Pending President's Signature, $11M Slated For Hazelnut Farms Affected By Disasters

Jun 5, 2019

The newly-passed Disaster Relief Bill is headed to President Trump’s desk.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, $11 million has been set aside for hazelnut farmers affected by storms in 2018 and 2019.

Oregon hazelnuts gathered from a Springfield farm.
Credit Bruce Fingerhood / KLCC

Nearly all U.S. hazelnuts are grown in Oregon, by 800 families on 80,000 acres across the Willamette Valley.  Many were hit hard by heavy winter storms.

Storm-damaged hazelnut trees on Garry Rodakowski's farm in Vida.
Credit Garry Rodakowski

“We had 20 inches of snow in three days, and the destruction was severe,” says Garry Rodakowski.  He runs a 60-acre hazelnut farm in Vida. He’s halfway done cleaning up after February snows damaged his trees. 

Rodakowski figures this season’s harvest will be almost half of normal.

Storm-damaged hazelnut tree on Garry Rodakowski's farm in Vida.
Credit Garry Rodakowski

“So a lot of time, a lot of tractor work, fuel. Because I’m a sole proprietor I don’t hire anybody, so it’s been a pretty rough three months.”

Rodakowski adds that until President Trump actually signs the disaster relief bill, he’s not sure money is on the way.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.