That means that under this scenario, there's a 248,000 acre reduction in land in traditional agricultural production, but less than a fourth of that is urbanized. Most is restored as habitat. Riparian areas on farms and on public lands are replanted. Map conservation
Get map: GIS | PDF

Sources (excerpted with permission)

Payne, S. and J. Baker. (2002). Study Area. In D. Hulse, S. Gregory, and J. Baker (Eds.). Willamette River Basin planning atlas, 2nd. Edition, (p.2.). Corvallis: Oregon State University Press

Richey, D. and J. Goicochea Duclos. (2002). General Land Use Zoning. In D. Hulse, S. Gregory, and J. Baker (Eds.). Willamette River Basin planning atlas, 2nd. Edition, (p.72.). Corvallis: Oregon State University Press