- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) - Agricultural statisticians are cautiously preparing Oregon’s annual hazelnut crop forecast after last year’s forecast overestimated by more than 25 percent.

The Capital Press reports (https://bit.ly/2aspiDF ) that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service hasn’t figured out exactly what went wrong in 2015. NASS state statistician Dave Losh says the Oregon’s rapidly changing hazelnut industry and an early crop are likely to blame for skewed results.

Losh says one complication is the fungal disease that is gradually destroying old orchards while farmers plant new cultivars resistant to the blight.

Chris Mertz, regional director for the Northwest, says NASS is focused on making sure its crews are following the model for collecting data. Mertz says the agency wants to make sure it’s covering all its bases before changing the model.

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Information from: Albany Democrat-Herald, https://www.dhonline.com

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