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Local Farms on the Decline

Farmers marketsMEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County farms are on the decline, according to newly-released government data. Numbers from the 2012 census show the number of farms in the area went down from almost 2,000 to just more than 1,700.

Meanwhile, the market value of agricultural products sold in the county dropped by nearly 20% overall, and nearly 7% per farm. Local growers say that’s likely because the recession fell during that time, but they say the market lately has been strong.

“It’s been steadily picking up. People are really interested in a safe and natural food supply,” said Ryan Navickas, the Co-Owner of Upper Rogue Organic.

Growers say the market for ornamental and luxury crops is still lagging but demand for edibles is as high as ever. They say there is also growing interest among people looking to start growing their own edible, drought-resistant plants.