SALEM — The Oregon Wheat Commission expects decreased production due to drought conditions.

That will mean less assessment revenue, Oregon Wheat CEO Amanda Hoey told the Capital Press.

Growers pay an assessment of 5 cents per bushel of wheat and $1 per ton of barley.

Commission board members recently finalized their budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Board members approved a budget of $2.19 million, adding $3,000 to the approved budget from the year before.

“In April 2020 we were facing crop uncertainties in relation to dry weather so had projected lowered assessment revenue at that time,” Hoey said. “With the beneficial rains that arrived in May 2020, our actual revenues were much higher than budgeted.”

The increased revenue and cost savings in reductions in personnel and travel due to the pandemic allowed to commission to be in a place for the current budget year to fund all base research, marketing and grower service projects; increase funding to cover beneficial projects; and add to its carryover revenue, Hoey said.

“That carryover revenue is important for a year like the one upcoming, wherein we anticipate that the budgeted reduction in revenue will materialize,” she said. “We have not seen those timely of rains in the same way this year that we did last.”

Hoey expects to have nearly $6.5 million in available funds, with expenditures of $2.4 million.

With the anticipated lower production, Hoey said, the commission won’t add funds into savings.

“We project we will end the upcoming year with a carryover savings of about $4 million, which keeps the commission in a stable financial position able to meet its commitments over the long term,” she said.

Domestic travel is expected to return to near normal, but international travel to customers will continue to lag, Hoey said. The commission expects no in-person trade teams again for the 2021 harvest.

“It is rare to say the words ‘unfortunate’ in reduction of expenses, but that one is an unfortunate reduction in expenses as the relationships with our trading partners are critical and we are looking forward to seeing them in person again,” she said.

The commission will be 2022 hosts for the U.S. Wheat Associates summer conference, so the commission budget reflects increased spending in relation to hosting the event, Hoey said.

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