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2020 was a banner year for Oregon nurseries but the value of wine grapes plummeted

As people hunkered down at home last year, trying to avoid becoming a pandemic statistic, Oregon’s nursery industry pulled in great numbers.

The value of nursery plants grown in Oregon last year surpassed $1 billion for the second year in a row, and cherry and hazelnut growers also enjoyed a banner year.

But the value of wine grapes plummeted, according to the latest Oregon Department of Agriculture report. The annual analysis, which covers more than 225 commodities produced in the state, tallies the potential sales value of production.

Cool weather in late spring in some areas hampered the “fruit set,” when grapes ripen enough to be picked for wine. Fires also hammered the industry.

“Fall wildfires and thick ground level smoke right at harvest time in (September) 2020 blanketed nearly all of Oregon’s 21 viticultural areas,” Tom . . .