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Southern Oregon - Region 3

An Overview of Southern Oregon


The farmscapes of southern Oregon can be distinguished by two broad agroclimactic zones, and each has a different focus as far as agricultural production. This region encompasses parts of 5 counties, including: Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties. The area encompassing Douglas, Jackson and Josephine counties is most known for the pear production of the Rogue River valley, while expanding irrigation is making it possible for other field crops and horticultural practices to flourish. In Klamath and Lake counties, cattle is the primary farm venture and and there is also an important industry based on different hay crops, such as alfalfa. The distinct rainfall patterns in the growing region coupled with prolonged summer dry periods has led to the development of the existing crop patterns. Cattle are more suitably raised in arid climates compared with crop production, and this difference can be seen as partially responsible for the stark divergence of agricultural production seen in the southern Oregon region. As always, the market plays into the decision making process too. As climate change continues, and competing demands for water in the region intensify there is always the threat of conflict. The southern region is characterized in this regard by the Klamath Basin, where conflicts have been present, and yet also potential for a new way forward. This website will introduce the southern Oregon region and some of the interesting features related to agriculture it boasts.