Oregon Department of Agriculture

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As spring gardening picks up in Oregon, state officials want to remind everyone to be mindful of bee populations. Homeowners can take simple steps to "bee" friendly to pollinators.

Warmer temperatures are arriving earlier this year, moving up the timetable for planting gardens and flowerbeds. The Oregon Department of Agriculture wants to remind gardeners and homeowners to be mindful of the products they use, as some are harmful to bees. Rose Kachadoorian is entomologist for the D.O.A.

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State water supply levels have Oregon farmers optimistic this year. Last April, mountain snowpack and reservoir levels were much lower than average. This year, talk of drought is somewhat quiet.

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Thanksgiving's the one day of the year that cranberries get a guaranteed spot at most tables across the U.S. But Oregon's south coast farmers are hoping to change that.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Fall is one of the best times of year for home canning. The practice is especially popular with Oregonians who maintain their own gardens. Although home canning is a process that has been done for generations, those new to it need to follow careful instructions to prevent food borne illness. The Oregon Department of Agriculture warns botulism can be deadly if food is prepared incorrectly. John Burr is with the ODA's Food Safety Program. He says just boiling water is not enough to prevent botulism.

Governor Kate Brown is leading a state delegation to Asia this week to promote Oregon tourism, business, and food products.

The governor is taking her delegation to Japan, China and Vietnam on the 9-day trade mission. About 50 public and private sector leaders, including ones from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Travel Oregon, and the Port of Portland, will be on the trip. The delegation has seven business development meetings scheduled.

www.oregonorganiccoalition.org

Oregon ranks eighth in the nation for certified organic farms according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A recently released survey is showing expanded growth and an international interest in organic exports.

www.agintheclass.org

In an effort to keep kids interested and informed about farming, the non-profit educational foundation, "Agriculture in the Classroom" is continuing to build on its success from the last three years.

www.oregonblueberry.com

The Northwest is facing one of the earliest and most productive blueberry harvests in decades and Oregon is looking to become one of the top states for production. The early harvest this year is feeding an increase in consumer demand nationwide. Bryan Ostlund is with the Oregon Blueberry Commission. He says the international export market is also expanding quickly.

oregon.gov

Oregon officials are visiting the Dominican Republic and Panama as part of a trade delegation this week.

There are two industries interested in Latin American market expansion; Christmas trees and potato farming. The trade mission is being led by the US Department of Agriculture. ODA Trade Manager Julia Turner says Asia is still Oregon's top export priority, but reaching out to other markets is important as well.

oregon.gov

Millions of Americans will be participating in Super Bowl parties today. During the match between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, many viewers will be drinking their favorite craft beer, and there's a good chance it's from Oregon. The State has become known for its micro-brew around the world including markets such as Europe, Asia, and Australia. Oregon Department of Agriculture Trade Manager Amanda Welker says big name beers are on the decline.

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