With the Blue Mountains occupying approximately one-half of the county, livestock production plays a prominent part in the agriculture of the county. The mountain country is not rugged and practically every foot can be utilized for summer range. The Wenaha and Umatilla National Forest Reserves control a large part of the range land, the
Just off the range. Umatilla County, the second sheep raising county in the state, has good
summer ranges and ideal conditions for wintering and early lambing.
grazing on which is regulated by the U. S. Forestry Service. The balance of the range land is privately owned. About thirty thousand head of cattle and two hundred thousand head of sheep are grazed in the county each year. The wheat stubble lands and the irrigated alfalfa tracts adjoining winter range give exceptionally good opportunities for wintering.
The fine wool herds of Umatilla County are famous throughout the west and their wool demands a premium on the market. The county boasts of the largest purebred Rambouillet herd in the world, as well as other herds of sheep bred for a superior quality of wool. An early spring following a mild winter and a good combination of plenty of feed and winter range make early lambing of crossbreds profitable. With silos and sheds, a big lamb crop is secured even in February.
While most of the herds are large, farm flocks are becoming more popular, most farms being adapted to the raising of a few sheep to clean up the waste.
Most of the beef cattle are grass fattened, but some are fed out on the alfalfa farms. The young stock and breeding cattle are wintered cheaply on the waste on the wheat or alfalfa farms to some extent, but chiefly on the Camas Prairie ranches around Ukiah, on upper Butter Creek or other stock ranches located too far from the railroad to make shipping of hay profitable. Exceptionally well bred bulls from the best bloodlines are used by the cattle men. The few good breeders of registered beef cattle in the county cannot begin to supply the demand of the range men.
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