SALEM -- The Oregon Grains Commission and the Oregon Highland Bentgrass Commission may be on their last legs.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on April 5 sent a bill to the Senate floor that abolishes the two commodity commissions.

Under Senate Bill 946, Grains Commission functions will be transferred to the Oregon Wheat Commission and Highland Bentgrass Commission functions will be transferred to the Oregon Fine Fescue Commission.

The two small commissions had run their course and were no longer viable, according to testimony before the committee.

Annual Oregon production of highland bentgrass has fallen from more than 9 million pounds in the mid-1970s to less than a million pounds today, according to figures from the commission. The grass is used in turf blends primarily for the European market.

The Grains Commission voted in December to disband and roll its functions in with the wheat commission to save administration costs, said Oregon Wheat Commission Chairman Tom Duyck.

"Most all producers growing wheat are growing barley, too, or other grain crops," Duyck said.

The grains commission represents barley, rye, triticale, canola and mustard.

--Mitch Lies

Recommended for you