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Oregon contributes heavily to the nation's fruit basket
7/11/2012
 
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Updated national statistics show Oregon a leader in production of many types of fruits. This is the time of year those statistics turn into delicious reality:

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Audio 01
There are plenty of fresh, local fruit products available over the next couple of months from one of the nation’s leading fruit producers. It seasonally starts with the berry crops:

ROTH:  “When people think of Oregon agriculture, I think– particularly in the months of July and August– we have to think of berries. Berries I think are really one of the signature crops for Oregon agriculture. We are the leading producer of many different types of caneberries, including Marionberries, blackberries, and we are one of the leading producers of blueberries.”  :16

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Audio 02
Gary Roth, the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s director of marketing and development, says behind all the numbers is the fact that the state’s climate and fertile soils– along with the skill and expertise of the growers– produce a great tasting, high quality food product that is enjoyed locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally:

ROTH:  “It’s summer, and when it’s summer in Oregon for what seems like the 60 to 90 days that we get it, boy, get out there, folks. Get out there and enjoy Oregon’s products whether it’s at a farmers’ market, a farm stand, or even out of your own garden.”  :12

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The numbers show that Oregon is either the number one or one of the top producers in the national of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, sweet cherries, and pears. All told, these crops are worth hundreds of millions of dollars in production value. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.


Additional audio:  Audio 03
ROTH says one of Oregon agriculture’s signature crops is berries, in general:

“People all over the world love Oregon berries. Oregon strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries in processed forms have been commanded by some of the world’s most premium ingredients suppliers.” :10

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Additional audio:  Audio 04
ROTH says in sheer numbers, Oregon can’t compete with the overall fruit production of California. But there are some advantages Oregon holds:

“We’ve also been able to find areas where we can lead the nation in things like Marionberries, blackberries, hazelnuts. So, California, while they are definitely the big dog in the industry, they don’t lead in every single game.” :13

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