Researchers are actively involved in answering production questions related to smaller acreage crops like potatoes and peppermint, and the evaluation and development of potential new crops. Viable crops that either have or are receiving research attention include dill for oil, Echinacea, St. John’s Wort, sugar beets grown for sugar, dry beans, canola, and sugar beet seed production.
Over the years Central Oregon has been home to a diverse population of crops depending upon what the current market and population needs. Farmers are always looking for ways to improve their farm practices and also new crops to grow. Growers in the area have experience managing a large number of specialty seed crops and others to create an economically viable operation. There will always be the core crops that have been mainstays of the area, while other crops come and go over time.