SALEM, OR -- We’ll “spring forward” this weekend, in observance of Daylight Savings Time, and many blame agriculture for that lost hour of sleep. “Actually, it’s not true that Daylight Saving Time was created to benefit agriculture," says the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Kathryn Walker. "In fact, when it was first proposed in the 1900s, there were a lot of farm groups opposed to this idea.” Daylight Savings Time began in the U.S. in 1918 to conserve fuel needed to produce electricity, during the war effort.
Walker says most farmers and ranchers have learned to adjust to the time change. “Farmers and their families are not much different from folks in the city. A little extra daylight extending into the evening is usually welcome after a dark, dreary, and wet winter. But it probably doesn’t have any special benefit to the farming operation.” She adds, “In most agricultural operations, the job is focused on daylight, not the clock. Crops and livestock don’t really care what the clock says.”
Daylight Savings begins Sunday morning. Clocks move ahead one hour, at 2 a.m., March 12.