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Oregon's war on weeds helps save agriculture and natural resources
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Governor Kitzhaber has proclaimed next week as Oregon Invasive Weed Awareness Week. That has special meaning to those who want to protect the state's natural resources and agriculture industry:
(NOTE: Oregon Invasive Weed Awareness Week is May 20-26.)
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This is the eighth straight year Oregon's governor has stressed through proclamation the importance of the battle versus noxious weeds: 
BUTLER: "The goal of the week is to basically educate the public of the importance of invasive weed detection and control efforts throughout Oregon." :08
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Audio 02
Tim Butler supervises the Oregon Department of Agriculture's Noxious Weed Control Program. He says the state really started dealing with invasive weeds back in the 1970s when horses and cattle began dying from the poisonous tansy ragwort in pastures: 
BUTLER: "It's evolved into where we are working on 117 state listed noxious weeds statewide. Agriculture is where it all started and it is still a key component to protect the 5.1 billion dollar agricultural industry from invasive noxious weeds. But it goes beyond that as far as these have far reaching effects on all of our natural resources in Oregon." :21
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Early detection and rapid response continues to be the most effective battle plan in the war against invasive weeds. The theme for this year's special week is "report and remove invasive plants", a good message for all Oregonians all year long. In Salem, I'm Bruce Pokarney.

Additional audio: Audio 03
BUTLER says noxious weeds are a big problem for agriculture as well as Oregon's natural resources in general: 
"They can also not only be direct competitors with crops, but they can also be contaminants in seed. If they are in seed lots, prohibit it from being exported out of state or out of country." :14
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Additional audio: Audio 04
BUTLER says the key invasive weed week message for all Oregonians, including farmers and ranchers, is early detection and rapid response: 
"These new invader weeds, if you can find them early on, that is certainly what we are all striving for and before they become a significant problem. That's where the ag community and growers can be very active to let us know if they find new weeds." :15

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