Oregon agriculture energy program cut by budget

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Agriculture is eliminating its energy and climate change program just as farmers are increasingly turning to solar, wind, hydroelectric and other alternative energy projects to reduce costs, or even earn money.

The Oregonian reports that budget cuts led to the decision to drop the program which helped farmers develop projects ranging from more efficient irrigation systems to bio-digesters that convert cow manure gas into electricity.

The program also helped find money for those projects.

Energy efficiency and renewable sources are hot topics among Oregon farmers. Many are eager to take on energy projects, but are held back by upfront costs.

Agriculture Department Director Katy Coba said she is disappointed about the cutback but hopes funding can be restored in the next legislative cycle.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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