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April showers bring May flowers in Oregon

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A sudden burst of warm sunny weather in late April has hastened the bloom of many flowering plants in Oregon that help bring color and cash to the state:

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A new report shows cut flowers, potted flowering plants, and bedding plants all contribute to Oregon’s agricultural economy. Gary McAninch (MACK-an-inch) of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says it all adds up to the color of money:

MC ANINCH:  “Floriculture is very important to Oregon. Of course, it’s kind of a smaller subsection of the nursery industry at large. At $129 million in sales in Oregon, it would still be one of the top 10 agriculture commodity groups in the state.”  :12

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Oregon ranks 11th in the nation in the wholesale value of floriculture crops. California and Florida dominate the national scene, but there are plenty of signs that floriculture is rooted in Oregon as well:

MC ANINCH:  “All you got to do is drive up Interstate 5 and see all the flowers that are blooming– the tulips, the irises are going to start blooming soon, dahlias will follow those. It’s a beautiful time of the year to be driving in the valley.”  :14

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In addition, several growers and communities in the Willamette Valley hold festivals this time of year that attract customers. It shouldn’t be hard for anyone in Oregon right now to see and simply smell the flowers. In Salem, I'm Bruce Pokarney.

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MC ANINCH says the latest statistics show a small decline in floriculture production value in Oregon as well as fewer growers. A lot has to do with the impact of the national recession the past few years:

“Probably it’s the slow economy. It’s slow to recover. We’re seeing that in the nursery industry as a whole and I’m not surprised to see that with floriculture, also.”  :10

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MC ANINCH says Oregon’s neighbors to the north and south do very well with floriculture, too:

“California, of course, is the big player in the floriculture industry. They’ve got the climate that is really quite conducive for growing these types of plants. All up and down the West Coast, it’s a very favorable climate for the floriculture industry. We’ve got, for the most part, abundant water. We’ve got great soils and long growing seasons.”  :19

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